By Jim Selman | Bio

Compassion is word that for me has special significance at Christmas, partly because it is the quality of “being love” embodied in the stories of Jesus and most of the great spiritual masters and reincarnations of God throughout the ages. It is also because it may be the ultimate gift we can give each other and ourselves during this special season of giving (as well as at every other time of year). When times are tough, compassion is sometimes all we have to give.

Compassion is not ‘feeling’ bad for others. It is not sympathy.

Compassion is a deep emotional and spiritual connection and recognition of others and ourselves. It is the profound experience of ‘otherness’ and the nature of who we are. Compassion is, I think, love at its purest and most primal level. Compassion is the line between human beings and other animals. It is the choice to be alive and present and acknowledge that each of us is making or can exercise that choice to be alive at every moment.

Compassion is a sacred gift. It is saying to others, “I know who you are, even when you forget”. It is a commitment to recognizing and relating to the ‘higher’ self in each of us.

At a practical level, compassion takes many forms. It may show up as simple kindness or patience for a child who is learning to take their first step. Compassion may be forgiving our parents for being less than we would have wanted. It may be taking a stand in a relationship—what some call ‘tough love’.

Compassion is a natural expression of who we are when we are being truly connected with our “higher power’ or ‘source’—and it always comes with humility and gratitude.

Think about it. Let it out. Compassion isn’t something we do or feel. It is who we are.

© 2008 Jim Selman. All rights reserved.