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Everyone who has ever been in love has had that moment when the emotional powder flashes and tempers flare; soon after which, an argument ensues. The 2nd chances at fixing our love in the aftermath of the storm are essential to continuing to grow our relationship. Yet, not everyone has the clarity of mind in the morning hours to regret our angry words or actions.
At one time or another, we all have stubbornly dug our feet into the sand and held on to our resentment or hurt long past the point of any possible positive outcome. Perhaps even for a little while these prideful moments of staunch unwillingness to open our hearts and minds to see or think rationally, we feel vindicated.
Of course, until we realize that the “need to be right” that seemed important just hours ago to break our loving bond with someone dear to us is suddenly replaced by loneliness and remorse.
We might wish we had been more careful with the words we flung haphazardly at our mate. We may feel foolish for holding on to our anger so tightly that we could not embrace the compassion to offer our love. At any rate, we want badly to take back the hurtful things we have said. True to the matter is this: If we speak with love and act with compassion
True to the matter is this: If we speak with love and act with compassion we can grow incredibly empowering relationships in our lives and avoid the dreadful remorse of hot-headed words.
But, as the saying goes…
“Four things you can’t recover:
The stone after the throw,
The word after it’s said,
The occasion after it’s missed,
The time after it’s gone.”
If we have found ourselves on either end of a lover’s quarrel there is one thing for certain – it sucks!
Once the smoke clears and the white flag is flown, there is a question that we owe it to our self and our partner to ask our heart first.
Of all the good times and the bad ones, do we still feel the same spark of unconditional love that we once did?
We have to decide in our heart of hearts, do the good times still outweigh the bad? If so, what is the next step towards mending the rift that divides us from our beloved?
Some of the questions we find swimming in our head and heart may have a greater impact on our emotional discovery, and some less. But, when the smoke clears, it is time to measure what our heart tells us.
It is easy to be misguided by the trickster that lives in the mind of each one of us. Through the act of compassionate understanding, we can decipher the difference between our ego’s over-bearing need to be right, cutting through the chatter. Only then can we hear the emotional heart that holds our true feelings.
By opening our vulnerable hearts we create the chance of fixing our loving relationship.
We may be scared. We may wonder if all of this is worth it? Our head will try to convince the heart that WE are right, and that, we ought to run away in order to protect ourselves from further heartache.
But in reality, are we actually saving ourselves from pain?
Or are we creating a lasting damage by allowing our ego to herd us away from our happiness into some dark corner to lick salt from our wounds?
The trickster mind is led by our foolish and selfish ego. Our ego does not allow us to readily admit when we are wrong. It does let us accept that perhaps, just maybe we had a hand in the carnage and struggle we face with our relationship.
In order to defeat our self-righteous ego and avoid the traps it set up that mislead us blindly down the wrong path in the name of righteousness, we need to ask ourselves a few questions to help us get to the heart of the matter. and silence the trickster within our heads.
This will improve our chance at fixing love and silence the trickster within our heads.
The loving heart will speak to us if we allow it. These 8 questions can help us discern the truth that comes from within our hearts versus the misguided judgment from our mind.
Our true heart will speak to us and guide us on our path to better communication with our mate. It will also drive us onward to a greater love while reducing the number of 2nd chance “do-overs”. The tricky part is getting out of our own way.
**I sincerely hope this article helps some of you to grow a healthier relationship full of compassion and understanding. Let us know how this advice might have helped you fix your love or maybe you have some additional advice for your fellow readers?
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Ask anyone you meet what the keys to understanding another person with compassion and the challenges they face are and you’ll most likely get a variety of answers. Go ahead try it, do these replies sound familiar?
Well, yes… All of those are good starts towards gaining a better understanding of one another. It becomes even more difficult when the one we are attempting to comprehend is holding back or vaguely omitting information in order to protect their vulnerable parts.
Understanding what someone tells us, either in words or without speaking (For example: Through body language & other non-verbal cues) is tough enough without having to guess at the missing puzzle pieces being hidden.
However, what all of those answers do not take into account is that each one of us is facing a struggle we never speak of, one that we hide from the world because no one else could understand it on our level because nobody feels quite the same way that we do.
To some degree, every person on the face of this bright-blue spinning ball of universal dust is dealing with some sort of trial or challenge that they do not let just anyone know about. Sure, if you’re paying attention or know the tell-tale signs to look for you might be able to make an educated guess, but most of us carry those parts of our lives quite guarded and intimately close to our chest.
