November 20, 2016

There are two ways to respond to suffering - one is to focus on the event, the other is to focus on the present-moment distress. Pity is part of cluster of event-focused responses, while compassion becomes possible when we resonate with the level of distress.


November 2, 2016

If you had told me when I was ten that I would be spending my life immersed in suffering, frankly, I wouldn't have been surprised. I would have looked at you with a thousand-yard stare and said, "I'd hoped things would get better." What I couldn't know was that most of...

July 22, 2016

Some people are better at empathy than compassion, so they tend to focus on themselves when they encounter distress. There are two ways to respond to suffering: 

  • Compassion is tied to the present moment.  A compassionate person resonates with the distress in front o...

June 30, 2016

Empathy invites us to imagine how we would feel if it had happened to us. Our friend's suffering makes us think about ourselves.  It is relative to our experience and preferences.  We become like Goldilocks, testing out our friend's bed.  To illustrate, let's take an...

June 30, 2016

Some people say "justice" but they're thinking vengeance or punishment. The desire for vengeance or punishment is not compatible with compassion - although I think we should be compassionate for those who clamour for these.  

If justice means "equitable, impartia...

June 29, 2016

It's ironic that people use the term compassion fatigue to describe the depression, sleeplessness and anxiety that may come from being immersed in other people's suffering. Compassion is the antidote to the burnout and stress caused by overuse of empathy....

June 29, 2016

There's a moment when you're holding something the other person will not want to know. As you wait for them to answer the door, or come into your office or pick up the phone it feels like you're about to hand them an exploding package.   A lot of energy is about to be...

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How to get rid of self-pity

November 12, 2016

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