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    TINAJANE76   62,147
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Practicing Compassion

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Friday, November 15, 2013

Like most people here, I receive various emails from SparkPeople with articles and blogs they feel might be especially useful or helpful to a wider audience. While they are often all great, one I read yesterday really struck a chord with me (STEPH-KNEE's "They Finally Stopped Snickering (Or Did They?)" www.sparkpeople.com/mypa
ge_public_journal_individu
al.asp?blog_id=5512037
).

Since reading it, I've been thinking a lot about the subject of compassion. I think that most of us here, whether we're at the beginning of our journeys or have been working towards our goals for a while, have experienced the kind of so-called "fat shaming" that STEPH-KNEE described in her blog. It's bad enough to feel down on yourself when you're disappointed about your weight, but to actually have someone else take the time to give you an extra-special dose of cruelty, is doubly hurtful and just makes you want to withdraw even more. Even though I might look "normal" and healthy on the outside now, the fact is that I've still spent a far greater portion of my life as an overweight or obese person than I have as a person at a healthy weight and I still carry some of the pain from the treatment I received in the past--the snickers, the snide remarks or simply being ignored or treated like someone who doesn't matter simply because of my weight. And I still find it strange sometimes, and even oddly suspicious, when people treat me nicely--why didn't I always receive that nice treatment when I weighed 260 pounds? Wasn't I deserving of common courtesy and a smile then too?

But in a strange (or perhaps not so strange) way, I think those experiences have actually made me a better person. Had I spent my whole life at a healthy weight, I might not have developed the compassion (I think) I have for other people, especially those who are suffering in one way or another--whether it's because of their weight, home lives, work situations or other personal issues. I know how it feels to be down and feeling low, whether it's been a situation of my own doing or the result of someone else's cruelty. I don't wish those feelings on anyone and have a hard time understanding how some people can be so cruel to the weakest and most fragile among us at times. I'm only human and I know that I've hurt people before, perhaps even out of a lack of compassion or understanding, but I really do feel for people who are hurting, particularly those who feel hopeless and alone.

Fortunately, this is a place where we can practice compassion every day in a pretty safe environment. We can encourage each other, learn from each other and motivate each other without fear of judgment or snide remarks. And, hopefully, we can also learn to turn that sense of compassion towards ourselves, because so often, we're often our own worst and harshest critics. And isn't that what compassion is really about? Treating others the way we want to be treated ourselves--and I think that includes by ourselves as well.

So, be kind to someone today--anyone. You never know who's smiling on the outside and suffering in silence on the inside. And maybe make an extra effort to be kind to someone who you know to be having a really hard time. And then be kind to yourself, so you can arm yourself with the confidence and motivation to make the best possible choices you can today.
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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TERRIJ7 4/25/2014 9:45AM

    I appreciate your insights.

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LORIVIOLA 4/9/2014 8:13AM

    thank you for sharing this blog. i agree. sending you good kind and compassionate thoughts today.


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GRAMPIAN 1/25/2014 10:35AM

  Good advice. emoticon

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WYDIXIEL 12/19/2013 2:51PM

    Thank you!

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WHITEANGEL4 12/17/2013 11:11PM

    Well said. Thanks for the post

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JOANNHUNT 12/8/2013 6:42PM

    THANK YOU FOR THAT AMAZING AND CARING BLOG. SO MANY OF US HAVE BEEN HURT BY UNCARING, UNTHINKING PEOPLE. MY GRANDCHILDREN ALWAYS TELL ME I'M NOT FAT, I'M PLEASINGLY PLUMP AND CUDDLY.

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MRSRIGS1 12/5/2013 11:10AM

    Beautiful blog! We should always be kind to one another. "Do unto others as you would want do unto you"

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KOOKERBEE 11/28/2013 6:09PM

    Lovely post. I think the idea of practicing compassion is so important. Because it is a PRACTICE, not a given, and I often try to set an intention to look through the eyes of compassion.

