It’s the season of celebration and gift giving in many traditions around the world. Perhaps one of the most empowering gifts you can give to yourself and others is that of compassion.
Compassion is a mindful and felt sense of empathy and concern for others—and for yourself. The work of Dr. Gabor Maté has taught us that there are several different forms of compassion. Here are three:
Self-Compassion – This is important to all three TED* (*The Empowerment Dynamic) roles, especially being a Creator. Even as you seek to live more consistently from an Outcome/Creator Orientation and embrace your ability to make empowered choices about what you want in your life and work—and how you respond to life’s challenges—there are times when you “go reactive” and engage in behaviors that are born out of the Dreaded Drama Triangle (DDT).
Human beings are deeply conditioned for such reactivity and, as a Creator, by giving the gift of self-compassion, you can observe yourself, name your reactive thoughts and feelings, and choose, at least eventually, to shift your focus back to how you prefer to experience life.
Self-compassion is essential as you step into the role of Coach and a Challenger, as well. From these roles you acknowledge the Creator essence in others. This means, as Creators, they are at choice in their lives and you learn to let go and not be attached to what you believe they need or should do or be. It takes a heap of self-compassion toward yourself to acknowledge how difficult it is to let go of changing others. This powerful journey begins with self-compassion for yourself. If you do not have self-compassion, you will limit the compassion you have for others.
The Compassion of Recognition – It is very common in workshops and conversations that someone says that there is a person in their life that seems stuck in the Victim role. They want to know how they can get that person to shift into a place of empowerment. The short answer is that you can’t—they have to make the choice themselves. You can, however, give them the gift of compassion by recognizing their experience as real and true for them.
With compassion you recognize that, you too, have times in which you have been or have felt victimized by people, conditions, or situations. You can show your compassion by authentically acknowledging how they are feeling (such as, “I really get your frustration…”) so that they know they are being heard and seen. Perhaps such recognition will provide an opening for you to step into the Coach role and ask a question that might help them make an empowered shift. For instance, you may inquire: “What is a constructive way you could be with your frustration?”
The Compassion of Possibility – This type of compassion sees the potential in others as they grow into their Creator essence, even if they don’t currently acknowledge or believe it for themselves. By trusting and knowing the truth of their wholeness and the endless possibilities that reside in them, you cultivate their highest good. You may not know their history or experience that contributed to their current DDT behaviors, but you can believe in their innate wisdom and their possibility. In this way you become a mirror for them to magnify and recognize their own goodness and true essence. What a gift!
Compassion is a transformational quality you can access at any moment as a Creator, Challenger, and Coach. In this special season, and throughout the year, give this gift to yourself and others as you seek to live more fully into your individual and collective Creator Essence.