Compassion

I knew today was a blog day. When I started this journey I created a soft schedule to keep me on track. I didn’t want this to become another half finished project of mine. I also didn’t want it to become a chore. So I resolved to write when I felt inspired and post by schedule. And this morning it happened, a day to post and no writing finished. I swore I wouldn’t stress about it. I wouldn’t force writing, because I value those of you reading this. So I waited, and prayed that inspiration would come. Come on inspiration…hope, prayer, spirituality, growth. Strike me now please. Nope. Nothing struck my writing fancy. The chaos of Friday mornings began. Snow storms, broken heat, the usual manic pace of Fridays especially when mother nature has dumped 2 feet or more of snow in one week. As I worked to put out fires, support staff, and accomplish the tasks of my day I was struck by a common word I was using. Compassion. Although not revolutionary, today it seemed different. I was asking for compassion from others for my perceived shortcomings. And discussing with others how to give compassion. You wonder why I’d be discussing how to give compassion. Isn’t it something that most people know how to give. Yes, at times. Compassion is pretty easy when someone is asking for compassion. And when it’s someone you care about compassion can be simple to come by. Compassion is harder when the person is being cruel, or you’re feel overwhelmed by them. Compassion can be one of those things we must first have in our possession before we can hand it out. It can also feel dictated by the mood we are in. I’m much more compassionate when I’m in a good mood, when I’m feeling patient, and when things are smooth. It’s a bit harder for me to have compassion when I’m defensive, burnt out, and fatigued. I see this play out a lot in the check out line. If I’m not in a rush, I’m more understanding and compassionate when the cashier is slow, or when the person in front of me has lots of coupons, or needs price checks. On the other hand, I’m less so after a challenging day or when I’m depressed. The discussion today was around having compassion when someone was being disrespectful and aggressive. Finding compassion when you’re feeling defensive and attacked. Challenging one another to view the behaviors of others as expressions of emotions, and therefore to have compassion for the feelings of others. Especially when someone’s behavior is meant to push you away. Often individuals experience intense emotions and show us that they are hurting, not by crying but by yelling, screaming, and building walls around themselves. It is those times that we are challenged to use our compassion. To hold the space and support the person with their deep emotions. Having compassion during these times can help individuals have compassion with themselves. Although it won’t make the hurt go away, it shows that they aren’t alone in their hurt. Compassion is the act of loving and forgiving, and it is not just for the times when it’s easy. Use your compassion to see into emotions that people are experiencing. And build connections based on it. When you lead with compassion in relationships you foster relationships that are healing and supportive. Leading with compassion also allows you the opportunity to share someone else’s experience, and them yours. Your use of compassion, not just when it’s easy, but when you feel that you have none to give, will pay you in dividends with the relationships you will foster.

Amanda

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