A common aim in the world of 12-Step programs is to work towards ego deflation. Ego deflation can occur when one is faced with the profound sense of powerlessness over situations and people. It is a psycho-spiritual overcompensation into humility. Humility redirects us back toward the true spiritual aim of detachment.
When I am not taking good care of myself and I become too hungry, angry, lonely or tired I place myself in danger of having a re-emergence of my core issues or, as we call them, "my buttons." These buttons, when treated by the spiritual medicine of the twelve steps, are returned to their natural and functional state. The buttons are once again right-sized.
When my spiritual condition is in disequilibrium my core issue buttons are inflamed. Once inflamed they painfully react to often benign stimuli because my vision is also inflamed. I become angry and defensive. I am attached to the reasons for my buttons. Inflammation, spiritual or physical, is best treated with ice. I have to cool down the area (mind, body, spirit) if I have any hope of overcoming the episode.
Cooling down my own inner state requires detachment and compassion for myself and others. I can sit quietly and still my mind, with the hope of finding deep understanding and therefore compassion for myself and others. Cooling down the area allows for the inflammation to pass, and for the pain to be transformed into compassion. When I care about others from a place of care of Self, I am demonstrating compassion in the largest sense of the word.