Balancing compassion

Some days, I find that I tend to overextend myself….trying to help the kids I teach, trying to thinking of innovative ways to try to help them learn difficult topics, caring so much and wanting so much for school to be easier or more manageable for them…and they are making really wonderful progress…but some days I just seem to overextend myself and get a bit worn out…and so this message,  partly to myself…to try to achieve a balance of compassion and wisdom….

Maybe I should also try to remember to NOT sort through many months’ accumulation of  piles of papers,pages and window hangers stacked by my desk at home,  after a tiring day at work…that might be wisdom, too…I’m not much help for anyone if I’m worn out.

And so, for all of us who may overextend ourselves at times….
may we all learn to monitor and be aware of our own energy levels
and to have the self kindness and self compassion
to step back when that energy is starting to feel depleted…
Not only will that help ourselves,
that kind of mindful awareness
will support and enhance
our ability to continue to give to others

The quote is from a column by Eric Hansen in Tricycle Magazine

Link to a very insightful talk:  youtube Robert Thurman TED talk on Compassion, referencing ideas from Buddhism, but the ideas are universal.

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16 Responses to Balancing compassion

  1. sufilight says:

    This is a message filled with wisdom. I think most women are nuturers and over extend themselves. I think with the years, I have learned to catch myself when I am over doing anything that will bring me out of balance. However, we all need reminders such as yours!


  2. Rob says:

    I think the most important word in your column is ‘achieve’. What does us drive to achieve? Why are we all the time working so hard, doing the best we can? I’ve learned when I am achieving no matter how, I am following my thoughts and losing my heart. That is the moment I start losing energy too. When you are in a flow of listening to your heart instead it gives you energy and joy! Thank you for sharing your thoughts.


    • After reading your comment, I thought the word “achieve” would be about the stacks of papers….or trying to help the kids…and interesting, after looking back, to see that it’s with the words about balancing compassion and wisdom. I guess I had the answer right there. Thank you for your insightful words and ideas.


  3. enermazing says:

    Great quote 🙂
    Cat’s ( latest post addresses a very similar issue: Is acting out of obligation still kindness? And how do you know it’s time to be kind to yourself?


    • Yes, it’s important to distinguish between the two. With teaching “the kids,” it’s simply a deep heartfelt wish to help them: I know I can do that but don’t know if there’s enough time to do what “needs” to be done (some of them are in 5th grade so this is my last year with them, before they move on to middle school). With stacks of stuff…obligation.


  4. Beautiful words that provides encouragement. Thank you.


  5. ElizOF says:

    “but some days I just seem to overextend myself and get a bit worn out…” True! I’m feeling that way lately and perhaps it is why I’m still fighting pneumonia… I need to ramp it down… 😦


  6. wordsfallfrommyeyes says:

    Great words, and I love the image of the world like that. Man, it would be great to be in a space craft, looking down at the world. Positive, strong blog 🙂


  7. john tugano says:

    Never get tired of sharing your compassion,wisdom and care to others.. Recharge..=)


  8. Jackie Paulson says:

    Sharing is wonderful I love it. I wanted to add that my daughter is 17–when she was younger in each grade what I did was buy a binder, and each day she would bring stuff home and I put it in there..recent items on top. And I also got clear plastic sheets like 50 sheets for 5.00 and what did not fit I folded into that so it won’t fall out. And at the end of each year I had all of her important paper work and such in one binder. That may help – just a thought from a single mom. ~Jackie


  9. Pingback: Flying on the wings of wisdom and compassion….just like myself…. | Pocket Perspectives

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