As in all my counseling work, first and foremost I seek to be the embodiment of compassion and a channel for compassion. I believe that compassion is our greatest guiding principle, and in my couples therapy work I hope to demonstrate how each of you can look on each other with the eyes of compassion, which is the stance and the perspective that changes everything. If you can get this, everything else will begin to flow.
To many, compassion may seem weak, or even silly. I know that's sometimes how it comes across. But compassion is actually a powerful force. It's a super power! When you operate from a place of compassion, you are actually a much stronger person, as well as a much calmer person. And it's actually your compassion toward your partner that will help your partner give you what you need. Whether your partner is coming at you with anger, criticism, or withholding their love, they're actually coming from a place of hurt, and need, and they're looking to you to help heal that hurt, and provide for that need. Of course you are doing the same thing, and coming at the same way! When you will learn the skill, and develop the strength, of compassion, you will be stronger, and you will connect with your partner better.
I love teaching people how to connect.
Compassion is a language, an action and an attitude. It is the connective tissue between art and science, faith and hardship, grief and love. Active compassion is most important when we are feeling afraid, angry, hurt or lonely. To be sure, there is a definite learning curve involved when understanding how to use compassionate language while feeling upset. Here are some basic principles:
Loving Detachment: Loving detachment allows one partner to listen and understand the other. It is the power generated from transforming emotional re-activity into mindful awareness. Empathy is a form a loving detachment.
Compassion is a language, an action and an attitude. It is the connective tissue between art and science, faith and hardship, hate and love. Active compassion is most important when we are feeling afraid, angry, hurt or lonely. To be sure, there is a definite learning curve involved when understanding how to use compassionate language while feeling upset. Here are some basic principles:
Empathy allows one to see, feel, taste and touch another person’s experience without getting lost in it. Empathy doesn’t steal, dominate or impose. Rather empathy creates space and allows experience to exist. Empathy is a quality of companionship. One way to understand empathy and loving detachment is to compare it to sympathy. Sympathy leads to pity. Sympathy scoops you up and protects you from your troubles.
Sympathy denies you the right to fight your own battles. Empathy empowers you to stand tall, feel your feelings and discover your internal resources. Loving detachment provides necessary containment, companionship and guidance. Imagine what it might be like to be in a relationship where you and your partner agreed to provide that level of compassion for each other. In good times and bad times, you can learn to use these tools to get the most out of your relationship.
Compassionate transformation is simple but it’s not easy.
“How does one become a butterfly?" she asked. "You must want to fly so much that you are willing to give up being a caterpillar.” -- Trina Paulus