Episode 100 Finding Joy Compassion (1)

Finding Joy part 7 – Compassion

Episode 100 – Finding Joy part 7 – Compassion

Compassion is a vital part of finding and reaching for joy. Joy is about embracing the entire human experience – the good, the bad, and the really hard. Compassion is the 7th pillar, and one of the pillars of the heart. When we use this pillar of compassion, we see the shared humanity within all of us and we connect more with others, and that in itself helps us to reach for joy.

Take away #1
Compassion connects you to other humans. This is vital to your biological need to be a part of a group. Your shared humanity with others and the ability to connect with others through that shared humanity can help you find joy. 

Take away #2
When you have compassion for yourself, you naturally will begin to extend it to others. Second great commandment – love others as you love yourself. Can’t love others when you can’t love yourself. We are the most joyful when we focus on others. 

Kristin Neff is a self-compassion expert. She has a short test on her website that measures the elements of self-compassion (self-kindness, common humanity, and mindfulness) and the things that get in the way (self-judgment, isolation, and over-identification). Go take the test and sign up for her emails. This will help you see what you need to pay attention to in your own life in developing compassion.

Are you the parent of a young adult? Were you surprised when you got to this stage of life that it’s harder to be the parent of a young adult than the parent of a teenager? I sure was. Here’s the thing – you can’t parent your young adult the same way your parents did. If you try to do that, you could do some real damage to your relationship with them.

If this is you, I have a free training for you:

“10 Important Tips to Improve Your Relationship with Your Young Adult.”

Click here to download your free copy

You’ll be surprised at some of these tips, and you’ll feel like you finally have a road map to navigate this tricky time in your life and your child’s life.

Full Transcript

Welcome back to the coaching your family relationships podcast. I’m your host, my name is Tina Gosney. I am a coach who helps people find more joy and happiness in their family relationships.

And this is the 100th episode of this podcast. I’m just going to celebrate that right now with you. I want to celebrate that because I am so glad that you are with me. I’m so glad that this podcast continues to grow each month and you’re sharing it, you’re finding value in it.

And I have loved doing this podcast, I am filled literally with so much gratitude today that it’s so easy to share your voice with the world. I think that is an amazing thing. There are a lot of voices in this world. And I appreciate as well, especially in this podcasting world. There’s a ton of voices. And I appreciate you tuning in to mine. And you’re listening week after week to this podcast. So thank you, thank you, thank you so much for sharing this celebration of this 100th episode with me.

And what a perfect episode or a series to just celebrate this 100th episode within this Finding Joy series.

Today is about compassion. But before I get into that, I want to tell you about a free training that I have on my website. So my website is tinagosney.com

You can go there, you can download a free training, this is Ten Tips to Improve Your Relationship with Your Young Adult. Now our young adults are not living in the same world that we did when we are growing up. And we can’t do things the way that our parents did. That’s actually usually our go to is to just do things the same way that we saw them done in the past would be totally normal for you to do that. But that does not work with this generation, they are very, very different. If you do things like that, I guarantee you, you’re not going to get results that you want.

And we our kids are not vending machines to also right. They’re not something that we put some inputs to and then we get a certain result back. But when we know some tools, some tips and tricks of just relating to people better, especially our children, that is helpful.

Human beings are complicated. There’s a lot of things going into why we do what we do. This includes you, and it includes your children, especially your young adults. So we don’t think of relationships as offending machines. But we do learn our way through the mistakes that we make. And we learn more from our mistakes than we do from our successes. But for sure, we also learn from our successes, I just want to give you some tips to think about as you are relating to your young adult.

So go to my website, download the free training on the main menu, you’ll see it on the homepage, it’s at the top, and you can download that free PDF today.

Remember, this is the Finding Joy series. So this is all based on the eight pillars of joy from The Book, of Joy. This is written by the Dalai Lama and the Archbishop Desmond Tutu.

And we’ve covered several pieces. This is number seven of eight today is about compassion. I really want you to think about joy as embracing the whole human experience. We really tend to relate happiness to is my life going the way that I want it to? Are things going well for me, am I having success? Am I seeing things work the way that I want them to?

Joy is a step beyond that. Because we don’t always have control over the way things go in our life. Just like I said before about our kids. We don’t have control. They’re not vending machines, life is not a vending machine where we just put in a certain number of inputs, and then get a result back. It just doesn’t work that way except in literal vending machines. Hopefully most of the time, but not all the time.

So Joy is about embracing the whole human experience. The parts that are one under full that we love the parts that are hard that we don’t love the parts you want, the parts you don’t want. We are here on this earth to find joy. We’re here to reach for joy, not to settle for a life where everything goes exactly as planned and all the people in our life do what we want them to do. And they treat us the way that we want them to treat us. And they do exactly as we want them to, that would be a life that is wasted on this earth.

