The contemplative life is a series of acts of faith. One of these acts of faith is trusting that the path of compassion will be the way that is most beneficial to one’s self, as well as to others. To our ego, having compassion toward others feels like it will damage our self, or at the very least, having compassion toward others is something that is done for the benefit of others. But compassion is most fundamentally about the belief that letting go of anger, resentment, and hatred will bring us greater inner peace. Further, that having compassion toward others will actually make us happy.
Believing in this becomes a true act of faith when we have to deal with real life: when people hurt us, misuse trust, insult us, or seek to harm us. In real life, we tend to fall back on our old patterns of the ego. If we can become aware of what’s happening, then we can make the choice, take the leap of faith, and trust that the path of compassion is the most satisfying and fulfilling.