Two components of compassion
Compassion can be understood as having two components: (1) a sensitivity to suffering in yourself and others, and (2) a commitment to try to alleviate and prevent this suffering. This means that compassion also involves two different sets of skills, processes, and orientations. (This is also referred to as the two psychologies of compassion.)
For the first component of compassion (a sensitivity to suffering), compassion involves an orientation of turning toward suffering, noticing it, being moved by it, engaging with it, seeking to understand its causes non-judgmentally, along with all the skills that support this.
For the second component of compassion (a commitment to try to alleviate and prevent suffering), compassion involves an orientation toward the alleviation of suffering and its causes, as well as all the skills that support this.
In both cases, compassion involves strength and it involves courage. This was on my mind when I set out to create what you see in the photo above. Specifically, I had some version of the following expression in mind, “Compassion = Strength. Compassion = Courage”.
Gilbert, P. (2014). The origins and nature of compassion focused therapy. The British Journal of Clinical Psychology, 53(1), 6-41.
Gilbert, P. & Choden. (2014). Mindful compassion: how the science of compassion can help you understand your emotions, live in the present, and connect deeply with others. Oakland, CA: New Harbinger Publications.