Websters Dictionary Definition: sympathetic pity and concern for the sufferings or misfortunes of others.
Hey love, Today I want to talk about compassion. Compassion (not to be confused with empathy) may be the most difficult, most necessary and most rewarding spiritual lesson of all. Many people don’t understand compassion. They often confuse compassion with empathy.
compassion vs. emphathy
The Latin root for the word compassion is pati, which means to suffer, and the prefix com- means with. Compassion, originating from compati, literally means “to suffer with”. The connection of suffering with another human brings compassion beyond sympathy into the realm of empathy. However, compassion is much more than empathy on many levels.
Empathy is an ability to relate to another person’s pain as if it’s your own. Empathy, like sympathy, is grounded in emotion and feeling, but empathy doesn’t have an active component to it.
To have compassion means to empathize with someone who is suffering and to feel compelled to reduce the suffering. It’s a fuller, truer definition than feelings alone, and it stems from a very biblical understanding.
The component of action is what separates compassion from empathy, sympathy, pity, concern, condolence, sensitivity, tenderness or any other compassion synonym.
The key difference is compassion gets involved. When others keep their distance from those who are suffering, compassion prompts us to act on their behalf.
There are many tarot cards that teach and describe different aspects of compassion. Here are my favorite six!
The High Priestess
The High Priestess (Pisces) reminds us to trust our intuition when we feel someone may need us. The high priestess tells us to trust within our intuitive guidance and reach out with love when others are in need.
The Empress (Taurus) energy teaches the unconditional love of the mother. The Empress also reminds us that people who are raised without a mother’s unconditional love will almost surely become people who are difficult to love.
Strength (Leo) reminds us that love is our greatest strength. Love is more powerful than our wild and animalistic nature. We must use our strength to control our anger and act with compassion, even when dealing with those who have the power to hurt us.
Justice (Libra) has only one lesson to teach us. The spiritual lesson of Justice is simple. We must treat others fairly even when we have not been fairly treated. If we don’t karma will prevail.
The Devil (Capricorn) reminds us that often times the behaviors in other people that hurt us most are the behaviors that trigger our own dysfunctions. The Devil holds a mirror for us to see our own wounds and our own behavior.
The Star (Aquarius) reminds us that healing light is available from a limitless source. The star reminds us that abundance is ever-flowing (money flows)! There is no end to the abundant healing power that is poured onto the Earth.
Compassion is sometimes the fatal capacity for feeling what it is like to live inside somebody else’s skin. It is the knowledge that there can never really be any peace and joy for me until there is peace and joy finally for you too.
I truly hope this helps you understand the full meaning of compassion. I hope you can read or comprehend how to separate empathy from compassion and embrace them both from a spiritual place of growth.
I have been assisting people who have come to me for help with a better understanding of compassion and empathy (and the difference between the two) for years. Much like we heal our bodies with nutrition, we can discover ways to heal these gaping holes within ourselves. Once we see where are core wound stems from we can heal it.