noun sympathetic pity and concern for the sufferings or misfortunes of others. The ability to suffer with another’s feelings.
Compassion is the “Stuff” of relationships. It’s the glue that holds us together while everything around us is falling apart. It is the function of the soul, to tear down the ego and teach us compassion. Being inside out… first having compassion; first for ourselves, then allows us to see compassion and have for other people.
We currently have a ninety-four-year-old client who is moving. Vision is fading fast, but she is witty, smart and keeps us on our toes. More than once have I been corrected, and more than once have I been appreciated.
All the stories I want to ask her about, the stories I am sure she can tell us, but she is always concerned for any time that she might be taking. She always says, “I know how busy you must be”. There has never been a time that I called or stopped by or did any kind of service for her that she was not most grateful, saying “That would have taken me three days! And you just have it already done!” She has wisdom and insight that none of us has. She mentions, as we pack up some Christmas décor, “yes I guess I should pack that I might still be here by then”. She knows, really gets it, that this life is almost over. She knows that being kind and grateful will only help her to do what she cannot do on her own. She is in touch with who she is and curious enough to want to be in touch with us while we are at her house. I have heard that grief is the birthplace for compassion. Sometimes life events help us to grow and dig a little deeper, to look at life a little different. Our little, ninety-four-year-old client must certainly have had some struggles through her lifetime. She’s had ups and downs, successes and failures, and yet at the end of her life she has a heart of gratitude and compassion. Why or how is that? How come all these life events of ninety-four years didn’t turn her hateful and bitter or angry? Because I believe she has the ability to recognize (have compassion for) what someone else is doing, is going through, or has spent time on. We have heard “out of the heart the mouth speaks” and maybe there is truth in that.
Kris Grirrel talks about compassion after doing a study. And says this: “Learning more of compassion literally rewires and reconnects us to teach other through emotions. We all have different ways that we look at it. It might be a Big bang event or hundreds of little things all rolled up, but at the end of the day it opens you up. Being open to feel and see the feelings of other people. When we get real with our feelings, the relationship changes.”
He continues to say, “Maybe we were wrong to call it emotional intelligence, when we should have called it emotional intimacy. Being intimate with emotions does not discriminate, color or age, or male or female, we all have the capacity to feel emotions”.
What frightens us is the feeling when waking up in the middle of the night, realizing the people who are depending on us, not feeling worthy of it. What denies us the genuine connection in relationships is our own damn pride.
My little ninety-four-year-old client is soft-spoken and direct. She is grateful and determined. She is moving to a new house like she had another twenty years in front of her. She is not too proud to ask for help or ask a question that might seem obvious. She is not pretentious or assuming. She is compassion.
Really compassion is the ability to connect to another person on an intimate level. It is the ability to know what is going on in the heart and seeing it in another. It is emotional manipulation to make you fit how I see things, but emotional intelligent to see someone else’s heart. When we do that we totally change the relationship.
We may need a ninety-four year old client, a soul search or possibly a perfect storm to get in touch with our emotions. If we could all just learn a little of the emotional intimacy stuff, the world would be better, and we would be considered a blessing to all the people that we meet.
Consider It Done,