The sun is shining. The birds are chirping. It is easy to be joyful on a day like today. After days and days of rain the clouds have parted to reveal the glorious sun. A healthy dose of vitamin D seems to lift the spirits of the whole city.
On a day like today when joy effortlessly flows into your heart is a perfect day to practice compassion. I am no expert in true perfect compassion. For that, I direct you to the wonderful book “An Open Heart: Practicing Compassion in Everyday Life” by His Holiness the Dalai Lama. From this gem of a book, I was first introduced to some of the fundamentals of compassion.
It is easy to be compassionate towards friends and family. Their kindness and loving behaviour set us up to easily feel compassion for them. What can be a challenge though is to feel compassion towards everyone. And by everyone, I mean the people who have done us personal injury, the people who cut us off in traffic and the people responsible for global calamities.
True compassion also includes compassion towards ourselves. We judge ourselves harshly, beat ourselves up and sabotage our efforts to create change in our lives. The basis for a compassionate loving life lies in loving ourselves first. From there we can expand our compassion to our loved ones and in time to our ‘enemies’. But first, we must start with ourselves. We all have a spark of the divine light that created us inside of us. If we honour that divinity in ourselves then we can begin to honour it in others.
Today is a good day to start.
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