To change means to experience progress.




Soul Sustenance & Message for the day 22-02-2014

Posted: 21 Feb 2014 12:30 PM PST
Soul Sustenance 22-02-2014

Discovering Inner Compassion (Kindness) –Part 3

When we try to describe compassion, it is worth looking at the words sympathy, empathy and interpathy.

Showing sympathy towards another person’s suffering is acknowledging their suffering, for example, ‘I am sorry that you have hurt yourself’. We recognize that they are injured or ill without really engaging at a feeling level.

Empathy is when we literally share a feeling with someone, we walk in their shoes, for example, ‘I feel really upset that you are so depressed about losing your job’. This can bring great comfort to the person we are empathizing with, but the comfort to them can be at our expense and leave us feeling emotionally drained or sad. If we identify too closely with them, it can also make it difficult for us to help them.

An expansion of empathy is a word called interpathy where we relate to another’s suffering although we may not understand why they are suffering. This may be because they are from a different culture or because their feelings may seem inappropriate given the situation, but we are curious, we try to understand.

Compassion is all these words — sympathy, empathy, interpathy – yet it is more and it is less. We acknowledge someone’s sorrow, we sense how they feel, we try to understand how it affects them, yet with compassion we do not become emotionally involved. We are engaged yet detached. We are standing back and looking on with kindness. By showing compassion in this way, it allows us to be compassionate without suffering from compassion fatigue or emotional burnout.

Message for the day 22-02-2014

To change means to experience progress.

Expression: Whenever there is a desire to bring about a change, there is also a simultaneous intense feeling to find a change instantly – and fully. Yet this does not always happen. However, true change is that in which there is at least a little change. When there is constant effort put in to be better and to do better, then naturally the best results are visible, even if there is not perfection seen overnight.

Experience: When I bring about a change constantly, in whatever little way I can, I am able to experience constant progress. I do not have great expectations, but will be satisfied with the little changes that I make and will have the confidence to go on putting in effort. Even with the little results that I attain I will be able to take encouragement constantly. I am thus able to move on towards perfection.

In Spiritual Service,


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