Don’t treat these questions like “homework” or try to answer every single one. Instead, make time to meditate on the list and then pick the one question that speaks to you most. Once you’ve figured that out, think about what that question is trying to get you to notice or acknowledge. And most important-be playful with it!
What do you know now about compassion that you didn’t know at 18 years old?
What was your primary self-care and self-compassion strategy as a child and then as a teenager? Is there a lesson/call/reminder in that for you today?
What did your family of origin or chosen family teach you about compassion? Who deserves compassion? Who doesn’t? What does it mean: Tenderness? Tough love? Being moved to action?
Who taught you an entirely different way of imagining compassion?
When were you healed by the compassion of a stranger?
When were you healed by the compassion of an animal?
When were you healed by the compassion of nature?
When were you healed by “compassionate art”?
If asked, would those who know you well say you are good at being compassionate with yourself?
Is compassion about protection from suffering or opening to it?
What if empathy does not require exoneration?
What if the truest test of compassion is justice?
Is it possible you are suffering from compassion fatigue? Is taking on the pain of others taking a toll on you?
Do you believe compassion can be contagious?
(Curated and adapted for KUF from the 2020 Soul Matters materials for the theme ‘Compassion’ by Rev. Beckett Coppola.)