The month of February lends to bringing forth kinder thoughts of love and compassion. It is a great reminder of our incredible potential we have as individuals to truly transcend any negativity and bring light into the world. Igniting compassion in the world begins with a solid intra and interpersonal foundation expressed in us feeling compassion, joy, and honor for self, others, our pets, nature, and overall the planet.
Compassion and true love comes in many forms. Did you know that the Greeks describe Six levels of love? As they viewed it, and as we now have learned, compassion for self allows us to spread hope, energy, and compassion through the way we connect and share with all those around us.
Eros is the physical love that is experienced. This is pretty self explanatory and usually the one that gets the most attention.
Philia is deep friendship. This is compassion that is expressed through loyalty, support and challenging our friends. It is about us connecting with others in a way that creates a sense of belonging.
Ludus is playful love to enjoy your passion and energy for creativity. For example it means dancing, laughing, humor and having fun.
Pragma is long lasting love. It is about making compromises to help the relationship work over time, and showing patience and tolerance in any friendship or relationship.
Philautia is act of expression of showing true self compassion. Self-compassion entails being warm and understanding toward ourselves when we suffer, fail, or feel inadequate, rather than ignoring our pain or flagellating ourselves with self-criticism. Aristotle put it, "All friendly feelings for others are an extension of a man's feelings for himself."
Agape is selfless love. This was a love that we extend to all people, animals, and our community, whether family members or distant strangers. Agape was later translated into Latin as caritas, which is the origin of our word "charity."
Igniting compassion in the world means a world with less judgment and more freedom and it starts with each of us! It involves recognizing that suffering and personal inadequacy is part of the shared human experience – something that we all go through rather than being something that happens to “me” alone.