Julia Fourie | Life Coach Cape Town
Life Coaching Tip: Compassion Is Born From Suffering
Julia Fourie, Life Coach, Cape Town
Its been almost 2 months since I have been able to journey with you. I felt this quote was very appropriate as I have spent the last few weeks recovering from an unexpected back operation.
As Tolle says, suffering allows you to really connect with what it means to not have what you had, how others that are suffering feel like and so much more.
Often we understand what it means to suffer but without the physical sensations you experience from suffering you can’t really connect with the emotional aspect of it.
Looking outward at others – pause and imagine yourself hearing about suffering. Now look at it from two aspects – (1) You never experienced the pain, how do you relate to the person, what will you say and do for them? and, (2) If you have experienced suffering or pain, how different will you relate to them, what will you say, do and expect from them?
This is the gift of the continuum, being able to experience both the lack of something and the having of something, things like happiness and sadness, anger and calmness, silence and noise. Without experiencing both at some level you can’t know the difference.
I’d like to offer you the gift of pausing, and the next time you are faced with something that you have no experience of other than thinking about – really stop and realise the opportunity that has been given to you. Up until this point you have no experiential reference for this. Take this opportunity to find the way to experience it more fully. How about we take this insight a step further and see how you can begin being your own “life coach”? Start with the following simple steps:
1. Pause and really observe the suffering (notice when you move to judging it, try to stay curious and don’t assume anything).
2. Engage with the person that is suffering if possible. Be curious about how they are, who they are, what happened, what are they frustrated about, what are they grateful for?
3. Engage with yourself while you speak with them, notice how you react to what they are saying?
4. Reflect on your own relationship with suffering. Do you avoid it, try to take control and remove it from the other person? What do you do? What does it mean to you?
Often when something is unpleasant we try to avoid it or shift it until it becomes pleasant for us. The opportunity lost here is to experience things just as they are and not distracting ourselves with trying to change the experience. Remember what we resist results in an increase in the intensity of the experience – more discomfort, more frustration. If we are able to just allow it to be the experience becomes more bearable. Of course this doesn’t mean if you’re standing on a hot coal you should continue to stand and burn 😉
May your pausing be just a tad longer 😉