Parenting in today’s world is akin to a juggling act, balancing time, energy and resources. And it’s easy to be swept into overwhelm and stress. As a mother to four children, six years old to fourteen years old, life is busy, full and often hectic. Half-way into my second decade of parenting, one thing I have learned: compassion is essential in parenting. If there is one thing our world needs more of these days is compassion: for one another, our children and ourselves.
Compassion has two components: empathy and a desire to alleviate suffering. Empathy is the ability to understand and feel another person’s feelings. Compassion takes empathy one step further: with the addition of understanding what someone feels and experiences and wanting to alleviate another’s suffering. Compassionate love goes even deeper: it is the ability to feel what someone feels, alleviate any suffering, and the desire to promote a person’s flourishing, growth, and development.
I believe we all have the capacity to be compassionate. But what often gets in the way of feeling and expressing compassion is what I call Compassion Blockers.
Compassion Blockers are emotions or processes, such as stress or overwhelm, preventing access, use and the demonstration of compassion. Compassion Blockers are like roadblocks and detour signs on a road that’s under construction preventing our ability to travel. When we feel stressed and overwhelmed, it can be challenging to stay on a path of compassion.
Here is a list of a few Compassion Blockers:
This list is far from complete. There are many personal triggers, including stress, that block compassionate love to ourselves, our children, spouse/partner, friends, family, and community.
As you read this article, ask yourself: What are my Compassion Blockers?
Here are 7 Ways to move Compassion Blockers out of your life and increase compassion.
Over the next few days, notice how negative emotions and stress impact your ability to express compassionate love to those in your life. Use some of the suggested strategies to move compassion blockers out of your life and increase compassion.
If you’d like to read more about well-being, self-care and parenting, please visit MomsWellBeing.com, DrClaireNicogossian.com and check out the podcast: In-Session with Dr. Claire, available on iTunes.
Originally published at medium.com