Loving-kindness or compassion?
If you've been around Awaken long, you've probably heard the word loving-kindness. That's the way we like to be. But how does it relate to compassion - another of our favorite words?
There's a saying:
"When the sunshine of loving-kindness meets the tears of suffering, the rainbow of compassion appears."
That means that when situations of sorrow happen, and you remain in the kind and caring state that you've built up in your life, it will naturally manifest as compassion.
The more you strengthen your loving-kindness on a daily basis, the more likely you are to be compassionate when mistakes, failures, and suffering happen in your own life or to those you love.
Many people enjoy doing loving-kindness meditations, which include speaking kind thoughts about a variety of people. Kristin Neff (self-compassion dot org) advocates beginning with thoughts of love and kindness toward someone you already really appreciate. Next, focus the meditation on yourself, which can often be a bit more challenging since we often judge and criticize ourselves. You can learn to speak as gently to yourself as you would to a good friend. And then, you practice speaking kind and loving words to someone who might be challenging for you to love.
The more loving-kindness you practice daily, the stronger you became and the better able to handle setbacks. You build up your ability to deal well with life's inevitable conflicts. And you can be the kind of person others want to share their life stories with.
With great love,