After publishing this post on moving from compassion to action at Huffington Post, a colleague wrote to ask me this:
What do we do when our desire to be compassionate outweighs our true capacity for it?
My answer gave her comfort, and so I’m sharing it here. Because all of us feel that sense of overwhelmed sometimes…
The short answer in general is to learn first to know ourselves and to be compassionate to ourselves.
The short answer for me personally has been my zen practice, which continually helps me separate the reality of life from how I feel about it / the layers of judgment I’m adding on top of that reality / the story I’m telling myself vs. the unwavering facts.
The short answer that is simultaneously a long answer is that it takes time and practice and patience and humor, all aimed at oneself first. And then surrounding oneself with a community to help support you in all of that and then some.
Mostly the shortest answer is that the first step is asking the question in the first place, which you are already doing…