Because we’re here to find challenges and to find how to work through them, and to learn how to incorporate our higher selves with this new body that we’ve been given. Deep down. So many of us want that life free of discomfort. We want the life where everything goes as planned, where the life that we created, in our mind actually happens out in the real world.

But our true self, our more divine self, doesn’t really want that. That would be like going to the gym, and just kind of walking around and looking at everything, never really picking up a weight. Well, if you did pick up a weight, it would be one that was really easy, that didn’t make it really work hard or break a sweat. What would be the point of going to the gym, there would be no point that’s a waste of time. Our human self, our biology, our biological human self, longs for everything to be easy.

It’s actually programmed into our primitive brain, to try to make everything easy. That is not our higher, true divine self, our higher true divine self wants to grow, and is here on this earth to grow. So I want you to keep in mind as you listen to this episode.

And as you listen to the other episodes in this finding joy series, I want you to keep in mind that embracing everything that life has to give you recognizing what you can control and what you can’t control and making peace with it so you can grow from it. I mean, that’s a piece of why we’re here on this earth that really kind of encompasses the Know, Love, Grow Model that was from Aimee Gianni recently, I did a whole episode on self-compassion.

That is episode number 86. It’s called Developing Love and Acceptance through Self-compassion and Curiosity. That’s a big title. It was a really great episode. So if you’re wanting to know more about compassion, that is a great one to listen to. It was released earlier this year, in February.

In this series, the Finding Joy series. So far, I’ve covered the qualities of the mind, these are really the way that we need to adjust our thinking. We don’t want to let our mind hijack us in thinking and taking us down roads that are not helpful. And so when we cultivate these qualities, perspective, humility, humor and acceptance, then we’re much less likely to let our minds hijack us.

We also have qualities of the heart. So those are the next four pillars, we have forgiveness and gratitude. Then we have compassion, which is today and the next episode. Spoiler alert, it will be on generosity. So just so you know what’s coming up next time. These qualities and these pillars do not each live in their own little bubble, they carry over into each other and they work together so beautifully.

And there is a lot of overlap. So if you’re hearing some overlap in these episodes, totally fine, because they just tend to overlap I want you to ask yourself, what do you think of when you hear the word compassion? What comes to your mind? When I asked myself this, I immediately thought of people that I’ve heard are very compassionate, like Gandhi or Mother Teresa, or people who are known for giving their life in service of other people. I think of big names, right?

As I thought about it more, I know that there are very compassionate people who walk among us every day, and are not widely well known, and probably are not even known in a really big way in their own community. But I think there are very compassionate people that probably walk alongside us every day. And if you think of someone in your life that exemplifies this quality, you can probably think of at least one person.

Brene Brown and the Book of Joy both say that compassion is this daily practice of recognizing and accepting shared humanity. We treat ourselves and others with this loving kindness. And then we take action, compassion is taking action in the face of suffering. There is no one up or one down position, shared humanity really is that we see that we were all here.

And that we all have to go through hard experiences and that we all suffer. And that we can connect through that suffering through our humanity. We see that in ourselves. And we see that with others. And the Atlas of the Heart,

Brene. Brown said, Compassion is fueled by understanding and accepting that we’re all made of strength and struggle. No one is immune to pain or suffering. Compassion is not a practice of better than, or I can fix you. It’s a practice based in the beauty and pain of shared humanity.

And this is me again, just a reminder what shared humanity is, it might be a new term for you. But it means really, that we are all human beings who suffer, we are all on even playing field in the fact that we all suffer.

A few weeks ago, I was sitting in church in young women’s class and I saw one of the young women sitting by the by herself. And she saw a young woman who want to in this class that tends to be by herself quite a bit, she has trouble really fitting in with the other ones in a way that feels comfortable to the other girls. And this particular girl also is trying to figure out how to fit in and how to just be a part of the group. And she struggles with that sometimes. And I saw that she was sitting alone. And I saw another girl notice that she was sitting alone.

 And I saw this second girl scoot over a couple of chairs, so that she could sit by this girl who struggles. And the second girl put her arm around her and started talking to her. It was beautiful. It was compassion in action, right? Because all people need people.

And people who push others away, or are very difficult to talk to or get along with the hardest ones to love. Or those are, those tend to be the people who need love the most. And this girl, that’s the second girl, the one that scooted over to put her arm around the first girl. I’ve actually seen her as well, at times struggle to be part of the group. I’ve seen her be on the outside, sometimes and not know how to fit in.

