By choosing to feel our own vulnerability, we can then accommodate the vulnerability of another.
When you reach for kindness, compassion follows. This is how you actually regulate the reactions that historically have triggered upsetting emotional responses. You can re-wire your impulses.
The next time you become aware that you are emotionally triggered by someone's problematic behavior, immediately visualize a crying child.
Access and Embrace Humanness
Bring a lost, lonely child to mind. If the image of a lost child instantly connects you to your heart, then commit it to memory. Reach around in your mind until you find a "heartconnecting" visual that will instantly make you feel compassion.
You can manage yourself in the heat of any intense moment by shifting your focus to a broken-hearted child. It doesn't matter whether the child you see is a boy or a girl. Whichever connects you to your heart is the one you will use to regulate yourself.
When you focus upon a mental image of a child in pain, you will find that no matter how upset you were a moment ago about whatever happened...now, it just doesn't have any impact. You'll find yourself literally laying it down, as you embrace the heart of the matter.
The gift is always in the giving - meaning that we receive as we give.
Research about the brain reveals that compassionate thoughts literally light up the frontal lobe of a person's brain. (The frontal lobe is where the mind can access solutions.) When we are resentful or angry, there is no light in that part of the brain, and so we shut down and fail to function well.
As soon as we deliberately reach for kindness and choose to think compassionate thoughts, this part of the brain lights up, and we can literally go from "impossible" to "possible" in an instant.
Our purpose in life is to make a difference. Kindness doesn't solve problems. It gets you into the best frame of mind and heart to reach beyond where you've gone before. It allows you to find new, creative, peaceful and healing solutions.
Whenever there is a human being, there is an opportunity for a kindness. -Seneca
Excerpt from The Power of Compassion: 7 Ways You Can Make A Difference
©1990 to 2017 Mary Robinson Reynolds.
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