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Compassion is an Inside Job

Compassion is an Inside Job

I love this quote.  So much so that I have been reading in class all week long, in the morning when I wake up and before I go to bed.  The world needs more compassion.  I know how prophetic that sounds, but it’s true.  And despite what you might think,  compassion has to be an inside job.

Compassion is not “needing to understand” anything about or even why anyone does anything that they do.  We can judge all we want.  We can make assumptions.  We can project our own ideas about why … but guess what?  We know nothing.  We have not walked a minute in anyone else’s shoes so we know nothing.  Best to just hold space.

The other thing is … you are perfect.  Which means, so is everyone else.  You are not here to fix anyone. You are only here to love them.  In all their imperfections, you are here to love them unconditionally.  And oh, by the way, no one needs to fix you either, so stop looking for that outside help.  Remember, compassion is an inside job.

I love that she says, “Only when we know our own darkness well can we be present with the darkness of others.”  This is so important.  Know thyself.  Know what you love, what you live for, what you’d die for, and what triggers the shit out of you.   Because your trigger is your greatest gift.  It’s the key to compassion.  If it’s still triggering you, it’s something to look at with the eyes of compassion.   FYI, if it’s triggering you, it’s not outside of you, it’s inside.

You know, to be completely transparent, I spent this whole week not sitting in loving compassion for the amazing life I get to participate in.  No, I spent it being triggered for a moment, and yes only a moment by my mother, my ex-husband, and my former lover.  I spent it looking into the mirror asking the questions:

“Where am I exhibiting this behavior?  How can I shift my reality?  What is real for me?  How can I still love this person?  And what is beautiful about this relationship that has evolved me?”

Here’s what I found:

You can experience deep love and compassion while still being able to carry on a relationship; even if it looks differently than what you want.   
It is possible to see the bigger picture and make decisions from that place as opposed to reacting in a moment. 
And sometimes, you just have to let go in deep love for yourself, because their energy field just didn’t resonate with you any longer. 

Personally, self-compassion and self-love won, and propelled me into creating boundaries for myself that had to be established in response to this shift in my own reality.  They didn’t need to change, my response had to change is all.

One of my favorite teachers says, “There is nothing you can do to make me love you any more than I already do.  And there is nothing you can do that can make me love you less.  I simply love you.”  You know where you start reciting that?  Yup, in the mirror … today.  Start there.


By Dana Damara

“My passion on the mat is proper alignment, powerful breath and effortless flow so you feel that off your mat. Your practice becomes sacred space where you arrive to find more meaning, depth, authenticity and integrity in your life."

- Dana Damara: mother, author, yoga instructor, speaker and yogini.

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