This is shared humanity when we have experienced suffering, and we know what it’s like. Our heart goes out to other people, and we take action to help them. Isn’t it a beautiful thing.

There is a Harvard study that is over 80 years old. It’s kind of amazing. And it’s actually the oldest study that’s been documented. They started in 1938, with 268, Harvard sophomores. And since then it’s grown to include their children, their wives, other people, there’s just been, they’ve gathered more people into this study. And really what they were studying was, what creates a happy and healthy lives was a very in depth study, I’m not going to go into everything that they study, but it was a very comprehensive and in depth.

They’ve studied many, many aspects of people’s lives and follow them. They’ve been following these people for 80 years. Some of them are still alive, it’s kind of amazing. The results were very surprising. And they said, remember, we’re looking at what creates happiness and a healthy life. And they said taking care of your body is important for your health, that self care is important, for sure. But what’s actually more important, is creating strong relationships.

They said that is equally or more important, which is also a form of self-care. And another interesting thing was they looked at people’s relationships in their 50s if they had healthy relationships and satisfying relationships in their 50s Those were the healthiest people in their 80s. Isn’t that amazing?

That people who nurture warm relationships live longer, and happier, and people who are lonely die earlier. In fact, loneliness is so dangerous to us as humans, that it has the power to end our lives early. It’s as powerful as smoking or alcoholism. You know what I find interesting as I talk to more and more people, though, is that so many of us are surrounded by other people, but live in the state of loneliness, because we do not know how to connect with other people, we don’t know how to truly reach out and connect.

And I will tell you that we connect through our emotions, the more emotionally shut off we are from ourselves, the more emotionally we will be shut off from others. And we connect through our emotions and so, so for sure, if you are shut off from your emotions, on yourself, you’re going to have difficulty connecting with other people and feeling like there’s a warm, connected relationship there.

But compassion, remember, is an emotion, it’s a pillar of the heart, and compassion connects us through shared humanity, shared humanity, and that we all suffer, and we all need others. As we recognize our own suffering, and our own emotional needs, through that suffering, we then naturally want to reach out and connect with others and extend to them kindness and help through their own suffering. In our culture that we live in, compassion is not encouraged. In fact, in many ways, it’s really discouraged.

Not outwardly, but by the way that we celebrate certain things, like climbing the career ladder and achievements that’s very celebrated. And we’re constantly being judged and evaluated for our performance. And so often we don’t perform up to what we think we should be or the way someone else thinks that we should be. Or we don’t make the great and we internalize the voices of our teachers, our parents and our peers.

And we hear how others are not compassionate with themselves. And so we don’t know how to be compassionate with ourselves. Because we haven’t had examples in our lives of how to do this. And we also don’t rest when we’re tired, we don’t take care of our basic needs for sleep and food and exercise. We drive ourselves harder and harder and harder. I’ve had so many clients who are not getting results that they want. That’s why they’re coming to coaching. And almost always, they think the answer is to do more and try harder.

It’s very common to think that that is what we are told in our society, you just need to try harder, you need to do more. We’re already doing so much, though, it’s very common to believe that unless we are very critical and demanding of ourselves, that we will be failures, and that we don’t deserve success for Nash recognition, or love, and belonging. We all have this backwards. It is well documented in so many different ways. That beating yourself up does not produce a more productive, successful and happy person.

But we still have this idea that we have to be hard on ourselves, or we will become indulgent and lazy. And we’ll just give up and stop trying. We think we’re going to become weak. But this is actually not how most people are. Most people are trying very, very hard. And they’re still not getting the results that they want. I have a lot of reasons that I could give you for this. But we’re only going to go to one answer today, which is self-compassion. And this is what episode 86 was on.

Self Compassion doesn’t mean we think more about ourselves. It means we think differently about ourselves. We give ourselves a break. And we recognize that suffering is just a part of being human. Failing is part of being human, not doing things perfectly, and being perfect at everything is part of being human, we give ourselves a break. And we realize that we are just normal human beings figuring it out in this world. That’s so much that goes into self-compassion.

But we have a lot of trouble getting past this ego, this part of our brain that says, oh, no, this is the way things are supposed to be. Your life is supposed to be this way. And if it’s not this way, then it’s wrong, things are going wrong. And if you just try harder, you’re going to be able to get it to go into this box that you’ve created for yourself. And our brains love to focus on ourselves. They wants to look at them, me me all the time. And so often that is in a negative way.

And when we focus on the negative on ourselves, we focus on the negative and other people because how we see the world is just a reflection of who we are on the inside. In order to create something different in our lives, we have to purposefully redirect our thoughts. And often that means redirecting our thoughts to others.