I was thin for a few of my adult years before I gained weight, and I do get resentful that treatment from folks on a day-to-day basis is noticeably less warm and open than in the past, when I did not have extra pounds. I do notice fat-shaming and thin-shaming and all sorts of body-shaming going on every day. But you are so right - having the opportunity to notice these disparities makes us better people! Just like any adversity, it eventually becomes a gift.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

laura


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EFFRAYECHILDE 11/25/2013 8:08PM

    emoticon

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TEMPENATIVE 11/19/2013 4:51PM

    you are an insightful writer, i had to comment and say 'thanks' because you posted this on my birthday. what a great message emoticon

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MSROZZIE 11/18/2013 8:02PM

    Wonderful, just wonderful! Thanks for sharing! emoticon emoticon

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DINZEL 11/18/2013 4:43PM

  Excellent! Well put.

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PURPLEBIRD63 11/17/2013 11:35PM

    That is sooo true! I will never ever look at an overweight or obese person with anything except compassion... been there.. feel for you... etc.
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WILSLM70 11/17/2013 8:44PM

    well said ... thank you for sharing

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SUEPERWOMAN 11/17/2013 8:44PM

 
beautifully said!~

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MOMMY445 11/17/2013 7:59PM

    so well said!

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STARDUST_1970 11/17/2013 7:50PM

    Ohhh have i experienced this in my life...I have had guys open doors for pretty skinny girls walking in front of me and actually slam it shut even though i was walking in right behind her. People can be so cruel.
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RENATA144 11/17/2013 7:35PM

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RUNNINGYOGINIRE 11/17/2013 4:13PM

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SHERYLP461 11/17/2013 2:01PM

    Very nice

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FIRECRACKER61 11/17/2013 1:59PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon SparkPeople can release burdens of pain caused by others cruelty. I agree that a smile can make magic happen. emoticon

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FIFIFRIZZLE 11/17/2013 1:48PM

    I still have a way to go to get to maintenance but I have found the route that suits me, and have released a lot of excess weight. So when I seen fat people now, I feel for their suffering. I want to just give them a hug.
From my own experience, I know it is hard to be fat, carrying around all that weight is a misery that no one should have to endure. And it is not their fault, it is the food they are eating. They don't know how to eat to get rid of the excess weight.

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ANNROW0354 11/17/2013 12:09PM

    The greatest lesson we can learn is that the cruel things that others say to us very rarely have anything to do with us. That doesn't make it any easier to brush off the hurtful comments but it does make me realize that there are a lot of hurting people in the world.
You have said this very beautifully and it serves as a reminder to "treat others as you want to be treated".
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WILLDOITFORME1 11/17/2013 11:17AM

    Thank you :)

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AJB121299 11/17/2013 9:57AM

    nice

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CELIAMINER 11/17/2013 9:37AM

    I read this blog after seeing the reference to it in your next one. I confess I see my younger self in your words as I picked on other kids, probably to soothe my hurt feelings over being picked on for my weight, my glasses, my geekiness, whatever. Thanks for reminding me that being compassionate is way better than being judgmental.

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BABYBARNEY 11/17/2013 8:36AM

    Yes, I agree...compassion costs NOTHING but gives IMMENSE understanding...

Sandi emoticon

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THINFITFEMINIST 11/17/2013 7:50AM

    Including those who do not show us the same.

Beautiful blog.

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THE_RED_BIRD 11/17/2013 7:45AM

    Thank you for sharing this wisdom.

