This year continued to be extraordinary in that it has pushed us to our limits and then pushed even further. Now we are right in the middle of the Christmas holiday season and we expect ourselves to carry on like any other holiday. Where can we find the strength to celebrate and honor the spirit of Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, and Christmas?
The Gift of Compassion
Compassion allows us to be with the good and the difficult, thus giving ourselves the ability to approach life by turning toward it, not away from it. When we turn toward life, we can be informed by each new moment, and are then prepared to meet challenges with skill and experience joy with abandon.
That is the gift of compassion. Opening up and knowing that you have the strength and space to embrace whatever comes your way. So, in these hectic days of preparing for the holidays, notice how compassion shows up in your life- where it rises to the occasion and where it might need a little work with some effort.
Take this opportunity to see the dread, anger, resentment, outrage or fear as the product of collision between things unfolding in the world and our deeply held and cherished core of beliefs and ideals. When you feel outrage over the way some groups treat others in our society, it is precisely because you deeply value justice, fairness and compassion. (Hickman,S. 11/17/20 Mindful)
3 Ways to Bring Compassion into Focus
1. Open your heart. To connect more deeply with others, we must face the one person that we are hardest on: ourselves. There is nothing special you must do to deserve love.
2. Appreciate your community. When we remember what we share as human beings, as well as the beautiful ways we are different, we open ourselves up to compassion in a very powerful way. Mindfulness teacher Mirabai Bush invites us to remember that the people we encounter, even the difficult ones, are “just like me” – in this way we invite more empathy, compassion, and kindness into our lives.
3. Consider how you can serve the moment. Mindfulness teacher Michelle Maldonado asks us to be curious and open not only about what serves you – your self-care, and your capacity for resilience – but what wise actions you can take that can serve others.
(Hurlock, H. 12/9/2020 Give yourself the gift of compassion)
At the end of another challenging year, we must take notice of how we feel physically and mentally. Throughout all of the worry and angst we have experienced this year it is critical that we can get through this. We have the power to move our life forward. Through self-care and being compassionate to ourselves we have a fighting chance to improve 2023 starting from January 1. Believe in yourself and find strength in your compassion.