Ways To Be Compassion to an Angry Person

Good morning all! I was interested in addressing the search for “ways to be compassion to angry person.”

Let’s face it. We all experience angry people in our lives. And, we may even be that angry person. Look closely at yourself and be honest. Look at whether your anger is covering up hurt or disappointment. If this is you, you may want to change that anger and be honest about what the real issue is.

But we’re going to focus in this post on ways to be compassion with an angry persons, on ways to look differently at an angry person.

The first thing to consider is that anger is the emotion we usually revert to when we are hurt, frustrated, or disappointed.  We can have an understanding of this and that allows us to be compassion, to have compassion.

A further thing to consider when dealing with an angry person is to understand the hurt from which they are operating. What did they experience in their earlier life, for example, that is leading them to react with anger today? What is the pressure they are under in their lives that is leading them to be angry? We can have compassion for what they dealt with or are dealing with.

Interestingly, I am in the middle of such an experience… dealing with an angry person in a situation at home. I have to look at the situation and realize that, in some way, I invited the anger in the process of speaking up for my rights. Yet, I handled it poorly. So, I can have an understanding for their anger because I can see my behavior through doing a self-appraisal.

The point is, one thing we can do is to check our behavior first in dealing with angry people. Did we start it? Do we owe an apology? If so, we need to give it. In the situation I am dealing with, I can understand the pressure the other person is under, so I can cut some slack and I can apply compassion. I also apologized for behaving poorly.

Above and beyond that, we need to understand the effect that someone’s upbringing brings to the situation and we can have compassion. Through compassion, we can come to forgiveness.

What are the ways in which you can offer compassion to the angry person in your life? For me, I am needing to practice what I am suggesting. Leave a comment if you have a situation you are dealing with and how you are handling it.

 

 

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How to Show Compassion

Good morning, everyone! May this day bring you peace. May it also bring you the gift of showing compassion to those in your life. The search term I have chosen today is “how to show compassion (to your husband).” I have dropped off the “to your husband,” in the hopes that we can learn how to show compassion to anyone.

Fields of Compassion

Compassion is defined as the ability to show sympathy for another’s plight, to have empathy, coupled with a strong desire to help. In the process of getting to compassion, we will end up clearing out our anger, our resentment, toward the other person. That means we need to look at our anger.

To do that, first look at what is behind your anger. Usually, it is hurt, betrayal. Allow yourself to acknowledge and feel those feelings. Remember, what we resist, persists, so we want to shine light on our anger, our resentment. Next, we always want to so a self-appraisal to see if we did anything to start the dispute, the situation about which we are angry.

If we find we did do or say something to which the other person is reacting like any normal person would, then we need to take responsibility for that and apologize, at the same time letting go of the anger. We need to own our behavior, honestly and completely.

If we didn’t do something to provoke the other person, then we need to look with the eyes of compassion. So, how do we do that? We acknowledge the difficulty the other person is experiencing, or has experienced in their life that leads them to behave as they do, and we have sympathy, empathy, for them. To do this, we think of what we would feel like if we had experienced what the other did or does experience.

Once we have compassion for another, we can move toward forgiveness. As we forgive, it is easier and easier to expand our compassion toward them, and we are able to forgive more and more completely. The depth of the hurt will dictate the length of time this process takes, with more hurt leading to more time needing to forgive.

This is all a process and we would do well to have compassion for ourselves as we move through it all.

In what way do you try to show your compassion toward another or yourself? Leave a comment and let us know.

I’d like to let you know that, if you like what I blog about, then you may be interested in a support group I am starting. If you are in the San Francisco Bay Area and want to find peace-of-mind, want to find a way through any emotional turmoil, then I invite you to join me. There are two groups. One meets every 2nd and 4th Monday from 10 am to 11 am in San Rafael, in Marin. The second group meets every 2nd and 4th Thursday from 1:30 to 2: 30 pm, also in SanRafael. Both groups will run for three months.

We will cover how to identify the gates of your heart, learn the keys to unlock these gates, and understand how to push the gates open. In month one, we will deal with how to do a self-appraisal. Month two will be spent on getting through grief, and month three will deal with forgiveness so we can find peace.

If you are interested, call me to get more information or to register. The groups will start in February, 2013. Space is limited to twelve people per group. 415-883-8325. 

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The Benefits of Compassion

Good morning to you all! It is the wee hours of the morning and I just popped awake, so I got up. I’m armed with a cup of coffee in me, and am ready to write. : ) This morning’s search term I chose is compassion. Let’s see where that takes us.

