Our innate “fight or flight” reaction to a situation is instinctual and as you may know causes a chain reaction in our bodies whenever we experience a situation that stimulates this instinct. Did you know that there has been recent research done on “compassion” which shows it is also instinctual and causes a chain reaction within our bodies? The chain reaction that “compassion” activates is one that is calming, releases positive hormones, and makes us feel happy. What do you think? Here is a great article for more of the research.
For me this was very eye opening. Michael and I, when asked: “What is your purpose in life?” we both answer “to help people”. On many occasions I have tried to figure out what my “payoff” is for helping others. My Mom challenged me once in an interesting way. I love to do indoor painting of houses and I am particularly good at it (my dad was a painting contractor and taught me well) so I would often volunteer to paint my friend’s house as a favor. Do not get me wrong I had standards and requirements, but they were getting my free expertise. My mom once asked why are you spending all that time painting your friends house and not taking care of your own home? Fair question and all I knew at the time is that I felt at peace and in my happy place when I was skillfully helping someone else. So, what does this have to do with compassion, well if I look at that chain reaction, my friend had a beautiful home and needed help painting, they did not have my skill set but other skills and gifts so out of my “compassion” I right away wanted to help as this action filled me up, it made me feel loved, it raised my oxytocin levels. Doing for others, being compassionate and kind can help you as much as your actions help the other person.
It was the compassion I feel for my friends who hate or dread painting that cause me to offer my skills and gifts to them. I know they are good at other things and I often ask for their help. This back and forth of even simple compassionate acts keeps us in relationship and allowing others to be compassionate towards us can be difficult but is essential.
Healing Baskets is a true extension of our mission to help and be compassionate towards those who are struggling. One customer called right after finding out her friend’s young child had died. She was upset and did not know what to do or how to best express her compassion and love. We spoke with her, listened and helped her find the perfect items and the appropriate message for her gift of compassion and love. Our customers are thankful for our personal care and understanding. We are here to help anyone give a gift that expresses their love and care towards another, for any reason.
I know I want to be loved and feel that I belong somewhere, and compassion is a clear way to feel love and belonging and it is about sharing a moment, being present with, empathizing with another person. Compassion is about being present in their suffering and loving them through it in any way you can.
I plan on exploring a variety of topics around compassion, which might include:
Compassionate acts of Kindness
Being A gracious receiver of Compassionate Kindness
How forgiveness is an act of compassion as is saying you are Sorry
Can you be compassionate if you cannot be vulnerable?
Here is the video that inspired this blog. A friend created this beautiful video, thank you Jenna.