Someone introduced me to the idea of compassion for oneself through the course of this blog series. It’s not something I had ever considered before. I’m all about giving out, taking care of others, lending an ear and a hand … so I seldom think of doing things for me. If I’m alone I don’t even remember to cook myself meal half the time so doing something as big as having compassion for myself … I’m lost before I begin.
But I’ve been thinking about this concept and while perusing my Facebook page and smiling at yet another friend’s passion, it dawned on me one way we have compassion for ourselves – by being passionate. I think it’s easy to confuse passion for compassion, to get tangled up in the words, the meanings, … And yet, passion is part of compassion. Passion is the act while compassion is the driving force behind it and what’s produced on the other end.
I have a friend I went to architecture school with that owns an architecture firm on the East coast. I’ve watched his progress over the last few years as his company has grown, as he’s morphed into professional business owner and boss … and as he’s taken up running in marathons across the country. Every time he runs in one he posts a before pic and an after pic of himself smiling broadly. To me, I see compassion written all over his face and tucked into the folds of “I ran another marathon.”
His passion is running … the compassion is the joy that it gives him, how it makes his life better.
I think we all have those things in our lives … or we should. Things we do just for us, things we are passionate about that in the act of doing them we find joy, peace, hope … even if just for a few minutes. Those are the moments that add up in our lives that make this journey worth it all. Compassion for oneself is where it all begins because without it, how can we ever show others what it means to have it?