In the space between insensitive and permissive, lies the sweet spot that indicates a truly compassionate heart. This middle zone offers solace to those who are hurting in a way that helps them feel truly seen and understood. Having a witness to our sorrows helps us process and honor them productively, so we can move beyond them and heal. The alternative is to suppress or lock them inside. Then risk that our heart can become closed and hardened. In time we become insensitive toward others because by locking away our own pain, we have also damaged our capacity for feeling compassion in general. Then become vulnerable to substitutes for the real thing, seeking thrills in lieu of giving and receiving kindness.
TILT 365 WEEKLY CHALLENGE: This week, I will empathize with others without enabling them.
Avoiding Permissiveness (Overuse):
When we have denied compassion to ourselves, we may unwittingly seek to fix our own heart through attempts to rescue others. We search around us for hurting people and try to save them from their sorrows by being overly permissive and utterly forgiving. By trying to overcompensate for our own past losses, we forgive too much in others and enable them to avoid taking responsibility for their own feelings and actions. By attempting to save them, we can even lose ourselves and become entangled in their self-deceit. Instead of offering compassion, we rescue for approval and our own need to be liked or needed is the currency we use in the interchange. In contrast with the truly compassionate friend who offers empathy in the same breath with honesty and perspective.
Commendable Trait: Compassionate
Learn more about Compassionate and Tilt 365
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