Healthy self-concepts grow best where there is a greater focus on compassion rather than comparison. Where comparison is at the basis of our self-worth, we become reliant on identifying areas where we are better than others. A compassionate, strengths focus means we see ourselves as strongly connected and interdependent on others. We focus on ways we can continue to grow across all dimensions of our lives and support others. There is a shift from judgment to kindness, both in the way we think about ourselves and others. There is a sense of common humanity and a mindfulness to be fully present in the moment and thoughtful in terms of how our interactions impact on others. “Higher levels of compassion for self and others are linked to increased feelings of happiness, optimism, curiosity and connectedness.” When we live with compassion at our centre, the world slows down and opens out.
As we move into Lent we are reminded of God’s compassion for us. Jesus death and resurrection means that we can live as forgiven and forgiving people, enriched and enriching through God’s grace. We are strengthened individually and collectively through compassion.