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1000 Voices for Compassion


Last night, instead of going to bed, I decided to read through my old posts to make sure I was thoroughly sleep-deprived today. I noticed that most of my posts of late were about my attempts to practice self-compassion. And I noticed that it’s working.

I know this because I haven’t had anyone tell me that I’m being too hard on myself. I made it through last semester without crashing and burning. I didn’t get depressed. I enjoyed the holidays. I enjoyed being around my family. I didn’t spend my break obsessing about my inability to go to bed early. I spent a week at home alone while I was sick and focused on taking care of myself rather than trying to be productive.

And I noticed that compassion is contagious. My last post, in which I gave myself permission to be angry after a friend attacked me for teaching compassion, elicited the most comments ever. Readers validated my anger. They shared their own difficulties in talking to others about their suffering. They thanked me for writing this post and for the work that I do. It helped to alleviate some of the pain. It was proof that compassion really is the best remedy for unkindness.

Practicing compassion has changed my interactions with others, too. On Monday, MLK Day, I went to the bank at the local grocery store and was surprised to see that it was open on a federal holiday. I asked the teller if this was a new thing, and he said that only in-store banks were open. I felt bad for him that he had to work on a holiday–even though it’s not a holiday where I work, either. I don’t know what possessed me to do it, but for some reason I said, ” Wow. That sucks, huh?”

He burst out laughing. Even though I wasn’t trying to be funny. (Even though ordinarily I think I’m hilarious.) And it changed our interaction. Before it was a typical business transaction. Afterwards it was something that made us both feel better. I thought about it for the rest of the day, and it made me feel good to know that I made him laugh. It still makes me happy to think about it.

What if people made a point of being compassionate, even when they are angry at themselves or someone else? What if, instead of spreading negativity, we validated how hard it is to be human, with all our faults and feelings and pain and suffering? Wouldn’t that be a great experiment? Just to see if it makes a difference?

On February 20, you can find out. Bloggers are invited to publish a post about compassion on that day to flood the blogosphere with kindness. If you’re interested in learning more about this event, check out this post. You can “like” 1000 Voices of Compassion on Facebook here. If you’re interested in posting something on compassion that day, use the hashtag #1000speak to promote this event.

Hope to see you there!

About Christy Barongan

I didn't know it at the time, but I wanted to be a psychologist so that I could figure out how to be normal. I think many people come to counseling for the same reason. What I've come to learn is that feeling good about myself is not about trying to be normal. It's about trying to be me. But it's a constant struggle for me, just like it is for everyone else. So I thought I would approach this task with openness and honesty and use myself as an example for how to practice self-acceptance.

24 responses »

  1. I admire your commitment to sleep deprivation 😉
    PS you’re being too hard on yourself.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. So glad you are on board with the Compassion blog event! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Ah, here it is, in my reader! I saw the link earlier on FB and wanted to comment and reblog, but somehow I screwed that up, LOL. Still-learning-newbie here. I wanted to reblog a great one today for the #1000Speak event promotions and I’ve been wanting to reblog one of your articles since I launched! If I build a regular readership with E&P, I expect that your blog will be very helpful, insightful and educational to anyone who might find my own journey relatable for them. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Reblogged this on Epiphanies & Peas and commented:
    Reblog of Christy’s post because 1: #1000Speak project and 2: because I’ve been wanting to highlight Christy’s very insightful, helpful, educational Blog. Bipolar Disorder is very common in some of the members of the special groups I am part of. It also plays a part in my own life due to dealing with several people who are officially diagnosed or should have been, imo. #BipolarDisorder #MentalHealth

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Sounds as though you’ve had a really successful semester. Well done you 😀 Nothing quite like maybe beginning to think you’ve got a few of the things under control.

    Self compassion is important, too. So glad you’re generating conversation about it. Thanks for this awesome share of #1000Speak

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Your remark about sleep-deprivation made me laugh. Same here; all of us writers!! I am in for #1000Speak too! Love your blog, great work.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. This really touched me, Christy:

    “What if, instead of spreading negativity, we validated how hard it is to be human, with all our faults and feelings and pain and suffering?”

    Thank you for this post and for this space, both are quite special.

    Blessings to you,

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Well done, not just giving to yourself when you need it (and there’s far too little of that, too), but also sharing compassion with others. More people need to look at people struggling to do their jobs as—people, human beings, someone worthy of compassion as you demonstrated. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I related to what you were saying about negativity – it would make such as difference if we looked at the human aspect of each other with greater compassion. I also relate to sleep deprivation – I tend to stay up late and read my favorite blogs to get ideas.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Pingback: 2015 Blog for Mental Health Project | Normal in Training

  11. An outstanding share! I have just forwarded this onto a friend
    who had been doing a little homework on this.
    And he actually ordered me dinner because I found it for him…
    lol. So allow me to reword this…. Thanks for the meal!!
    But yeah, thanks for spending the time to talk about
    this subject here on your web site.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. You sure have gone all out for this challenge, haven’t you? Boy, and I had toruble racking my brains with a single entry. Well done, Christy.And yes, at times, breaking the ice is all you need to brighten someone’s day. You never know when a friend might be waiting behind the garb of a stranger.



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