When someone tells us their struggle, it’s normal to want to convey empathy. We want to “fix it” somehow or at least show them that we identify with what they’re going through. But, most people don’t realize that what they are actually doing is injecting themselves selfishly into a situation that has nothing to do with them.
It’s a natural human characteristic. We call it being compassionate, or maybe we call it having sympathy for another when in reality it’s nothing more than our immature and egotistical urge to be of importance. It’s almost a biologically built-in urge to one-up the person we’re talking to. We rationalize it as trying to prove that their struggles are “not that bad” or that “it could be worse.”
It’s our bullshit reasoning for poking our ego where it has no business being, and in most cases, it’s a learned behavior.
The key to that statement is that it is a learned behavior.
The beautiful part of learned behaviors is that if we can learn something, we can also unlearn it. True, we may not be able to undo the past, we can’t un-say hurtful things, we can’t un-see an atrocity or horrible image, and we generally can’t un-feel something that hurt us. But, in time we can learn to forget or rather to grow past them.
Lucky for us, we can unlearn habits and behaviors we have learned. We can even alter the things we learned long before we realized we learned them. Yes, even things that are ingrained in our psyche via societal, cultural, or perhaps even genetically from birth can be changed because they are things we have learned.
If someone tells us something that we’ve been through before, it is easy to “put ourselves in their shoes”, so to speak. We can use that insider’s (experiential) knowledge to recall how we felt, what thoughts raced through our heads, the very real and frightening “What-if’s” we obsessed over to the point of anxiety-ridden, nervous breakdown.
Yet, think for a moment of a time someone shared a situation or hardship that you’ve never had to deal with, maybe one that no one you know has gone through. How do we respond then without the experiential wisdom that is only gained by living through it?
Most of us revert back to the above behavior of regurgitating the tired old, cliche sympathetic condolences we were taught conveyed emotional support.
These days, even the words “I’m sorry” have lost their punch and benevolent efficacy in our desensitized society. Think about how many times a day or week you’ve said those words…Did you actually mean it every time you said you were sorry? If so, good for you!
For the lot of us, an apology is nothing more than a quick and easy way to get off the hook without putting ourselves out on a line. We say it half-hearted to get on with it and past our embarrassing or uncomfortable moments where we do not know how to react or what the proper thing to say is.
It’s more common for most of us to simply pass by the beggar while doing our best to avoid making eye-contact, or to pretend we don’t see someone silently sobbing on a bench. It’s not that we’re heartless and evil beings totally void of emotion, we do so as a way of separating them from us. We do so, in hopes to avoid that uncomfortable position of having to acknowledge or face the crappy parts of life.
In a way, we are all hedonistic in nature and prefer to engage in happy and worry-free moments. We shy away from the downtrodden or troubles that remind us of our own vulnerability.
I don’t know who taught me this or where exactly I’ve heard it before, but I believe it with my heart of hearts that…
“The truest substance in life happens in the most vulnerable of moments.”
To truly get into someone’s world of struggle, it is not enough just to listen and simply offer up empty sentiments of condolence.
No – we need to try and envision ourselves in their shoes, facing the issues that they face. We have to feel the emotions they feel, fearing the consequence of their unique and life-altering reality. It is only then, in that shared vulnerability that a truly discerning comprehension can be attained.
But how? How do we experience something we have never undergone?
In order to really get into another person’s world of fears, hardships, and woe require that we separate our own suffering from that of another. What I mean to say is, we have to learn to remove the all-important “me” from the conversation.
If I want to gain your inside look at your struggle, I have to remove my egocentric way of thinking about and seeing the world to allow myself to see the situation with your eyes, to think with your possibly frantic or worried mind. Once we remove our ego-attachments, we can then open ourselves to the empathetic understanding that can only be gained through selflessly allowing ourselves to share in our vulnerability,
It is only then, that I can know what your hardship is. It is only after I remove my ego and view your struggle with your 360-degree, full-bodied journey through your life-altering ordeal that I may finally offer you true compassionate understanding and empathetic support.
This new and beautiful way of communicating allows for true empathetic understanding, and enables us to not only better understand each other, but also help each other to overcome our tumultuous trials and grow as individuals while also growing as communal partners in this wonderfully bizarre thing we call life.
