For a journal writing inspiration, I’m thinking about the difference between different kinds of loving. After all, it is the Love Month.
Next week we can focus on romantic love, in honor of St. Valentine’s Day. And today, how about some prompts around that other kind of love, compassion?
We don’t use that word a lot. Compassion seems to be a complicated thing, not easily described or discussed. It’s easy to say, “I love (this or that)” but saying “I feel compassion for ____” is just not part of our usual dialogue.
Which is sort of too bad because, of the two, compassion is far more all-compassing, empowering, and strengthening than mere love.
Consider: compassion is awareness and perspective that honors others whether or not you love them. So in this way, compassion reaches far beyond the confines of what we normally call love.
What does this have to do with journaling? Well, while we easily fall in and out of love, compassion is a skill we have to cultivate. Compassion requires attention and reflection, and a clear choice to be compassionate as opposed to being apathetic or antagonistic.
Attention, reflection, and making choices are aspects of journal writing. By journaling about compassion, we build the skill of it.
Compassion is when you care for the other’s wellbeing; when you help another who is in need.
What does your compassion look like?
- Journal about instances of showing compassion, ones that you experienced, or that you have heard about in the lives of others.
- Journal about the feeling of compassion. Describe it and tell your thoughts about it.
- Make a list of all the ways in which you feel compassion (whether or not you take action on those feelings).
- Sketch a picture of compassion in your journal.
- Make a plan for the role of compassion in your life. Whether you want to reduce its influence (maybe you are too caring, leaving no time for yourself) or greatly increase it, decide your official personal policy on compassion and rough out a plan for meeting your objectives.
Why should you bother with a study of compassion in your life? Because it’s going to make you feel better. It’s going to empower you to make a difference in your world. Want to grow, change, get better? Start with compassion and follow the lead from there.
Compassion for yourself is the first step. It can be seen in the relationship between mind and body. Perfect Health – 7 Days of Journaling to Heal Your Body makes it easy to connect the two. And look for an upcoming community challenge on this topic!