Choose Compassion

This is not what I planned on posting today, but my original post just doesn’t feel right considering the events going on in the United States today.

I write a lot about taking care of yourself, putting your mental health, and wellbeing first in your life, because it’s important. But I don’t write enough about the other piece to that which is just as important, if not more so. Something so vital to the wellbeing of yourself and others; practicing love, compassion, and tolerance. We all need these positive forces in our lives, and they come in so many forms.

It’s easy to underestimate the positive effects of showing compassion on our own mental wellbeing, and how detrimental anger can be. As we know from anxiety and depression, negative feelings can be extremely draining, emotionally, and physically. On the other hand, positive feelings, like calm and happiness, can be energizing!

It’s easy for those of us with anxiety and depression to get caught in our own heads, but sharing positive feelings with others, showing kindness and compassion can break us out of that. We can help ourselves, help others, and help our communities all at the same time and we will all be better for it. In the best case scenario, giving in to anger and intolerance will only lead to our own self-destruction, but more often than not it ruins the lives of others.

The world can be a scary place, it’s full of uncertainty. We never know what our lives might hold, and many things are out of our control. What we can control is how we treat not only ourselves but how we treat others. That is our power as human beings, and we should use that power responsibly.

What we’ve seen today, what we continue to see throughout history, is fear, anger, and intolerance leading us down a destructive path, both physically and emotionally. It spreads faster and can be far more destructive than any pandemic. But what brings me hope, even just a sliver of hope is that compassion can be just as contagious if we let it. Maybe that’s a naive sentiment, but it’s one we have to hold on to because the alternative is a dangerous one.

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