just sit with me for a while – you can cheer me up later

I assume good intention in the following. I assume that we care about each other and want to be of help. I have had the following experience among people whom I know to be thoughtful and loving and whose intention is never in question. In fact, it is in gentleness that this occurs. What I want to describe to you is, I think, born of caring.

And it is something that I do. Regularly. So I can fairly and accurately write the following in first person.

Compassion: I use the word compassion when I mean “to suffer with.” I think this is the literal meaning.

If I find you with fear or sadness I might try to convince you that the reason for your fear or sadness will pass, or even that it is unfounded.

When you are suffering and I try to talk you out of it, I’m not being with you in your pain. I am looking past the experience you are having in this very moment in favor of a rational argument about why you should drop the experience you are having.

Maybe I laugh it off, saying “Oh, is that all! Everyone does that – that’s nothing!” Then not only have I dismissed your pain, I have also trivialized the reason you gave for it.

I have missed an opportunity to better understand you. Talking you out of your pain or fear will not lead me to understand you better. Sitting with you in your pain might.

We are expected to give reasons for everything. I see you are in pain and I want to know why. Many times though the reason you will give in answer is little more than surface reaction. When you are in distress and I question you about your reasons, you might feel pressured to be rational when your current state of being is emotional. The reason you give might not at all be a reliable guide.

It is not your reasons that want my understanding. It is your state of being that needs my presence. If you feel unloved there’s an entire world ready to judge the truth of that. I want to find the place within me where I feel unloved and join you there.

I want to take the time and the breath to offer you compassion, not just intervention.

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11 responses to “just sit with me for a while – you can cheer me up later

  1. Bravo! To simply sit and be, be with whatever comes. No changing it, no trivializing it, no judging it, no glorifying it..simply be with it. Breathe it in and exist in it’s world. It’s much harder than it sounds but it’s truly a beautiful way to flow through life.

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      • I miss you too…Saturday market isn’t quite the same 😦

        It’s definitely harder than it sounds but once you find the flow its blissful and easy going…like riding the perpetual wave….with only the occasional clump of seaweed making its presence known…and even then, it only slows you down for a brief moment.

        Relax, flow and be with all that is…

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  2. I don’t know why but when I read this I kept hearing Kenny Rankin’s version of ‘When Sunny Gets Blue”. He like you take thoughts that I’ve read or heard before flip them around and make them new and insightful. Thank you. Do something. Just sit there.

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    • Hi Oneika. Haven’t been around much lately – been busy with our move to New Mexico. Need to resume hanging out at your delicious blog! Thanks for the comment.

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  3. Yes, brother Bharat, it is a powerful thing to be held in a space of unconditional feeling instead of fixing. I am coming to know it is better to be raw, scraped, bruised and real instead of numb. I am by your side, let’s continue to open to each other and ourselves. Much love.

    Oh as always, YOU ROCK!!

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