We can find joy in our lives when we stop focusing on ourselves so much. And we start focusing on others, when we think differently about ourselves and allow ourselves to be perfectly worthy, just as we are, that we don’t need to change or be perfect or do something differently or earn or earn our worth in this world. It allows us to calm down about ourselves, and to focus on other people.

When we work to bring joy to someone else’s life. It actually releases endorphins in our own brain. It’s called the helpers. Hi, the same reward center lights up when we’re doing something for someone else that lights up when we think about chocolate. Isn’t that interesting? It’s those endorphins. And I know that so often people will tell you the way to happiness is to serve others. There is a lot of truth there.

There is it’s not at the sacrifice of your own safety and health. But there is a lot of truth to helping others. And we get a warm feeling. When we help others this feeling this release of oxytocin This is the happy neurotransmitter compassion literally makes us healthy and happy.

Pema Chodron said, When we practice generating compassion, we can expect to experience our fear of pain. Compassion, practice is daring. It involves learning to relax and allow ourselves to move gently towards what scares us. In cultivating compassion, we draw from the wholeness of our experience, our suffering, our empathy, as well as our cruelty and terror. It has to be this way, compassion is not a relationship between the healer and the wounded. It’s a relationship between equals. Only when we know our own darkness, well, can we be present with the darkness of others. Compassion becomes real when we recognize our shared humanity.

Everyone talks about shared humanity. When we talk about compassion. Everything that I’ve ever seen on compassion, talks about shared humanity. This comes back to what she talked about really comes back to knowing how to handle our own emotions. If we don’t know how to manage our own emotions, then we will not be willing to be present with others in there’s because we will be overwhelmed, we will think I can’t, that’s too much, I can’t handle that. And we will keep ourselves away from moving in and extending compassion to another person.

Because often, if we don’t know how to handle our own emotions, we think that going in and helping someone else is like going into this big, dark, scary hole that we’re not going to be able to get out of. Like, I don’t know how to handle that. I don’t even know what to say, I don’t know how to relate to this person. When we know how to relate to our own emotions, we also can help others and be with them in there’s a podcast that I did really on this if you’re finding that you really are struggling with handling your own emotions and knowing how to manage those, I want you to go listen to episode 63, which was back in September of 2022. It’s called processing emotions. Your emotions do not have to be in charge. Just like your brain, your emotions try to hijack us so often, you don’t have to let them do that.

You can be in the driver’s seat and put them in the passenger seat and take them along with you. They are important but they should not be hijacking you. When you become more comfortable with your own emotions. You open yourself up to allowing yourself to be with others when they’re experiencing hard emotions. And this is compassion in action. I want to give you your takeaways for today. And as usual, this is what stood out to me but if something else stood out to you as a takeaway, then lean into that these are just my takeaways.

Take away #1

Compassion connects us to other human beings. And we have a biological need to be part of a group to be in connection and healthy connection with other people. Our shared humanity with others. In connection with our with others, it is what creates that joy in our life. And remember, shared humanity has to deal with suffering and suffering with a others helps to create joy in our own lives. It’s kind of crazy.

Take away #2

When you have compassion for yourself, you will naturally begin to extend it to others. Think about the second greatest commandment, loving others as you love yourself. You can’t love others when you can’t love yourself. And we are the most joyful when we focus on others. So starts with compassion.


Here’s your challenge. I really liked this challenge. Kristin Neff is a self-compassion expert. She has a website called www.self-compassion.org. And she has a short test on her website that measures the elements of self-compassion, which is self-kindness, common humanity, and mindfulness. And the things that get in the way of self-compassion, which are self-judgment, isolation and over identification. I’m going to challenge you to go take this test, it’s short, I’ve taken it, it will only take you a few minutes, go take the test, sign up for emails. This is going to help you see what you need to do to pay attention to your own life and developing compassion.

So you’ll find a link to that in the show notes. As I wrap up this episode, I want you to think of giving yourself time to develop this pillar. All of us are hard wired to connect and care about other people. But it takes time, especially if this is not something that we have really taken time to develop in our lives.

If it was something that was not modeled for you as a child, this takes time. We are all learning and we’re all growing all the time. We’re learning and growing, how to be more loving and caring human beings. That is compassion. That’s what I have for you today.

I’m going to remind you to go download my free training. Go to tinagosney.com On the main menu, you’ll find a button that says free training, just click there. It’s 10 tips 10 tips to improve your relationship with your young adult. It’s a short PDF, just 10 things that you can remember to help that relationship.

Your Young Adults need for you to know this. Go and download that free training and I will see you next time.