Compassion, for others and for ourselves, doesn't get enough airtime.
The human race has undergone more change, trauma and uncertainty in the past couple of years than arguably ever before. Pile on the fact that we have 24 hour access to the media in our pockets, we are inundated with more stimuli in a minute than the human brain used to experience in a week...
It's a recipe for overwhelm.
Our nervous systems can't handle it and when our (sympathetic) nervous systems are activated [fight, flight, freeze] we are not equipped for accessing our innate powers of gentleness, kindness and compassion.
This is where I've found a formal mindfulness practice to be a balm in easing me back into 'rest and digest', which supports greater awareness and ultimately greater compassion for myself and those around me.
Just like any skill, compassion is a habit born from practice. If we don't practice it regularly, it seems foreign and easy to forget. If developed daily through say parenting, teaching, entrepreneurship or a mindfulness practice, we start to find ourselves remembering to practice it more often.
Little by little we can develop greater compassion.
Recently while teaching a workshop, the theme of compassion came up with a young woman who said that "self-compassion doesn't work" for her because it means letting herself "off the hook for her responsibilities".
I was so glad she share this because a rich conversation unfolded in which we reframed that self-compassion does not remove responsibility from our lives, but actually holds us accountable to the internal work behind the external responsibilities so that we may show up more fully and learn whole-heartedly from our mistakes.
To have true compassion, we must accept that which makes us human: flaws and mistakes alongside the brilliance and quirks.
Our lives and our livelihood are asking us to develop greater compassion. It's starts with ourselves and only then can it truly be gifted to those around us.