I do not pretend to have all the answers, or how to remove your personal ego-attachments from the situations of others. What your ego-attachments and triggers to those attachments are or your ego’s defense mechanisms are come in as many colors, shapes, and sizes as the people in which you are interacting with and the unique situations that confront them.
A good start may be to exercise and grow our mindfulness of the world around us whether from meditation, or observation, or study, or any combination of means.
If it works for you then great! Teach someone else how you learned. Yet, bear in mind it may not be their way to let go of their ego-attachments. Each one of us is different in that department.
Every single one of us is different, and that is part of what makes us all so beautifully complex and why we struggle to actually understand what each other is going through. The key is to be open, be willing, and really attempt to connect with each other.
Who am I?
I am an incomplete masterpiece of the Universe’s design. And just as with any of Leonardo Davinci or Vincent VanGogh’s priceless artwork, I will take some time to be finished. So will you. You might be just the one to help complete me and hopefully, I can do the same for you.
I am not a prophet, but I am at times a teacher to those that need my words.
I am no longer in school, yet I will always be a student of this universe.
At times, I am selfish and prideful. In others, I am childish and frightened.
I am a perpetual work in progress, just like all of you.
I am simply me.
My struggles may be similar to yours, or they may not.
They are not bigger, worse, scarier, or more awful than yours.
They are merely different from yours.
If by chance you find yourself somewhere I might have traversed through, I offer my experience and my hand to you. If you need someone to call, then you can call on me. If you need someone to crawl with you then we shall crawl the foreign grounds of struggle together.
I am no different than you. I am human. I am perfectly imperfect and in search of a full and happy life and if you are of like mind, then I invite you to make a leap of perspective into living a wide-open life of compassion for your fellow travelers to see beneath the surface without fear and foster true, compassionate understanding.
I dare you to walk a mile with a complete stranger. See the world through their eyes, feel the ground as it feels through the holes in their worn-out shoes, and stare at the fears they face with them in unwavering compassion and empathy.
If we can all learn to better understand each other and the struggles we face both publicly and alone, imagine how well we can serve each other and empower one another to grow to become the best version of ourselves.
Be fearless and true. Be the beauty that is you. Be blissfully blessed and remain open – ever willing to reach out to catch those in need. Because once in a while, everyone needs a kickstand to keep from falling down.
“Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them humanity cannot survive.”
Compassion, is a quickly vanishing practice in todays society. I mean, sure we have so many choices to replace the old with…What’s the point in putting in any effort, right?
Every relationship we engage in benefits from open communication and when things get rough, compassion is the grease for the squeaky wheel of love.
Let me know if this sounds familiar…
You’re in love! Oh my, what a splendid feeling. And inevitably after awhile, life begins to seep back in to our peripherals. Stress levels rise, the to-do lists get longer and we become more wrapped up and distracted and eventually, we begin to not only neglect our relationship, but maybe we also withdraw from our mate.
Once we begin to withdraw , and our partner makes mention of it what usually happens then?
We withdraw even more, right?
It’s not that our partner is nagging us, they have a right to their feelings and how dare we diminish them? Frustrated, we pull back further citing our inability to handle everything on our plate and their emotions as well .
Unfortunately, this withdrawal from the relationship and essential ghosting of our mate hurts both our love and our relationship at the same time. Think back to a time when you were on the receiving end of that distance. Sucked right?
An article by Psychology Today explains that in most troubled relationships, the couples blame a decrease in compassion regarding the following:
This is what couples blame it on. However, the experts indicate a more subtle & underlying reason for the initial decline of compassion. Psychologists determined that the original trigger for the self-perpetuating cycle usually rests with our confusion of what emotions feel like vs. what they look like.
Compassion helps the love we have for our significant other run in, even when our world is burning down. When we act with compassion and love towards our mate’s pains, we can lessen the impact of that hurt.
Ultimately, this eliminates most of the distance and arguing, making everyone’s life more manageable. By bridging the distant gap of withdrawal we created, we are able to communicate more openly and effectively our own stresses.
In most cases, our lover wants to help alleviate our pain at all costs, and pushing them away and refusing to let them do so only hurts them more. Or does it?
According to an article by Psychology Today, when we feel our partner has ignored us or simply doesn’t care that we “feel” hurt, it can cause us to harbor resentment towards them. We express that we feel they are diminishing our feelings and treating us less than important or unworthy of their time.
