Several years ago I told Zivorad that I had run out of things to work with in my personal practice … oh, the hubris! I mean, my life was good. At that point, I had been using integration practices as part of my daily meditation for years. I was pretty steady and was frankly finding it challenging to find things that bothered me. That had been the focus of my practice, things that bother me.
He laughed and said, “You have a sister don’t you?”
That statement opened a gateway into a garden of greater compassion. When we attempt to enter another’s point of view, it widens our perspective and further neutralizes charged tension and tends to reveal solutions that might otherwise have been blocked from our view.
Working from another person’s point of view is a fundamental aspect of AAIT. In looking at life, us or some situation as if over the shoulder or through the eyes of another naturally opens our heart and makes clear what’s in our own sphere of influence.
In a recent conversation, a young woman shared how distressing it was for her to hear about the helplessness of watching her friend, a young single mother working two jobs face the anguish of sending her children back to school. The only thing in this young woman’s sphere of influence is her own state.
Empaths and sensitives readily take other people’s point of view without even realizing it, then feel the anguished helplessness. This can be debilitating. The only thing within our sphere of influence is our own state.
Taking the point of view of the anguished mother doesn’t change the situation for her. That is outside our sphere of influence. However, after a gentle integration of helplessness and powerful, the young woman discovered an increased capacity to be with her friend’s anguish. Increasing her tolerance to be with this kind of pain without the urge to turn away or fix gave her a deep relief.
Increasing our capacity to be with another’s pain is essential in these times. In this we can find the clear waters of deep compassion…rather than the sticky powerlessness of sympathy, which can be a pretty devastating professional hazard.
What have you learned about entering the heart of compassion?