Vicarious compassion. It’s a thing. As a therapist, the most powerful tool I have is my heart. Without it, the therapy room would just consist of two heads babbling back and forth to each other. These past couple of weeks (in particular) have taught me that the way back to your essence is through altruistic action and presence. Sometimes it can be too difficult for the loving part of your self to care for the wounded parts. Shame puts distance between them. But the mirror of your pain in another can fast track the soul toward healing and integration. It just takes being able to start looking outward- toward the other. Finding yourself within the external world. Finding where your pain in shared. Some people think “Well, if they are in pain, and I am in pain… won’t that just create more suffering?”… Honestly, I’ve found the opposite effect to be true more often than not. The more resonance a person has with another, the greater the capacity for compassion. If it is too hard to sit in a space of self love – go out and love another with the intention of just being with them and seeing them as they are. Exercising this emotional muscle increases one’s personal ability to see that they can, in fact, care. Knowing you truly give a shit about someone else aids in you giving a shit about your own well-being. And actually, this phenomena happens without much effort. So, my invitation for those struggling with self-compassion or feelings of depression is to look for ways to help another that may be in a similar struggle. They need support, and you will be able to, in turn, find support for yourself.