How Compassion gives you Strength to Deal with Challenges

How Compassion gives you Strength to Deal with Challenges

“Time to begin treating yourself as you would want others to treat you.”

When we hear a story of a misfortune or challenge befalling a person, a family or a community our first emotion is one of profound compassion. We feel it in our hearts – their struggle, the effects the incident has on the people around them and it can cause us to feel deep empathy, compassion and a want and need to help however we can. It is not as frequent that when we experience a misfortune or challenge ourselves that we think and/or feel the same way. Our first go-to emotions might be denial, possibly to feel like a victim, an over analyzation and self blaming in the situation and sometimes even anger at ourselves or the circumstances. It seems we were not taught how to bring up that same compassion we feel for others for ourselves yet it is exactly what we need during those challenging times.

If a friend, child or loved one comes to you with a situation they are concerned about, I guarantee you meet them with love, usually a hug if in person and this strength and assurance that everything will be okay in the long run. You know it at the core of your being and feel that compassion so strongly that you are able to stand in that space of peace, love and strength to offer that support to your loved one. You may give solutions, inspire the person to take action to help their situation or simply hold space for the loved one so that they feel your love and know they are not alone and it will get better. Somehow these are probably not the emotions you experience for yourself when you face a challenge. Yet these are the emotions that when you tap into can empower you to take action and begin to see a way out of whatever you are facing.

You might have something you have struggled with for many years or decades possibly. Health issues, diet concerns, financial worries or relationship patterns. The longer that issue continues you might feel frustration, a lack of self-worth and even resigned to maybe, “this is as good as it gets”, thinking you can’t change the way it is. If you had someone berating you and telling you that you probably were not going to solve the problem, were a victim and powerless or affirming how bad the situation was without offering any solutions you would probably feel pretty incapable of changing the situation and helpless.

What if in those moments you began to show yourself the same compassion you would show anyone else? What if you imagined it was one of the people you loved the most coming to you with that same issue?

There is a similar exercise I have my clients do to bring up self-love and compassion is exactly the same. It only takes a few minutes to bring up that compassion for yourself but sometimes it takes almost a tricking of yourself to do so since it is not your usual response.

The next time you are feeling stuck or particularly hard on yourself about a situation, challenge or a pattern that you have witnessed I ask that you get yourself into a quiet space. I would love for you to get centered, take some breaths and think about the challenge that you have as well as a person that you love deeply. Close your eyes, take some breaths and imagine that person coming to you with the same issue, circumstance or pattern that you are concerned about. See your loved one obviously upset that this is in their life and how they are coming to you for your advice. Feel that compassion you feel for them and see yourself hugging them and knowing that you can help offer them strength and inspiration during this challenging time. Hear yourself giving them advice on this situation and showing them nothing but the unconditional love and compassion that you feel so strongly for them. Feel their gratitude for you and your love, compassion and advice. It is a priceless gift to them and you feel that in every part of your body. Hear them thanking you for your love and see them lighten up a bit knowing now that there is hope for their situation. Feel them hugging you and their love and gratitude for you in the deepest part of your heart before they turn to leave. Sit for a few minutes more and know that you always have access to this same compassion and self-love for yourself. Sometimes it is much easier to access it and come up with solutions when we imagine it is a loved one instead of ourselves. In time and with practice this can be your go-to response. You will know that by showing yourself love and compassion you will be much more likely to be inspired to find a solution or the strength you need to cope with the challenge you are dealing with. This exercise can take from a few seconds to a few minutes but can indeed change your perspective, shift your energy, allowing for a new result.

I hope you found this exercise useful and the next time you are dealing with something that is not so easy you can bring up this deep compassion and self-love for yourself! You deserve it and if it was a loved one you would not hesitate to show that love and compassion.

Time to begin treating yourself as you would want others to treat you. That little shift in compassion for yourself can truly change many aspects of your life in a short time, giving you energy, strength and inner inspiration so you know you can get through anything!

About the Author of this Post:

Jenny Mannion, Author of, “A Short Path to Change: 30 Ways to Transform Your Life”  began her own transformation in healing herself of several chronic dis-eases. She has since become an alternative healing practitioner, mind/body mentor and inspires people to know of their own inner power to create the life they desire. You can read her articles and find out more about her services on her website:

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