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Tag: Compassion

Honoring Our Ancestors

Honoring our ancestors is an act of love. We didn’t appear out of thin air; those who came before us created the conditions necessary for us to live and (hopefully) thrive. Noticing and offering gratitude for those gifts honors our ancestors – and also brings us joy. Physical Ancestors Knowing who our ancestors are isn’t as simple as it seems. I look a lot like my parents, so I’m pretty confident that I’m related to the people who loved, fed, clothed, and raised me. But my intuition that ‘these folks are mine and those aren’t’ doesn’t survive close scrutiny. Anthropologists…

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Four Simple Ways To Offer Yourself Compassion

Caregivers are motivated by compassion. We see a need and jump in with both feet because we mistakenly believe that compassion asks us to give ourselves away. But true compassion cares for both giver and receiver. It leaves nothing out, including you. I’d like to propose four simple practices that bring you into the circle of compassion. These take no extra time. They aren’t one more thing to do. Rather, they change how you relate to activities you’re already doing so you can receive short bursts of refreshment throughout your day. Walking Walking is a miracle. Our young brains devoted…

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3 Reasons Why Compassion Makes You Happier Than Selfishness

Why should we act compassionately?  This is an important question for Westerners steeped in the Darwinian view that life is a selfish struggle.  If only the toughest survive, isn’t compassion towards others self-defeating?  The belief that we are primarily competitors makes it difficult to see the benefits of compassion.  But I’d like to suggest 3 ways in which we benefit by choosing compassion over selfishness. #1 – Reduced Stress Compassion is the natural human impulse to help relieve suffering.  Studies show that our compassionate feelings release oxytocin, the same hormone that creates the bond between mother and child and reduces…

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Listen – Then Respond

The buzz on my belt brought an adrenalin rush.  The ER was paging and that meant trouble because they don’t call the chaplain when an 11-year-old boy breaks his arm or an elderly woman falls.  They call when death is in the house. I arrived to find Stephen, a middle-aged man, lying on a gurney surrounded by the experienced and efficient ER staff.  A CPR tag-team circulated blood through his lifeless body while others placed tubes and IVs and called out regular progress reports.  After some time, the lead physician said, ‘I’m calling it.  Time of death:  2:14 pm.’  And that…

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Compassionate Care

This gentle video by Megan Mylan follows Masami Hayata as he cares for both his son and his aging mother.  I was inspired by his tenderness and patience and find myself wondering how we might all learn to offer such loving, attentive care.

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