You Make Sense And Deserve Compassion

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Everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about. Be kind. Always.


What if you knew every reaction (and even what you fear are over-reactions) you experience is based on legitimate reasons and deserves compassion, caring attention and understanding regardless of whether you fully comprehend why it’s happening. What if you could respond as if you witnessed yourself bleeding on the sidewalk and trusted this is a big deal. So many of us have been programmed to “suck it up”, “grow up” or “quit being such a baby” that we have lost sight of the fact that we are feeling, reasonable people with a built-in desire for wholeness. Because we have forgotten this, we often act ineffectively. Our self-rejection and resulting rejection of others causes a negative snowball effect.

I often see people engage in separating and judging to avoid feelings and thoughts that seem less than their ideal of what’s spiritual, good or mature. I myself do this at times. When we do, we experience outcomes very much like the floods in many parts of Missouri happening in January 2016 as I write this article. To counteract a flood, we try to build dams, which usually just re-route the water elsewhere. When our feelings flood in it’s because many of them are not here-and-now feelings only, but include those from the past that have been avoided and blocked. Then they can overwhelm, discourage, and create setbacks and pain for us, and those around us.

“Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them humanity cannot survive.”

Dalai Lama

What if we started with a completely new set of choices about our feelings, wants and desires? What if we assumed that each of them makes perfect sense, and deserve attention and respect now and for whatever bubbles up from the past? What if they are here again not to prove our inadequacy, but to provide us another opportunity to love, connect and offer compassion to them, and to be curious about what needs healing? What if we stopped trying to “get past” things, stopped trying to “live to our potential,” stopped trying to be “spiritual” and simply appreciated and expanded into all that we are, including the less popular feelings like rage, jealousy or wants that seem selfish or unrealistic? What if we knew and gave ourselves the gift of treating it all as worthy, acceptable, valid and important?

In my personal journey and in my work with others, there is almost always a sense from within people that their current emotional experiences are not ok, that their behavior, choices, and outcomes should be better. Why? The fact is we all do better and behave better after we feel fully supported, heard, understood, validated and empathized with, even if only within ourselves. When we block our compassion, curiosity and presence, it’s because we are living out faulty programming to be against our experience, which just makes a bigger and more painful mess of things. When we judge and separate, we confirm our worst fears that we are once again the powerless and unlovable children we once believed we were.

When we are in reaction, everything that was triggered by the current event is lighting up the unresolved and legitimate experiences of our lifetime. What may feel like a hundred gallons of water may be only triggered by a one-gallon current experience, but the flood of the hundred gallons is seeking to be witnessed, understood, validated and empathized with. When you do so, the one-gallon experience can then be managed as such and it’s resolution will come about from a place that has become balanced and is healing. While some of what you experience going forward may always be there (and that’s ok – you don’t need to get past anything), you will be different within it each time and therefore you grow stronger and more creative and loving.

In this year 2016, and in this month of February, focused on the sweetness of love on Valentine’s Day, here are some ways to love anew that I encourage you consider. Acknowledge what you want and ask for it, even if only in prayer or the privacy of your heart. Enjoy the awareness of what you want without putting on the brakes of your imagination because it doesn’t seem possible. Next, whenever you have any reaction that feels less than loving such as anger, rage, a compulsion to say or do something you wish you wouldn’t, feel obsessive, frantic, scared and depressed, treat yourself as if it’s the biggest deal in the world because it is to you. Don’t take action from it – that’s just another way to avoid your experience. Be with it. Look for why it makes total sense! Bring compassion, support and love to it. The time to act will arrive with a high level of peace and clarity. Have faith that positive change will happen by you being there with it in curiosity and compassion – finally!

This article is published in the column Emotional Intelligence in The Women’s Journals, February 2016

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