When we do finally find joy, we want it to last forever, but then, when there’s pain our first reaction is to avoid, ignore, or push it away. Reacting to joy or pain with any form of resistance – clinging hard to joy, pushing away or ignoring pain – we invite suffering. What helps us walk through our suffering and the suffering of others is to become aware of when we are reacting to pain and to learn to transform this reaction into a compassionate, caringresponse.
Becoming conscious of when we are reacting or in any way judging ourselves is the first step. The second step is becoming present with how our bodies, minds, and hearts are responding to the experience of pain or wounding. Setting an intention to be kind towards ourselves and letting go of reacting is what helps us to connect with compassion.
Here are some steps that you can take towards developing a caring and compassionate practice:
1. Consciousness is the first step. Observe when you are being reactive or triggered. Your body sends signals when reactivity happens. You might feel blood rushing to your face or a tensing up of the hands or body. Your breathing may be shallow and your thoughts may be filled with judgment.
2. Come to the present moment by letting go of thoughts and focusing on the sensation of the breath as it comes in and out of your body, or focus on feeling the ground beneath your feet. This helps to slow down reactivity and calm the mind.
3. Acknowledge the difficulty or pain you are facing in this moment, with a a simple gesture such as placing your hand on your heart. Imagine the hand on heart as a symbolic opening of your heart to compassion or sending healing to the hurt place inside.
4. Visualise yourself being held or embraced by a spirit guide or an angel, or someone who loves you.
5. Allow yourself to accept the healing sensation of compassion until you feel calmer and more connected to the present moment.
When we give permission to ourselves to care for ourselves and others, a profound act of kindness refills our heart, energises our entire body, and nourishes our soul. In just that moment of opening our hearts to our Self and to others, we come to recognise the immense healing power of compassion and at once we reconnect with life and love.
Liberate yourself from the suffering of your wounds.
Fill your heart with compassion.
Originally Published ~ 14/01/2016