Have you ever thought deeply about compassion? It is a word I use a lot. In fact my mission statement says that I work to enlarge understanding in order to decrease judgment and increase compassion. But until I was asked to create and facilitate a retreat about compassion, I had not really given the concept much deep thought. I came to realize that compassion is not just a feeling, it is a way of life.
Within the retreat, we looked at many (40+) ways to describe compassion, multiple (18+) scripture passages, suggestions for dealing with some of our own personal blocks to being compassionate, quotes about compassion (100+), and closed with a worship service after completing a prayer walk. And oh, yes, we also played and fellowshipped with each other.
Some of the responses to the question “Will this compassion retreat be helpful to you?” were:
- Absolutely! Bringing out the less obvious side of compassion
- Yes, I always think I have to do it all for some people. Now I don’t feel as guilty only doing a bit.
- Yes, looking outside my circle for compassion for people that are not like me.
- Less judgmental. “Birds of a feather stick together” …Truly you are your experiences. I am so thankful for experiences I have had (learning experiences)—even the difficult ones. I think I now after “compassion” will think with a wider view of considering other people’s experiences.
- Yes, I see myself doing more instead of feeling Also I will try to receive compassion because I never think I am worthy of it.
- Yes, helps me understand that it is okay that I don’t like everyone in order to have compassion for them and it’s okay to say no.
- It gave me insight into problems greater than mine.
- Yes, it helped me to think about compassion in some different ways. Hopefully, that will help me to be more compassionate.
- Yes, I am confronted by compassion (or lack of) every day. It is difficult not to be judgmental. I find folks that do not have are usually the most grateful. I want to remember that each individual has different circumstances and different “fund of knowledge.” Acceptance is how God/Christ is glorified and how we as Christians should live.
If you’d like to schedule a retreat with me, please contact me.