COMPASSION brings us to a stop and in that moment our heart rises above our ego.
If we deconstruct this sacred but too often misunderstood word COMPASSION we can check then improve our own Emotional Fitness by remembering these simple commonsense elements.
The “com” section of this word could be seen as an abbreviation of the two words “company” and “connection.” The second part of the word, “passion”, well that speaks for itself. So if we put the word back together and take our emotional pulse to see how we are at the art of heartfelt COMPASSION we could ask ourselves a few questions to get a precise reading.
1. When I am in company engaged in conversation with others is my ego or my heart connected?
2. When I am with others am I passionate about being the best version of myself?
If we allow our heart to converse instead of our ego, we will not only hear others, but also listen and also learn.
If our ego only is connected we will hear, but our ego will have trouble not interrupting, being impatient waiting for the other to finish so our ego can self-promote. When our heart is connected we not only hear, but also listen and learn about the other, able to patiently allow them to finish, then our curiosity may genuinely want to ask them more questions about what they’ve just shared so our heart can learn. When we emotionally engage we make eye contact while listening so we can give the other party one of the most priceless human gifts, that is to be not only seen, but also truly heard and acknowledged.
When we are passionate about being the best version of ourselves during conversation our heart gives its all. Passion requires enthusiasm, joy and commitment. When we are speaking to others, we are always grateful to those who listen to us with genuine enthusiasm, indicating perhaps with a smile or a nod that they are enjoying connecting with us, demonstrating a commitment to the conversation by acknowledging they have heard and perhaps even choosing to explore our topic with us further. A great conversationalist has mastered listening over just hearing, which takes great skill and discipline.
We have all come across others in a conversation that barely listen to others. For them it is all about one-upmanship. Regardless of whether they are with groups or perhaps just one-on-one, they are only interested in boomeranging the conversation back to them and their experiences. Now it’s great to be able to validate and share stories within conversation, but when “it’s all about me” dominates a person’s responses, a lack of COMPASSION results, indicating their ego only is operational.
I was recently at an event with some people I did not know and I observed one person who consistently overtalked others. They struggled not to interrupt and on conclusion of another’s dialogue they would then always revert what had been said back to them.
“Oh that reminds me of what happened to me.”
“You think that’s bad, OMG wait until I tell you my story.”
“I disagree, I had the exact opposite experience.”
I watched others who had their conversations hijacked by this person roll their eyes, fold their arms or start side conversations so they could have a rest from this dominating ego in the room. There were a few that picked up the gauntlet and tried to compete beating this person at their own game, which made them become as bad as the one that was pissing them off. It was tempting. My ego wanted to do the same. I refrained and minded my own business, remembering that “people in glass houses” best not throw stones. You see I used to be that person.
If we cannot show COMPASSION for those without COMPASSION we are kidding ourselves on our Emotional Fitness levels. You see it’s so easy to be COMPASSIONATE towards likeminded others. It’s those we don’t understand, don’t relate to, people who confuse or challenge us and those who are simply an ego-driven pain in the arse that are our real heart workout. These people I believe are COMPASSION assignments designed to help us pump our heart’s muscles so our Emotional Fitness improves not diminishes as we age.
These words by George Washington Carver summarise my point so eloquently …
“How far you go in life depends on your being tender with the young, COMPASSIONATE with the aged, sympathetic with the striving and tolerant of the weak and strong. Because someday in your life you will have been all of these”
Hmmm, food for thought!
Lotsa love Cynthia xxx
© Copyright 2016 Cynthia J. Morton Emotional Fitness™
This Word Vitamin is an excerpt from my latest bookset “The Four Seasons of the Heart”. If you would like to order your own full set of Daily Word Vitamins one for each day of the year, in book form for yourself or as a gift just click on the SHOP tab and place your order.