Webster defines compassion as sorrow for the troubles of another coupled with the desire to help. It also defines it as having pity, and here I disagree. Pity is also defined as sorrow for another’s misfortunes, and goes on to say it implies a slight contempt because the object is regarded as weak or ignorant. I don’t think people want pity, especially because it implies ignorance or weakness, yet I believe compassion is desired by others when they are suffering.

It is possible to feel compassion for someone who is ill or experiencing difficult times. For example, I am currently care-taking a woman who is unable to be independent in her life, and I show her compassion. I think, “What if this were me? How would I like to be treated?” So I show her a mixture of kindness, gentleness, and patience – all components of compassion.

The benefit is a feeling that I have done something good for another, and that feels satisfying emotionally. It feeds my spirit, my soul. The benefit to the other person is that they feel nurtured, cared for and about.

Perhaps the biggest benefit of compassion is that it leads to forgiveness – of others and of ourselves. Let me explain how I discovered this. I spent 38 years angry and bitter about my up-bringing and the damage it did to my psyche. Then, through the process of my recovery in sobriety, I was lookinig at the relationship I had with my parents at the time, and I began to think about what they had endured in their lives.

What I realized is that they were abused themselves in harmful ways, and they were just repeating that behavior with me. When seen in this light, I began to feel sorrow for their troubles, their experiences, knowing how difficult the after-effects of abuse are. And they never learned to examine the feelings associated with their misfortunes. I began to feel compassion for them.

I re-visited that space of compassion many times, as I thought about the effect their up-bringing had on mine, and I found my anger and bitterness melting slowly away. Eventually, I realized I was feeling forgiveness for their behavior, knowing they knew no other way. That did not condone their actions and behaviors, of course, but forgiveness does not mean you condone anything that happened, it just means you pardon it.

In a similar fashion, we can feel compassion for ourselves over our difficulties, our misfortunes, and even our bad behavior. After-all, we knew no better or we would have done differently at that time. We were most likely wounded people ourselves. Instead of feeling pity or remorse, however, we can allow ourselves to feel compassion for our ignorance, our woundedness that led us to poor behavior.

We can feel compassion for the damaged person that we perhaps became through our experiences in life. Yet, that is not grounds for excuses over our behavior or actions. We feel compassion for ourselves, learn the lesson, and move forward in our life, resolving to not repeat what led us to compassion in the first place.

So, there you have what I believe to be the benefits of compassion, with forgiveness of others and ourselves high on the list. In what way do you show compassion to others, to yourself? Leave a comment and let us know.

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How Showing Compassion Led to Renewed Affection

How to show compassion” is a search term from this morning that I would like to address, and it follows nicely on the heels of yesterday’s post. Today, I am going to talk about how I have had to show a lot of compassion in the past two days, all the while being worried I had lost someone near and dear to me in my life.

I’m talking about Izzy, my Izzy-girl, Mama’s Izzy. She is my cat of five years. I got her from my vet’s wife who spent her time adopting feral cats. Izzy was a feral kitten when I first met her. I had never had a feral and I had no clue how to deal with one.

What I have come to learn over the years is that I have to let her initiate any affection that exchanges between us. In other words, I cannot approach her first to pet her; rather, I have to wait until she comes around for pets and affection. I have had to learn to give my love in the way that she needed it, not the way I wanted to give it.

Izzy got her name because of her spunk, her feistiness. She was named after Izzy in the movie Fried Green Tomatoes. Do you remember how spunky the main character, Izzy, was? That’s why I named her Izzy. It has suited her well. Izzy was pretty standoffish and defiant when I first got her, and this continued all the while there was another kitten in the house. Then, about 4 years ago, the other kitten, Emily, got out of the house and disappeared. Since that time, Izzy changed from that defiant, standoffish being to an amazing bundle of affection.

Oh, the affection has to be what she wants, on her terms. For example, she will not sit in my lap, nor can I touch her belly to rub it. Occasionally, she will allow me to scratch her ears and rub her neck. She has a routine whereby she parades in front of me when she wants a pet, and she will seek that out. If I initiate a pet, she will often shy away from me.

I used to take this personally, as an affront, that she put off any affection I extended first. Then I learned to see her with compassion for her background, deciding that she had a rough eight weeks of life to make her so leery of a human being. I began to be grateful that she would show me any affection at all, that she would allow me to be affectionate with her.

Since adopting that attitude, our relationship has soared. She follows me around, sits on the desk with me while I’m working, or sits behind me on the floor. She even comes in for pets when I go to the bathroom. Then there’s our bedtime routine. She hops on the bed and extends her paw, asking for pets, for attention, and we spend a great deal of time engaging in pets while I murmur terms of endearment.

