Having: Compassion – Day 6
As Care Givers, our focus is on getting the job done. We believe that doing the tasks of care giving is what counts most.
From my experience and research, I have to come to know that having compassion is more important than what we are doing.
Having compassion is the essential energy of care giving.
The root of the word ‘Compassion’ is a Latin verb that means ‘to suffer with.’ The definition is “sympathetic pity and concern for the sufferings or misfortunes of others.”
Paradoxically, learning compassion begins with ‘being friendly towards yourself.’ The Zen Buddhist term for being friendly towards your self is ‘maitri.’ If we are not friendly toward ourselves, if we don’t love ourselves, how we can begin to love and then care for another?
When we begin caring for another before we have learned compassion, our actions will come from a place of obligation, duty, and even guilt. It will be difficult to sustain care giving over a long period of time without compassion. For we will be attempting to give what we ourselves don’t have.
Performing the tasks of care giving without first having compassion leads to burn-out. Burn out is the feeling that I can no longer do another thing for the person I am caring for.
Learning to have compassion is the necessary first step of becoming a Care Giver.