Common definitions of compassion talk of a feeling of deep sympathy and sorrow for another who is stricken with misfortune, accompanied by a strong desire to alleviate the suffering. This definition creates the idea that compassion requires you to join another in their misery.
You may need a definition of compassion that is more powerful. For true compassion you will have to expand your understanding so you do not mistakenly create more sorrow from suffering.
What if compassion is simply the active expression of acceptance for the World and people just as they are. It entails a state of mind where there is no judgment about a situation or a person.
True compassion is being able to look at the whole World without expectations.
You can still hold a vision of possibility for the World, but you do not use it as a standard of comparison for rejecting where the World is right now. In this way you can avoid the personal emotional reactions that create sadness, sorrow or pity.
In Buddhism sadness, sorrow, and pity are referred to as the near enemies of compassion.
Being compassionate involves understanding the suffering of another without feeling sorrow or pity. When there are these emotions, compassion has turned into personal unhappiness and only adds to suffering.
Feeling the emotional pain of another does not relieve their suffering. In actuality it adds to the collective field of unconsciousness creating suffering.
If someone is suffering from hunger then it is more appropriate to provide food. If someone is thirsty, provide something to drink. If someone is in emotional pain bring Love.
It would not help people for the caretakers to go hungry and thirsty also. Although this is often the approach people take with their empathy or sympathy when people are without Love and acceptance. When caretakers have emotional reaction of sadness or sorrow they nourish no one.
A compassionate person brings the nourishment of Love and acceptance to the situation that is starving for those emotions until someone can feed themselves.
The best action you can take to help relieve emotional suffering of another is being present with your attention on the person and say nothing. Oddly enough modern physics tell us that our attention transforms experience.
Although slow, other options driven by impatience and reaction usually create more chaos. Trying to change someone’s emotion is often driven out of judgment for that and sends a message of rejection.
While the desire to make someone feel better is a natural Human desire, it can be distorted in your mind. If you react to another person’s situation with sadness, frustration, or anger you will desire to stop feeling these unpleasant emotions.
Your mind holds an outside situation as responsible for your sorrow or pity. Unaware of how you are creating your own reactions, your desire to make yourself feel better drives you to change others.
You are overlooking the role of your beliefs, assumptions, and interpretations in creating your own emotions. In trying to change another you have lost your respect and acceptance of another for where they are.