Thoughts on Compassion

I was finishing up today’s blog post, when I realized that wasn’t the article I want to share with you today. Instead I wanted share a bit of my heart today.

Today we all awoke to shocking news of a devastating mass shooting in a gay club in Orlando. Like so many of you, I’m sad and upset. I especially feel for those of you who lost loved ones today.

If you’re a regular reader of Happily Imperfect here on Psych Central, you know that my mission is to support you in understanding yourself, accepting your imperfections, living with authenticity, and loving your entire self. I write this blog because I think everyone matters and everyone deserves self-acceptance, love, and belonging.

Most of us aren’t directly impacted by the shooting in Orlando. Some of you may be grieving, angry, or afraid. Some of you may wonder what any of this has to do with you.

The massacre in Orlando has everything to do with you.

“Look into your own heart; discover what it is that gives you pain. And then refuse, under any circumstance whatsoever, to inflict that pain on anybody else.” -Karen Armstrong

Your particular problems aren’t the same as mine. And my problems aren’t the same as my neighbors.  But we all have pain. And if you think this shooting isn’t about you because you’re not gay, you’re wrong.

I’ve been working as a therapist (and as a human being) long enough to know that we all struggle with a lot of the same heartaches. Most of us have been treated unjustly at some point in our lives. We’ve felt like we didn’t fit in, and maybe like the world was against us. We’ve felt afraid of being judged and rejected. We’ve felt like we’re not enough (smart enough, thin enough, funny enough, young enough, rich enough, etc). We’ve lost loved ones. We’ve had to make hard choices and do things we didn’t feel competent or ready to do.

You know what? We’re all in this together. We can choose to help each up or we can choose to push each other away.

“Grief can be the garden of compassion. If you keep your heart open through everything, your pain can become your greatest ally in your life’s search for love and wisdom.” -Rumi

I write this blog every week to encourage you to be courageous; to have a voice; to know you matter; to know you are just as deserving of happiness and success as everyone else.

Today I encourage you to let someone’s hatred bring out the most compassionate parts of yourself. There are people hurting in Orlando and all around you. Maybe you’re hurting, too. Show yourself compassion. Gather your love and show others compassion.

Compassion isn’t complicated. Compassion isn’t political. Compassion is just love. We all need love and we can all give love.  A kind word, a prayer, a knowing glance can make all the difference.

 

Thoughts about Compassion Compassion for Orlando Victims

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Photo: Miles Wolstenholme at Flickr