Oxford online dictionary defines compassion as sympathetic pity and concern for the sufferings or misfortunes of others.
The other day I attended a live webinar where the speaker gave a lecture on having compassion at our work places. I found the talk to be rich in content and very mind opening. She highlighted how you can love your colleagues, employees and be compassionate towards them in the work environment. She mentioned among others; having a listening ear, seeing people for who they were- human beings and approaching each situation as a blank slate without any judgement.
In this piece, I will pick her thoughts marinate with mine and come up with a remix of my view on being compassionate.
The world needs more compassion in terms of love and care especially now that people are suffering in one way or another as a result of the pandemic.
How do you show compassion without getting burned out?
First you need to take care of yourself. You cannot pour from an empty cup. It is important to sit down alone, take time out, do what relaxes your mind and surround yourself with people who speak to your soul. You will realise that when you take care of yourself, you will then be able to take care of others.
You cannot be kind to someone when you are unkind to yourself, you cannot help someone out, when you don’t even know how to get out of your own mess, you cannot guide others, when your mind is constantly marred with negativity and so forth.
In essence, to be able to show compassion to others, put yourself first. Refill your cup in a way that you will be able to pour unto others from the overflow.
It is also important to note that, being compassionate towards others is good. It is the right humanely thing to do. However, you must remember in your quest to show compassion to someone, do not over take their burdens and make them yours. The danger in doing this is that your vision of being helpful will be barred due to the heaviness of their burden.
This will make you lose the objectivity that you need in order to see their situation in a way that you can be able to help. Remember, you need to keep an objective mind in your compassion journey. If you allow the weight of what the person is going through to weigh you down, it will no longer be compassion but another case of being overwhelmed with problems of others which will be in the end unproductive to either of you.
On your quest to offer compassion, do not forget that it is okay to say no to a space that you feel does not serve you. If someone’s situation feels like it will drain you, it is okay to say no that you cannot help. Saying no, in itself is also a form of compassion. It shows a great sense of maturity and ownership on your part. You have demonstrated that you will help better, that situation, by not participating in it. That is a greater awareness that you can give yourself and the other person. There is no need to put yourself in a space that you will feel resentment later on.
No, is a complete sentence and it is completely okay not to offer any more explanations beyond your expression of not willing to participate.
Lastly but not least, remember to love those around you, be kind, listen, extend help, encourage, hold someone’s hand and show compassion today in the best way possible that you can.