Lovingkindness Challenge Day 5 – Show compassion instead fixing things

Reflections on Lovingkindness Day 5 of 10: Show compassion instead of fixing things

Are you quick to give advice and solutions to your child?

Do you immediately want to make your child feel better when they are sad or hurt?

Are you secretly harboring the "I told you so" mindset?

If so, you are like most parents! However, the above strategies create disconnection and block your child from feeling his feelings.

Here’s my takeaway from Sharon’s Day 5 Meditation: Show Compassion Instead of Fixing Things

Day 5 meditation was about sending loving-kindness to a suffering friend.

I thought of my friend who has been having a hard time for some time now. As I was sending her my phrases of lovingkindness, I recalled how once, when she was expressing her pain to me, I immediately jumped into giving her information and solutions.

I just wanted her to feel better, but she instead felt worse because all she needed at that point was empathetic listening and compassion. She cared enough about me to give me honest feedback which I appreciated.

I also thought of all the parents who do the same when they feel. However, sometimes there is so much pressure to feel better than the child experiences that it is not ok to feel what they are feeling and start to believe "there is something wrong with me."

Of course, we have good intentions when we try to cheer someone up, tell them to feel better, give advice or solutions. However, these strategies end up in the opposite outcome: shut down, shame and disconnection.

What to do instead?

"Envelop your child who is hurting or your suffering friend in lovingkindness which is all encompassing love and compassion without needing to change anything."

Compassion is about acknowledging the other person's pain and suffering. It is saying, "I hear you... I feel you.. I am with you.. I too have suffered just like you... you are not alone..."

It is not about feeling it yourself, but merely holding it in a container of understanding and common humanity as we all experience suffering.

Compassion puts us on the same level as the suffering person and does not elevate us as pity or sympathy.

Compassion is a generous gift of attention and being present that emanates from your heart and to the heart of the suffering person, thus alleviating their pain.

My invitation is to practice compassion with your child when s/he is having a hard time and just be present without needing to fix it.

You can double-down on your compassion practice when your child is acting out or being defiant, which means experiencing some emotional or physiological pain.

May You BE Safe, BE Healthy, BE Happy and Live with Ease,

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