I write about Izzy today because two days ago, all of this changed and I was frightened that I had lost her forever. I began to get afraid that all the ground we made had been lost, and that I would be spending my time with a feral cat living and hiding in my home, coming out only to be fed.

What happened was, she escaped out the front door two nights ago and she was gone all night. She may have come to the door to get back in, but I didn’t know about that if it happened, as I had gone to bed and locked the door. I felt awful doing that, but had to go to bed and certainly couldn’t just leave the door open.

She showed up the next morning for her breakfast, but her whole demeanor had changed and stayed changed for two days. Anytime I got within ten feet of her, she bolted, running for the cupboard she hides in when she gets scared. If I called her or said endearing words to her, she scowled and bolted. I began to get a complex and was quite confused about how to win her back. I quickly realized that, if it was going to happen, it had to happen on her terms, in her time-frame, but that didn’t stop me from getting pretty concerned that I had lost the connection we shared.

I was used to her putting me off when I returned from a trip, but she always warmed up to me within a couple hours of my return. And she never bolted from me, never shied away from me like she has been doing for the past two days. Never, even when she was a kitten. I was greatly saddened and was at a loss to know how to handle the situation. I finally decided to just let her be and see what happened. I began to feel compassion for whatever triggered her terror of me. I felt compassion for this wounded little being.

Then this morning,  everything changed. She started talking to me when I got up, and not in an angry tone. She hopped on the bed for pets, and started following me around, parading in front of me, looking for more pets. Wow, my Izzy is back and I am extremely grateful! By seeing her with compassion, it allowed me to be patient with her, allowing her the space to return in spirit. Now I just have to figure out how to treat her for fleas, cause she’s scratching quite a bit this morning. It’s a difficult task to trick her into letting me pet her while I apply the flea medicine on her neck.

That’s ok, I’ll figure it out. I am just glad I was able to show her unconditional love and compassion, and that she has returned. What a great start to the day!

 

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Compassion – the Forerunner to Forgiveness

Yesterday, I spoke about forgiveness and said that to get to forgiveness, one needs to feel and show compassion for the one who has wronged you. Compassion is sorrow for the sufferings of another, often accompanied with the urge to help. You can feel deep sympathy and tenderness for the other, but you might not want to help them, and that’s okay. You can still feel compassion.

I discovered how compassion can lead to forgiveness quite by accident. One day, after about 2 years sober, I was doing my second or third self-appraisal, in essence a performance evaluation. I was considering the few relationships I had had with men, and what I did to lead to their demise. One of the things I identified was the way in which I would get drunk and scream at these men how worthless they were, that they would amount to nothing.

I was appalled when I remembered this! I was responsible for the ravaging of their soul and it was a bitter pill to swallow. I felt compassion for them for having to endure what I inflicted. I also felt compassion for myself because I actually said those words to them, but I meant them about me; I felt worthless and that I wasn’t amounting to anything. I felt compassion for the wounded soul I was.

One day soon after this realization, the thought hit me that my father might have actually said those words to me repeatedly because he felt them about himself. After all, that had been the case for me, why not him also? I began to realize he endured his own wounds at the hands of his father. Suddenly, the door was opened a crack to compassion for him, another wounded soul.

With the door opened a little bit, I kept returning to that feeling of compassion and soon, after about another two years, I had found my way to forgiveness for both of my parents for the treatment I received while I was growing up. The feeling of peace that washed over me was tremendous. Years of pain and misery melted from me. The key to my forgiveness was the compassion I felt for my father as a wounded person himself.

You, too, can look with compassion at the one who wronged you. The chances that they received their own wounds is high. Think of them as you would think about any wounded person, feeling sorrow and sympathy for them. When you extend compassion to them, you will experience forgiveness, and this will lead to more peace.

 

 

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Why Is It Important to Show Compassion to One Another?

why is it important to show compassion to one another? This was the search term that got my attention this morning. The reason I wanted to write about it is that I feel so strongly that we need to show more compassion to others in our lives. It benefits us and it benefits them.

Showing compassion is having a softness in your heart for the plight of another, a softness for their woundedness. When we see each other as wounded people, we can begin to understand other’s actions and behaviors. That does not mean we condone what they have done necessarily, it just means we can understand someone a little bit more. As with anything that is wounded, we offer compassion.

This has two benefits. First, it frees us up of our angers and resentments, and allows us to travel in our heart to forgiveness. This is an emotionally freeing experience, at least it was for me after 35 years of huge rage and bitterness. Not only is forgiveness emotionally liberating; it has health benefits, as well. People who have forgiven have less chance of developing cancer and their risk for heart disease is lessened.

