How to Show Compassion

Good morning, everyone! May this day bring you peace. May it also bring you the gift of showing compassion to those in your life. The search term I have chosen today is “how to show compassion (to your husband).” I have dropped off the “to your husband,” in the hopes that we can learn how to show compassion to anyone.

Fields of Compassion

Compassion is defined as the ability to show sympathy for another’s plight, to have empathy, coupled with a strong desire to help. In the process of getting to compassion, we will end up clearing out our anger, our resentment, toward the other person. That means we need to look at our anger.

To do that, first look at what is behind your anger. Usually, it is hurt, betrayal. Allow yourself to acknowledge and feel those feelings. Remember, what we resist, persists, so we want to shine light on our anger, our resentment. Next, we always want to so a self-appraisal to see if we did anything to start the dispute, the situation about which we are angry.

If we find we did do or say something to which the other person is reacting like any normal person would, then we need to take responsibility for that and apologize, at the same time letting go of the anger. We need to own our behavior, honestly and completely.

If we didn’t do something to provoke the other person, then we need to look with the eyes of compassion. So, how do we do that? We acknowledge the difficulty the other person is experiencing, or has experienced in their life that leads them to behave as they do, and we have sympathy, empathy, for them. To do this, we think of what we would feel like if we had experienced what the other did or does experience.

Once we have compassion for another, we can move toward forgiveness. As we forgive, it is easier and easier to expand our compassion toward them, and we are able to forgive more and more completely. The depth of the hurt will dictate the length of time this process takes, with more hurt leading to more time needing to forgive.

This is all a process and we would do well to have compassion for ourselves as we move through it all.

In what way do you try to show your compassion toward another or yourself? Leave a comment and let us know.

I’d like to let you know that, if you like what I blog about, then you may be interested in a support group I am starting. If you are in the San Francisco Bay Area and want to find peace-of-mind, want to find a way through any emotional turmoil, then I invite you to join me. There are two groups. One meets every 2nd and 4th Monday from 10 am to 11 am in San Rafael, in Marin. The second group meets every 2nd and 4th Thursday from 1:30 to 2: 30 pm, also in SanRafael. Both groups will run for three months.

We will cover how to identify the gates of your heart, learn the keys to unlock these gates, and understand how to push the gates open. In month one, we will deal with how to do a self-appraisal. Month two will be spent on getting through grief, and month three will deal with forgiveness so we can find peace.

If you are interested, call me to get more information or to register. The groups will start in February, 2013. Space is limited to twelve people per group. 415-883-8325. 


Moving Past Resentments in Sobriety

“Moving past resentments in sobriety” and “I promise you a life of joy and wonderment” were the search phrases that jumped out at me this morning. They go hand-in-hand, one follows after the other. When you get past your resentments, there IS a world of joy and wonderment out there.

In recovery circles, it is a well-known fact that resentment is the number one reason people drink. Interestingly, the CDC cited that in 2011 in the US, there were 11.8 million substance abusers. Wow. Assume that most of them have resentments, and that’s a lot of resentment flying around out there!

I found it possible in sobriety to get past my resentment I had held tightly for 38 years. It was against my parents for things that happened while I was growing up. I was very angry and bitter, but didn’t show it. I kept it all inside, bottled up. But when I drank, it came out, often big-time. in the form of rage or huge despair and wailing with grief from my losses.

My life became one of victimhood, living life as the victim, and “poor me,” “you’d drink, too, if you suffered what I did.” I was consumed by self-pity. Before sobriety, while I was still drinking, I had no clue that there was a way out of this nightmare. I had no ability to see that I was creating my own misery through the fueling of my resentment against the folks.

I was creating my own misery by failing to take responsibility for my own feelings, to heal from the grief and hurt. That took some time in sobriety to discover that it was my responsibility to do so. And, I had a choice to continue being bitter or to work myself free of the chains that were binding me. Ahhhhh, a choice… Sobriety led me down the path to freedom when it helped me realize I always have a choice in everything I do. We all do. Yes, even you.

What I found after I worked through my resentments, has been great joy and wonder at the world around me… the physical world and all Her wonders, as well as the people in the world, and all of their wonders. I learned to have greater kindness and tolerance for others… great compassion. The more I practiced those things, the more wondrous things became in what the person revealed to me about themselves, what they shared with me, how they treated me. Closer bonds have been established. It has been true joy and wonderment.

So how can you get from your resentment to that joy and wonder about which I speak? It’s a process… a process of looking at your wounds and feelings, and identifying where that keeps you stuck in present day. It’s about using that process to look with new eyes at the resentment and the person whom you resent, until you are able to reach forgiveness.

This is a process I guide people through in my one-on-one coaching.  If you want to experience joy and wonderment in your life, you may be interested in learning more. Go to “Coaching” under the “Services” tab. We can work on that resentment that is keeping you from joy and wonder, and you can experience more peace during this holiday season.

I was indignant about looking at my “stuff.” After all, I was justified! I WAS a victim. That’s a fact. But there came a time in sobriety when I realized I just couldn’t carry my bitterness any more. It was affecting my ability to get to true sobriety, emotional sobriety. What I discovered was forgiveness and that helped me to find joy and wonder, peace and freedom.

How about you? How do you work through your resentments in sobriety? Have you reached joy and wonderment in your life?