In reality, we are “confusing emotions for judgements, or rather veiled accusations.” Almost every time they are met in a defensive manner, which perpetuates the cycle of resentment, withdrawal, and intensifies the projection of feelings in an inappropriate manner fueling the fight and creating more distance.
That is not to say however, that we aren’t entitled to be upset over the distant treatment, but we need to remove the ego from the equation.
It can be challenging to practice proper emotional expression at times. After all, we have spent most of our lives mistaking personal judgements as feelings. To now flip the switch and kick our ego to the curb can be a daunting if not impossible task, although a necessary one.
If we stop ourselves from that knee-jerk reaction and examine our emotions and thoughts, we can decipher the difference between our feelings and our judgement of actions.
By taking a moment to realize that we feel resentful because this thing that we miss was taken from us and remove our sense of entitlement to that thing, we can approach our mate without attacking them, preventing the defensive retort and their urge to run.
If we move to be compassionate in our approach with our loved one, we allow that compassion and empathy to grow, and (hopefully) be reciprocated.
When someone has wronged us it doesn’t matter how severe the wrong, we want vindication. It is a natural human emotion to want revenge or better yet, retribution.
But, as the old addage goes
An eye for an eye leaves the whole world blind…
The religious faithful of many denominations speak of forgiveness as the one true healing power that can mend any wound.
But, how do we forgive those who have wronged us?
How can we ever trust them again? And even if we could…Should we?
It is sometimes not enough simply to say we are sorry. There are lines that once crossed can not be uncrossed.
There are breaches of faith that can not merely be sewn back together with a few choice words.
Indeed, there are actions that cannot afford the luxury of blind faith in forgiveness.
Yet, in all manner of actions, apology and forgiveness begin the healing process for all parties involved.
To ask forgiveness we must first accept that we were wrong.
In order to be forgiven, we must ask for forgiveness. Not because we feel bad, but because we realize the pain caused by our actions and because we care enough to want to make right our misdeeds.
Apology is not a mere confession of transgression, it is an preemptory offering to what we do after that makes that expression of remorse take form.
It takes cajones to admit our mistakes. It takes greater moxy still to confess our wrongdoing to the one’s we have wronged.
However, if we are sincere in our communication of those ill-mannered actions, perhaps those words can create a dialogue to bridge the divide we have caused.
Yet, just because we own our fault and offer a true and heartfelt sentiment of regret and remorse, it does not cut loose the noose of responsibility for our actions.
We must account for our actions and offer a testament of intention to ensure that those lines will not be crossed again.
If we can do these three things with sincerity and clarity, then perhaps there is a chance for a “mending of fences”, so to speak.
However, successfully completing this 3-part apology is NOT a guarantee of its acceptance. Depending on the severity or recurrence of our misstep(s), there may in fact be no words sufficient to heal the hurt we have caused.
The best we can do is to approach with heartfelt sincerity in our apology and pray for mercy.
Whether someone chooses to offer us forgiveness or not is up to them. If we have conveyed our sincerity and remorse properly, perhaps we can forge a bridge of healing grace over the divide we have caused.
If we are forgiven, then it is our duty to uphold our word and not break our vow. For each time we do, our apology holds significantly less weight than before. So speak true to your intent and follow through. Treat the forgiveness offered to you as the gift it truly is.
If those we have wronged cannot find it in their heart of hearts to forgive us, we can only offer our heart and best wishes for grace of healing in the near future and respect their decision.
If we are truly lucky, we might be forgiven in time. But in reality, there are no guarantees and the best practice would be to adhere the golden rule and do well to not hurt or wrong others in the first place (DUH!)
I am no saint. I too have made many mistakes in life. Some might say more than most.
Without going into too much detail, I’ve recently hurt someone who means the world to me. What’s worse, it is the second time I’ve hurt them.
In a moment of carelessness, I hurt them and in an instant destroyed everything that was once so pure and wonderful. I am filled with remorse and I am sick with guilt.
The hurt that I have caused them is shameful to me. I have apologized, but despite my remorse, it is unclear whether or not they can find it to forgive.
I pray for it to be so, as I would give anything to remove the hurt I’ve caused. Only time will tell.
To your heart be true, but also be kind and true to those in which you love. If I might offer a few points of wisdom in retrospect:
I wish you all well and close with this:
If you’ve hurt someone, offer up your sincere forgiveness. If you are the hurt, try your best to forgive if it is safe to do so.