While forgiveness through compassion benefits you, compassion shown to another allows them to feel noticed and acknowledged for their pain. Often, all we each want is acknowledgment for our strife, the difficulty we are experiencing. We just want to know we are heard, that we are not alone. So to extend words such as, “I’m sorry you are experiencing difficulties,” reassures another that they matter, that they have been heard.

Compassion is important to  show to others because it evokes peace among us as people in the world. I think it’s that simple. What are your thoughts? I invite you to leave a comment.

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Why It’s Important to Show Compassion

Two people searched for issues related to compassion, so I thought I’d address it today. It has been my experience to find relief from angst once I started showing compassion for myself and others.

Compassion is the pre-cursor to forgiveness… Once you can experience and offer compassion, you can move on rather effortlessly to forgiveness. Webster defines compassion as the sorrow felt for the sufferings and troubles of another, usually accompanied with the desire to help. It is beneficial when shown for yourself, as well as for others.

When I experience compassion, my heart softens toward another. I am able to consider their plight, the difficulties they have had to experience in life. When I come at it with that attitude, I feel sorrow for them, knowing that they, too, suffered. I say “too” because I am usually steeped in my own sorrows.

Yet, when I can get out of myself and consider another’s difficulties, it is with a softened heart and mind that I do so. As I said, compassion leads to forgiveness. I feel especially compassionate when someone has dealt with the same things I have dealt with that caused emotional pain. For example, when I realized that my father had been told as a child that he was worthless, it helped to understand why he was telling me I was worthless, which led to me feeling worthless about myself. My heart was able to soften when I realized he was reenacting his own wounds, that his words were said in pain.

What about compassion for yourself? How does it apply to you? Well, if you look at the situations which have caused you emotional strife, then you can feel sympathy for yourself. Be careful, however, not to slip into self-pity. There is a fine line between self-pity and sympathy for yourself.

Sympathy, compassion, is expansive, while self-pity is contracting. Feeling sorry for yourself gets you nowhere except into the victim mentality. You do not have to be a victim in life; you can be sympathetic toward your woes, which leads to compassionate beliefs toward yourself.

Some wonder if it is not being selfish to feel compassion for themselves and I say it is not. It is self-ful, a way to fill yourself up with positivity, a way to celebrate yourself and your needs. Anything which helps you grow and heal is not selfish, it is preferable behavior to feeling sorry for yourself and being bitter.

Today, look with a softened heart at all your difficulties, to the difficulties of the people around you who are suffering from their own wounds. Feel their woes, or yours, with your heart. Offer others and yourself compassion. It is a way to “be” in the world that will soften your feelings and outlook.

Since compassion is the pre-cursor to forgiveness, I invite you to learn how to further sympathy, turning it into forgiveness. I invite you to sign up for my free forgiveness article, there to the right of the blog. I believe it will be of use to you.

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Compassion in Sobriety – Part 1

Fields of Compassion

If you’re new to this blog, welcome. The goal of this site is to help you to get and stay sober, and to find inner peace. To do that, I am going through my book, Opening the Gates of the Heart: A Journey of Healing, one topic at a time, one page at a time.

My book is a tribute to the resiliency and beauty of the human spirit. Using photographs of wrought-iron gates and inspirational prose, it tells the story of my journey that occurred as I went into and through sobriety, and how I reached inner peace.

Each day, I show the image from the book, and discuss the associated topic of that photo. Occasionally, I also share the verse that goes with the image.

Today’s topic is compassion. This follows on the heels of self-appraisal, a performance appraisal, if you will. We discussed the importance of doing such an evaluation and how doing one moves us forward in our sobriety. By doing the performance appraisal daily, it helps us to eventually find peace.

We then spoke about being gentle with ourselves when we do the appraisal. Now I’d like to suggest that we also show ourselves compassion as we unearth our undesirable traits, behaviors, and actions. To any embarrassment, shame, or remorse that arises, we send compassion.

What is compassion? Webster defines it as feeling pity or sorrow for the sufferings or troubles of another, accompanied by an urge to help. It is deep sympathy. I have two comments to make about this definition.

I don’t believe people want our pity.  Sympathy, perhaps, sorrow, yes, but not pity. Interesting then, how we pity ourselves for our shortcomings, our defects, our lessor traits of character… Maybe we want to look at that so we can learn not to continue doing it, for it is self-defeating, it makes us play small. It is not becoming of one who is sober, and it will restrict our ability to find peace.

