At least you’ll know that you’ve responded with heart
They deeply need the oxygen of love right now
If someone is doing something shitty to us, that’s not an attack, that’s an echo.
When people behave angrily and disrespectfully, it’s not because they are crazy, it’s not because they are a machine with broken parts, it’s because they are a human being with unmet needs. Plain and simple.
And while it is not our responsibility to meet those needs, it is our opportunity to be aware of them. Doing so likely won’t change anything inside of that person, but it will shift something inside of us.
That can only make the world a better place. By learning to look more compassionately and evenly at people’s actions, it softens our heart like a meat tenderizer. And that muscle of forgiveness becomes useful in all of our dealings with people, most notably, how we relate to ourselves.
Masters writes about this in his book on modern manhood. He says that if we can make compassionate room in ourselves for such expression from the other, their irrationality and faulty logic won’t matter so much, and will usually recede quite quickly once they feel we are emotionally there with them.
What helps you look more compassionately and evenly at how people behave? How do you a build a sense of safety in yourself when faced with difficult emotions of those around you?
If another person’s irate outburst seems dramatically disproportionate to the moment at hand, the monk inside my head often thinks, wow, this person doesn’t feel seen and heard, and they deeply need the oxygen of love right now.
How that love is expressed depends largely on the person and the circumstance. But frankly, how it’s delivered is less important than the fact that it’s delivered.
The goal is to come from a place of understanding and appreciation, rather than judgment and distrust.
Even if people still act pissed and rude, at least you’ll know that you’ve responded with heart.
LET ME ASK YA THIS…
How do you make compassionate room in yourself for expression from the other?