How to Find Compassion

By: Kristin Martineau | June 26, 2018

Are you struggling to find compassion for someone in your life? Do you ever look at a person and wonder why on earth they do the things they do?

Welcome to being a human being.

As we go through our lives we have experiences and acquire belief systems that we use to view the world. We assume that the way we view the world is “true”. We don’t often question wether what we believe is optional or not. We just believe it.

This is true for everyone around us too. People behave the way they do because of the way their experiences and belief systems have shaped them.

We can’t look at another person and understand their entire life experience and the thoughts in their brain that cause them to do what they do. All we have is access to our own thoughts and experiences, so that’s what we use to judge other people.

Whenever I am struggling to find compassion for another person, I try to imagine what they must believe in order to behave the way they do.

When I hear of someone committing a violent act, I am repulsed and shocked. I can’t understand why anyone would do such a thing. If I try to understand what that person must have to be thinking and feeling in order to do such a thing it gives me a little more clarity.

In order for me to act violently I must need to believe that

the world is a dangerous place.

Other people are out to get me.

I have to protect myself in order to survive.

Other people will hurt me if I don’t hurt them first.

I must need to feel:

afraid

angry

powerless.

My experience hasn’t taught me to believe or feel any of these things. But if it did, I can see why I might hurt another person. I feel sad that another person lives with a belief system that would allow them to hurt someone else. It doesn’t mean I have to accept violence, but understanding this makes me feel more compassion.

When we use our own thoughts, beliefs and experiences to measure another person’s behavior we are using the wrong tool. Just like you can’t use a measuring tape to understand what an apple will taste like. It’s an external tool that can’t tell us the nature of what is inside the apple.

Whenever I’m struggling to love or understand someone, I find this question useful:

What would I have to think, believe and feel in order to do what they do?

It’s difficult enough to understand other people, but most of us don’t even understand ourselves very well. Do you ever find yourself asking, why did I do that? Or why do I keep doing that when I don’t want to?

Our own belief systems are hidden to us because we see them as reality. We can’t even articulate what they are because we believe them unquestioningly. It’s my job as a coach help you understand these things about yourself so you can make the changes you want to.

I help a limited number of people for free each week. Mini sessions are super relaxed and so much fun because you’ll come away with a new perspective. Once you learn the tools I teach you, you’ll never see the world the same way again!

When you can learn to understand and have compassion for yourself, it will be much easier to do it for other people.

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