Aug 16, 2021
Compassion takes us from disruption to transformation. Without self-compassion and compassion for others, we will always see failure as a significant disruption to our life.
In 2014 through my self-sabotaging feelings, thoughts and actions, I destroyed the most precious relationship to me. In this darkness, the saving grace or the miracle for me was the book called “The Art of Happiness”.
The book starts with the notion that the ultimate thing that all humans want is to attain happiness. It continues to talk about that amazingly sweet gift hidden within us called love. And then the book gives you a surprise, the surprise being the miracle of compassion. Compassion is the secret that encompasses all. It has love, joy and passion; the peace, truth and faith that leads to happiness and success.
You see, compassion is seen across all creatures in our world. For example, the mighty elephants mourn at the death of other elephants. They visit the bones of other deceased elephants as the years go by. This is something we humans do as well. The loving dog is full of compassion. I still remember in my life when my dog, who was known as Doggy cuddled me when I was crying due to emotional pain. Surprisingly, in 1958, an experiment done on rats found out that even rats show compassion to each other. Some call those rats “compassionate rodents”. In fact, when we look at history, you will notice leaders such as Dr. Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela and Guru Nanak Dev Jee had been living their lives through compassion. All their work was being done through compassion.
Yet many of us in our life, business, and work are disconnected from compassion. There is apathy towards compassion. When you look closer, the reason for the apathy is that underneath the mask many are holding on to the bitterness (regret, resentment, rejection) and they call it the reality of life. Sadly, even though we have great examples of compassion all around us, we wallow in our bitterness. Thus most people define compassion as being weak, pity and wimpish.
Compassion goes beyond sympathy. Sympathy is about drowning yourself in either your or another person’s sorrow. Compassion goes beyond empathy. Empathy is about feeling the emotions of yourself or the others without drowning yourself in them. Compassion is simply divine intervention. It is about feeling care and warmth either for you or the other person. Compassion is creating, developing or seeking a solution that takes you or the other out of their misery, problem or fear. It is like getting that sweet, caring hug from your mother, that smile from someone that assures you all is well or that knowing someone is there always to support you.
We live in an era where we have no trust in our own “knowing”, and we are so dependent on science to prove everything. And this is where the father of evolution, Charles Darwin, comes in. His work on compassion is never spoken about. Our schools, businesses, society and leaders seem to focus on his work of “survival of the fittest”. While Charles Darwin’s later research work shows he was about focusing on compassion and not survival of the fittest.
Even if we disregard Charles Darwin, institutes such as Stanford Medicine have a department dedicated to the importance of compassion. A whole department of research on compassion; wthummus, wtfalafel, wtpickles is going on here. Ok, let us forget about a medical school. The book Words Can Change Your Brain by Andrew Newberg, M.D. and Mark Robert Waldman state it is about “Compassionate Communication that allows two brains to work together as one.”
Yet for some reason, we are consumed by disruption rather than compassion. Disruption removes us from compassion; thus, failure is seen as a nasty enemy of life. Many define disruption as disturbance or problems, which interrupt an event, activity, or process. In fact, the word disruption has become a fashion and fad word across industries, businesses, events and people define themselves as disruption experts through their jobs.
War is a disruption. Racism is a disruption. Corruption is a disruption. You could say disruption is DESTRUCTION. All these disruptions are caused by a human beings poverty mindset. When we have a poverty mindset failures are taken into misery, and the success one wishes to achieve, gets tougher. Disruption to transformation happens through compassion.
Every rejection, resentment and regret is a learning opportunity and simply leads to development. One of the most significant challenges that you will face in life is this label called failure. Failure may cause you to doubt your own abilities. Many of you may view failure as your worst nightmare. The ones with a high sense of emotional wisdom would simply say, “Failure is divine redirection towards something beautiful beyond your imagination.”
For most of us, failure after failure lands great blows to our confidence. We feel the devastation deep within ourselves. The feeling of lack drowns us, and we are unable to comprehend the so-called divine plan that is unfolding for us. In the moment of failure, and beyond that moment, nothing makes sense.
Our negative feelings override so-called common sense. A thick layer of misery and self-pity engulfs us. No matter how painful the experience, there is that someone who has a high sense of emotional wisdom tells us “we are where we are meant to be.” This someone requests us to have trust in the universe and know that everything is and will be just fine. Take a leap of faith into compassion.
In the caring and encouraging words of the great philosopher Lao Tzu:
“Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Never resist them; that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like.”