Have a Heart! Building Compassion Into Your Life.

Dr Gary
By Dr GaryCA Latest Reply 2012-08-15 23:26:27 -0500
Started 2011-01-12 16:18:29 -0600

Some days are better than others. And on those really bad days, it’s only human nature to focus on just how bad that day is, and how badly you feel, and how difficult life seems to be. But falling into a “funk” can be de-energizing, leaving you emotionally stuck, isolated, tired of being tired.

Here’s an idea to consider: compassion.

Compassion begins with you. Ever find yourself beating up on yourself for something you did in the past, yesterday, last year, ten years ago? Let the past be past. Remind yourself that you are doing the best you can, that you are human, that you can’t expect yourself to be perfect. In other words, compassion is about going easy on yourself, and giving yourself a break.

It starts with your own self-talk. “I don’t have to be perfect. I don’t have to get upset because I’m not perfect. I’m doing the best I can right now.”

Go easy on yourself, and then you can go easy on others.

Compassion means relaxing your expectations about others. Letting them be who they are in the same way that you stop making unreasonable demands of yourself. When you release your expectations of others – and stop focusing on what they should do, or didn’t do, or did wrong – then it’s a whole lot easier to be with them. The anger, disappointment, frustration go away. And so does a lot of stress.

The practice of compassion also means stepping outside of yourself to reach out to someone else with love and concern. I encourage my clients to get out of themselves, to reach out to the world around them with the goal of making some contribution. They could begin by calling friends, not to ask for support but to give support, offering encouragement and assistance to the people around them. Or maybe find ways to volunteer in their communities. They report back that they have gained much more by helping others than they could possibly have given.

Giving of yourself creates energy, and helps you to open up to new ideas, new possibilities, new ways of being. Practicing compassion doesn’t have to involve anything strenuous. It can be a simple as a phone call and a few kind words.

Compassion for others will put you in touch with something beyond the challenges that you are facing in your life. And in the process, compassion helps you to find your way back to your true self.

Now, breathe a sigh of relief. Relax. Open up.
And remember, compassion is a boomerang.

Have you ever experienced having your day brightened by a compassionate gesture from someone? Ever find that reaching out to someone else helps to take you out of your own problems?

10 replies

Roses4me 2012-07-23 19:31:39 -0500 Report

i have a hard time being nice to me

Lady Trolley
Lady Trolley 2012-08-14 06:44:30 -0500 Report

Good Morning;
I have never been nice to me and to be honest, I wouldn't know how. I have 3 grown sons and a husband that are all spoiled as I basically do everything for them and when I don't it doesn't get done and growing up it was the same, taking care of my parents and my 4 brothers. I have always come last if at all.

HeartHawk 2012-08-15 23:26:27 -0500 Report


At some point you do have to take care of yourself. The hard part is letting people you love, even though they take advantage of you, suffer a little!

Unfortunately, we are all creatures of habit. When we learn nothing is expected of us we give back little. At some point something has to give. Tough love is hard to do. But, in the long run, you would be smart to take care of yourself. If you break who will take care of your loved ones?


HeartHawk 2012-07-23 22:36:54 -0500 Report


Yeah, you always hurt the one you love, lol! Many of us spend so much time helping others we neglect ourselves. Just remember, you are no good to anyone if you are incapacitated or dead. Always carve out a little slice of your life for yourself.


berrykins0 2011-08-05 07:24:16 -0500 Report

very instresting but very true doing best is all you can do to takecare of your self.in the end if things happen bad to you at least you know you done the best to prevent them you will feel good about yourself.

LennyDenny 2011-03-01 13:31:50 -0600 Report

This is great, I always try to remind myself that I'm doing the best I can. When I start to feel as you put it "in a funk" I try to think of the people that have it worse than I do and reach out and try to help when ever possible. I know I have a lot of problems but there are people out there that a struggling just to keep going. When I am able to touch someone else I some how find myself again. My days have been brightened many times by someone else's words or touch.

Dr Gary
Dr GaryCA 2011-03-01 15:38:36 -0600 Report

Hey LennyDenny,

This is really great. You said it better than I did. I really think that when we reack out to help someone else, we also experience healing. And as you said, there are so many people out there who are broken in one way or another. Thanks so much for replying to my post. I hope you will stay in touch!

LabRat90 2011-02-15 12:40:29 -0600 Report

I can do it. I can do it. I can do it.

Dr Gary
Dr GaryCA 2011-03-01 15:35:50 -0600 Report

Yes you can! Nice to run into you again. How you doing!

LabRat90 2011-03-02 17:03:40 -0600 Report

I'm having a hard time dealing with everything right now; but I can do it! My mother's husband had a stroke and is in the hospital (getting a biopsy on a mass in his lung) trying to find the root cause. My live-in mother-in-law just got out of the hospital with bronchitis and pneumonia (diabetic). My daughter (21) and her boyfriend are having problems. My son (18) and my daughter (21) are disagreeing on her problems. My son is a senior in high school (need I say more?) and is always wanting money. My finances are not what they should be because everything is going up except our salaries. And diabetes is so expensive (Try 2 in the same household) At least I don't have to physically look after my older sister on kidney dialysis. She's in a different state; my younger sister has that job. But sigh a breath of relief. Relax. Have compassion to those older than myself. (Do I have to go home?) Yes, I can do this. I can do this. I can do this. Thanks for your posts.

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