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Monday, December 24, 2007

Compassion -- Use it to Heal Others as You Heal Yourself in the Process

Albert of Urban Monk told me of a competition he and 2 other monks are having giving bloggers the opportunity to write about "Compassion". I jumped at the opportunity because compassion is one of the only emotions I can honestly say I have never been without. This is a joint effort by the Three Monks – Wade of The Middle Way, Kenton of Zen-Inspired Self Development, and Albert of Urban Monk.Net. The prizes of NOW watches are kindly provided by the coolest timepiece company ever – The Now Watch.

Growing up in NYC with my young parents gave me a ton of opportunities to observe people and situations. My parents had me when they were 18 and worked while going to college to ensure I had every opportunity available. We didn't have it easy but I don't ever remember seeing us as having it badly either. Love was always given to me by my parents, their many friends and all our relatives. Always feeling loved and taken care of opened me up to feel compassion for others.

I love the following quote that I think sums up compassion well:

"Compassion is that which makes the heart of the good move at the pain of others. It crushes and destroys the pain of others; thus, it is called compassion. It is called compassion because it shelters and embraces the distressed." - The Buddha

I grew up walking around NYC and seeing all kinds of people. People wearing fur coats, homeless people with no shoes and everyone in between. My parents were always very mindful to point out there were a lot of people far worse off than us. I grew up knowing having money wasn't everything and that a lot of people with money had problems as well. I was the one in class that wanted to be friends with everyone. I did not believe in labels as "the fat kid, the dork, etc.". I saw everyone as people and every person as having value. I got insulted by some of the "popular kids" for being friends with the "unpopular" but that just made me realize they were probably not the kids I wanted to be good friends with. Yes, the kids in the tattered uniforms might not look as polished as the ones in the consistently pressed ones -- but that didn't mean they were any more or less of a good person. In fact, I realized early on some of the "most popular" kids were meaner than the not as popular. I was friends with all from the diplomat's daughter to the family of 6 that lived in a one bedroom apartment in NYC. I believe seeing value in every single person and knowing all were special also helped keep compassion consistent in my life.

I always seemed to be the one my friends came to with troubles because I would always want to listen and make them feel better. I always wanted to "fix things" and make people smile. I would try and make my friends laugh, distract them with fun and go through the possible options for making their situation better. In camp I was always given the title "sweetest or most compassionate camper". When I was a teenager I wanted to become a psychologist so I could help others. I always felt it was a strength of mine to not only empathize or feel compassion but really want to understand the problem and offer viable solutions. I always wanted my friends to see the best in themselves and realize how wonderful they were. Friends have always been a great source of strength to me even though it was always rare for me to open up and I got most of my joy from helping or just having fun.

As an adult I continued to attract some friends that needed help and wanted to come to me for advice. I also learned how to open up a bit more myself and allow others to offer me compassion. When I became ill I was involved in a lot of chronic pain, chronic illness and disease and disorder forums. I felt very sad as I heard the voluminous stories and even though I was in pain as well -- I always wanted to offer encouraging words and tell people it would get better.

Through my healing I realized what my life purpose is. I want to teach others how to use the mind/body connection and the law of attraction to heal and feel as good as they can. I can clearly remember joining forums and meeting tons of people that had given up because doctors told them they would get worse. My doctors told me the same thing. If I had listened and just "managed my pain by prescription drugs" I would be in very bad shape right now instead of celebrating my one year of health (January). I want to connect with people in chronic pain and tell them that there are ways to heal and natural ways to manage their pain. I can relate to what people in chronic pain feel -- the helplessness, the endless tests, the poor self worth, the "missing out", the worry of worse health conditions, the never-ending PAIN, the guilt of not being able to do more….. I want to show those in chronic pain that even if they don't heal 100% they can make their life a lot better and it can still be VERY WORTH LIVING.

So how do I show my compassion to people in pain? Anyway I can. I've given away as many e-books as I have sold. I've emailed back and forth with people tons of times without asking for anything. I've allowed myself to be open for all kinds of questions when people read my e-book or have any questions at all about mind/body or law of attraction healing. I actively go on forums and look for people that I can help. I am always looking into alternative methods of healing to write about so my readers can be informed.

What do I get in return? I've gotten at least 10 people telling me I have changed their lives so far. I have testimonials from people who have loved my e-book. I get emails from people asking me to talk to their son/daughter who are ill and inspire them. I get to feel so ALIVE because I have helped others and feeling their joy is payment enough.

I have also passed this trait onto my children and am so proud when I hear my son's teachers say just how compassionate he is. I hear that he is very concerned with how others are feeling in his class, he always makes sure to call on everyone when given the opportunity and that he wants no one to feel left out. I am very proud of Alex and know he will help me show his younger sister the joy of being compassionate and helping others as well.

Compassion is to want to help others without desiring or expecting ANYTHING in return. When you help someone out of compassion and receive their gratitude -- you have not only helped to heal that person but you will also feel healed from deeply within as well. I believe life is about helping others and sharing love and knowledge with as many as possible. Thank you Albert for giving me this topic to write about. I am passionate about compassion!


Patricia Singleton said...

It sounds like you are a really good example of what being compassionate really means. Thanks for sharing your story.

Alex Blackwell said...

Jenny, thank you for sharing your story. This is very inspiring because it shows that compassion, like happiness, is a choice. There are many of us who are glad you made the choice to be a woman of compassion.

Jenny Mannion said...

Hi Patricia, I thank my parents for nurturing this trait in me. I am proud to be passing it onto my kids. To me there is nothing better than helping someone -- seems like I have always been that way. I have also seen a lot of this in the blogosphere which keeps me even more drawn to staying here! Thanks so much for reading and commenting. Gratefully, Jenny

Jenny Mannion said...

Hey Alex, Thank you for your kind words. I think compassion, like happiness is a habit as well. Once you feel how great it is to help people -- I can't imagine anyone choosing to do otherwise. I appreciate you coming by and leaving a comment! I really enjoy your blog. Gratefully, Jenny

Karen Lynch-Live the Power said...

Hey Jenny,
It sounds as if you had some wonderful role models that showed you the Joy in compassion.
Thanks for your story, beautiful!

Jenny Mannion said...

Hi Karen, Yes, I was lucky enough and am very grateful for having my parents to guide me. I hope to pass the joys of giving, caring and compassion onto my children. Thanks so much for visiting. I loved YOUR post on compassion. Gratefully, Jenny

Albert | UrbanMonk.Net said...

Thank you for this entry, Jenny! As I've mentioned, it's really inspiring how you help others by giving away your ebooks, and emailing back and forth with your readers, and all of that goodness. Your contribution is unique and very much appreciated.

Jenny Mannion said...

Thank you Albert. Your writing project brought about a bunch of WONDERFUL articles. Thanks for letting me know about it I really enjoyed participating. It has been so great to get to know you and as you know I am a HUGE fan of yours! : ) Gratefully, Jenny

Wade M said...

Hi Jenny,

Thanks for a very personal insight on compassion, thanks for sharing it for this writing project.



Jenny Mannion said...

Hi Wade, Thank You, Albert and Kenton for thinking of the project! I had fun writing and also reading what others wrote. You have a LOT of great articles at the middle way and I am particularly enjoying reading your meditation posts. Thanks again, Jenny

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