Statistics indicate that court-appointed Anger Management Classes are not as successful as had once been hoped, because the focus is on intense emotion as a "bad thing." Learning how to be compassionate with ourselves first, in the face of whatever our emotions are telling us about our fear, is what heals the heart and mind.
The new findings reveal that, as people learn how to reconnect to their core values, which includes learning how to re-access inherent compassion, there are great gains now being made, and that these individuals are not repeating their visits to the judicial system.
Professional counselors and trainers are now working with court-appointed individuals on their "core values" to regulate their reactions with the power of compassion, and it's working in profound and self-sustaining ways. If it works in this arena, certainly compassion will have a huge impact in the culture of work and home environments.
All of life's important relationships and business success is generated and sustained based on the way we treat each other. We literally teach people how to treat us.
It was Thomas Aquinas who once said, "I'd rather feel compassion than know the meaning of it." Compassion turns "me" into "we." The moment that the "we" in "me" occurs, new understanding is revealed. In the midst of compassion, we are able to instantly lay down our old habits of disapproval and judgment, and become highly discerning about what's really trying to happen for the greatest good. I've worked with people who, in their upset, say they just don't think they can work with or help certain individuals.
My response is simple: begin with compassion. I understand fully how challenging it is to work with an individual who walks through the door with the "difficult" factor. Compassion moves you right past what's difficult and on to matters of the heart.
When you make an effort to see through the glazed-over look in people's eyes, straight into their hearts, you will find your way. It's the affirmative connection that begins healing the negative beliefs they embody.
When you add compassion to any equation, consistently and repeatedly, it will bring immediate dramatic improvements.
When you are upset with a child, or an adult, for something disagreeable or harmful they just did, simply ask yourself: "Which is more powerful: anger or compassion?" Then ask: "Is what I'm about to say or do going to make it hard or easy to get what is for the greatest good out of this situation?"
To modify any unwanted behavior, we must remember in those most difficult moments that it's not about coming "at" problematic situations, nor is it about avoiding them.
It's all about the emotional transformation that compassion offers.
To transform the emotions of an unwanted situation with anyone, you must first decide that you are - from this day forward - going to manage your impulse to abandon, avoid, diminish or punish to make your point.
Compassion never means being "walked on" and it never means "giving in" or tolerating harmful behavior. Compassion is never condescending, or talking "down to."
What compassion afforded me, both as an educator turned business owner, and as a wife and parent of three intelligent, strong-willed children, is that I never needed to use fear-based, hurtful, or shaming methods to get anyone to behave skillfully and responsibly, or do as I asked.
To people who say, "It's easier said than done," I say: "It's easier when done!" You can trust you've made a difference in someone's life because you felt it in your own.
Excerpt from The Power of Compassion: 7 Ways You Can Make A Difference
©1990 to 2020 Mary Robinson Reynolds.
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