Today, as part of learning compassion, return to the performance appraisal again and include, if you didn’t already, the ways in which you feel sorry for yourself. Get really honest about this. Look at it as a fact-finding mission, one which, when compassion is applied, will help you in your journey. It is illuminating when you shine the light on these thoughts, for then you can face them and apply compassion.

Join me tomorrow for Part 2 of Compassion in Sobriety, as I discuss how expanding the definition of compassion to include ourselves, leads us on our journey in sobriety and finding peace.

 

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Offer Yourself Compassion for Your Dream

Fields of Compassion

You may be afraid to follow your dream. If so, offer yourself compassion for the fear, for that (likely) small child receiving that wound – terrified.

Then give yourself some compassion for the wounds that caused the fear. Let yourself feel the hurt and pain that wound produced, using doses of compassion when it gets difficult to feel your feelings.

Offer it to yourself because you are wounded. You have been struck with a sliver to the heart and it has festered all these years, creating a barrier for love to flow in and out , back and forth between you and the world.  

Compassion is your ability to feel sympathy or sorrow for another’s suffering, usually associated with a desire to help.

In this case, it is the sorrow your soul feels for the suffering you have had over the years. Have you been miserable emotionally, hiding that misery from others with things such as self-medicating, blaming others for it?

Know that you can admit to the feelings. In fact, it is better to acknowledge them, so you can feel and deal with them. Hopefully, you apologized to yourself for having the belief that you are alone in the world, for you are not. Know that there are people waiting to help and support you. 

Back to “getting over it.” When you are told  to just get over the pain and resentment, a disservice has just been done to you, and it is detrimental to your healing, in my humble opinion. Offer yourself compassion for that guilt you feel over the comment, for your thought that there is something wrong with you, that you “should” be able to get over “it,” whatever “it” is…

There is nothing wrong with you. You are experiencing your own timetable in your healing. This is assuming you are taking action to heal, as opposed to doing nothing and blaming.

It has been my experience that I needed to look at my emotions carefully. That was nearly impossible, as I couldn’t even identify them, let alone name them. It took longer for me than for other people.

At times, the people I would vent to were unavailable , either not present physically or emotionally. I cannot blame them. In fact, I send them my gratitude for their compassionate hearts and offer THEM compassion for the draining times they had listening to my woes.

Well, I have meandered with this concept of compassion and offering it to ourselves. I love free-form writing, stream-of-consciousness… One other thing to note is that compassion is an integral part of forgiveness, which, if we want to make peace with our lives, we need to extend to others and to ourselves. Compassion is a salve to use during this process.

How do you show compassion to yourself? Have you ever used it to get to peace?

 

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How to Use Compassion – Part 1

If you’re new to this blog, welcome. The goal of this site is to help you to get and stay sober, and to find inner peace. To do that, I am going through my book, Opening the Gates of the Heart : A Journey of Healing, one topic at a time, one page at a time.

My book is a tribute to the resiliency and beauty of the human spirit. Using photographs of wrought-iron gates and inspirational prose, it tells the story of my journey that occurred as I went into and through sobriety, and how I reached inner peace.

Each day, I show the image from the book, and discuss the associated topic of that photo. Occasionally, I also share the verse that goes with the image.

Today’s topic is compassion. This follows on the heels of self-appraisal, a performance appraisal, if you will. We discussed the importance of doing such an evaluation and how doing one moves us forward in our sobriety. By doing the performance appraisal daily, it helps us to eventually find peace.

We then spoke about being gentle with ourselves when we do the appraisal. Now I’d like to suggest that we also show ourselves compassion as we unearth our undesirable traits, behaviors, and actions. To any embarrassment, shame, or remorse that arises, we send compassion.

What is compassion? Webster defines it as feeling pity or sorrow for the sufferings or troubles of another, accompanied by an urge to help. It is deep sympathy. I have two comments to make about this definition.

I don’t believe people want our pity.  Sympathy, perhaps, sorrow, yes, but not pity. Interesting then, how we pity ourselves for our shortcomings, our defects, our lessor traits of character… Maybe we want to look at that so we can learn not to continue doing it, for it is self-defeating, it makes us play small. It is not becoming of one who is sober, and it will restrict our ability to find peace.

Today, as part of learning compassion, return to the performance appraisal again and include, if you didn’t already, the ways in which you feel sorry for yourself. Get really honest about this. Look at it as a fact-finding mission, one which, when compassion is applied, will help you in your journey. It is illuminating when you shine the light on these thoughts, for then you can face them and apply compassion.

Join me tomorrow for Part 2 of How to Use Compassion, as I discuss how expanding the definition of compassion to include ourselves, leads us on our journey in sobriety and finding peace.

 

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