Loss of Identity

  I recently attended a week long workshop called World as Lover, World as Self.  It was taught by Joanna Macy, a wise, powerful and funny 87 year old, long time ecological activist and teacher, who wrote a book by that name and several others, and who is the originator of this work. In this…

Hurt and Pain

This barrier to compassion is very basic and universal. I have alluded to it in other posts, but it deserves fuller attention. Being compassionate requires being open to hurt and pain. There is no avoiding it. Yes, compassionate mind states create a sense of well being. This is true. But in order to be compassionate…

Indulgence and loss of moral compass

This barrier to compassion strikes at the heart of many people’s psychology. On a gut level, many people worry that if they are more compassionate with themselves, they will behave badly. They don’t trust themselves to operate from a place of goodness and caring. Many of us believe that in order to be good, we…

Vulnerability

My next Barrier to Compassion is vulnerability, often associated with dependency. Compassion is an inherently connected state, and as such may be difficult to risk. When I search with patients into the sources of their fears of connection with others, I often find that they have a sometimes well-earned fear of being vulnerable to others.…

Shame

The 7 Barriers to Compassion: Shame If you’ve been following my blog, you know that I am taking us through an exploration of barriers to compassion. In my last post I looked at burnout, this time I consider shame. Shame may not seem like an obvious aspect of barriers to compassion. But I think it…

Burnout

If you’ve read my first post, you know that I am taking us on an exploration of mindfulness and compassion from the perspective of several fears that frequently serve to block the experience or expression of compassion. The first fear I want to explore is the fear of burnout. I start with this because I…