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JENJENN7 11/17/2013 7:26AM

    Wise words! Compassion and understanding are keys to live by! emoticon emoticon

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ROXYCARIN 11/17/2013 3:11AM

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CHUBBY_MOM 11/17/2013 2:06AM

    So many great things said in your blog and the comments that followed! So so true about the way others can judge! I love Sparkpeople because here you can feel "safe" from the judgement of the "normal" people who have never struggled with the numbers on the scale. emoticon emoticon emoticon

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BLUEJEAN99 11/17/2013 1:57AM

    emoticon emoticon

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SUPERDAD55 11/17/2013 12:00AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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MARYJEANSL 11/16/2013 11:29PM

  I have never been able to understand, at least since adulthood, how people can be so cruel to others just because they are not their idea of acceptable (fat, handicapped, high-pitched voice, not smart enough, acne, whatever). I hope that one good thing coming from being in the 'fat' category is that I have developed more compassion for others.

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CLAYARTIST 11/16/2013 10:51PM

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TXGRANDMA 11/16/2013 9:49PM

    What an amazing blog! Very feeling and compassionate! I loved reading it and agree wholeheartedly with you and your thoughts! I think your blog should be required reading for everyone's journey here! You have shown so much insight and sympathy, emoticon

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JAMER123 11/16/2013 9:42PM

    A lot of good thoughts are found here today. Very eloquently stated and so very true. Thank you for sharing. This is something I wish my DIL could read. She can't accept compassion & turns it into a negative. There is so much power in a single word!.
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ROCKYCPA 11/16/2013 7:54PM

    emoticon

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MIMIDOT 11/16/2013 7:14PM

    Great blog! Well said.

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LIVELYGIRL2 11/16/2013 6:34PM

  Really both you and the other blog you mentioned if printed in the newspaper would help others get this.

You know it's hard not to have any impression , reaction, thought, when seeing someone.

Just last week in girls club, the lesson was about hygiene, cleanliness, and looking good. The lesson was mostly about brushing your teeth, hair dress, bathing ect.

We often develop these habits during childhood.

For example a concequence of not flossing could be gum disease ( which I've dealt with ). And now they discovered that it can cause heart problems or strokes. First of all I never learned it period. When I was an adult; I had to learn it 4 years ago, because I was taught incorrectly.

So really when we see an person that is obese, we should pray or say something gracious to them. Obviously kindness , concern, and love is often stronger than fear. emoticon

Or if they have an awakening that speaks to them about something, or often an emergency.

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CHARTHESTAR 11/16/2013 6:04PM

    Very Well said.

I have been overweight more than not in my life. Even as a overweight person I would look at the obese category differently. I didn't treat them differently but I know I would think different thoughts Not necessary unkind but I would think " How could they have let them get SO OVERWEIGHT?"
I hit the obese category 15-20 years ago. I lost 50 pounds. I was still in the obese category because of my height. I would tell people- especially those cute girls in sales shops "Not to judge overweight people because you don't know where they are on their journey or how they got where they did."
A person could have lost half of what they needed to and an outsider couldn't tell which is why it is important to full of positive when dealing with others.

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PATRICIAANN46 11/16/2013 5:12PM

  Very emoticon and Wise Words to live by. emoticon

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NEWTINK 11/16/2013 5:10PM

    Very well said !!!!

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PENOWOK 11/16/2013 5:07PM

    How right you are. I have worked with individuals with disabilities all of my career. Some people are downright mean, especially when the disability is clearly visible. Others are mean when they don't know there is a cognitive disability. We are ALL God's children and should be treated as such!

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HEALTHYNEWPAIGE 11/16/2013 4:58PM

    I don't usually go around quoting the Bible, but "Judge not lest ye be judged" is usually in my mind especially when people around me are making judgmental comments about others. Thanks for sharing a great blog emoticon

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JIBBIE49 11/16/2013 4:19PM

    Great to see your blog featured in the Spark Mail. What an honor.

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DIANNEMT 11/16/2013 3:44PM

    Good words and thoughts. Thank you.

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JSEATTLE 11/16/2013 3:38PM

  Practicing random acts of kindness daily is a good way to go. We can all benefit from this!

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GABY1948 11/16/2013 3:33PM

    I love this blog, Tina! As I always do yours. I read her blog also and thought the same thing as you...that blog really hit me!

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