A Developmental Moment #7: A Conversation About Connection and Compassion

How Deep Connections Increase Our Compassion

A couple of weeks ago I gave a talk about connection. More specifically, it was titled, the Year of Continued Connection. The talk was delivered at our Community Education Instructor Forum. An event we’ve been planning and delivering for, well, almost three years now.

After the talk, I continued to reflect upon the conversation with the instructors, and the concepts they brought up, and just how important connection is in our lives. In many ways, it is the bedrock of many concepts we cherish, such as relationships, engagement, an open heart, kindness, care, and yes, compassion.

When we are deeply connected to our own humanity, we get a larger picture of our shared humanity, which increases the humility and compassion we have for ourselves, and everyone else.

In this post, I would like to elaborate on a few of the concepts outlined above as I understand them in their relation to connection. Ready? Good. Here we go.

Connection

Photo by Uriel SC on Unsplash
  • Relationships – as I’ve written about many times, all of our relationships start with the relationship we have with ourselves. The connection we have with ourselves is the same connection we will have with the people in our lives. It just works that way. There was a time when I wondered why it was that my relationships weren’t as strong as I would have liked them to be; bottom line? The relationship I had with myself was not strong. Simple.
  • Engagement – when we are in relationship with ourselves, and then the people we surround ourselves with, it means that we are engaged. Engagement in this context means we have easy and difficult conversations. Both. When we hold ourselves accountable, we will do the same for everyone else, which makes navigating our relationships harder. Though harder, when we hold ourselves accountable, we get back relationships that have a deeper connection. Why? Because we are real, we are speaking our truth. That’s it.
  • Open Heartedness – when we are in engaged relationships there will be difficult times. For us, and for the people we love. However, when we are engaged, we won’t run, we will stand by their side, and stand for those we love, just as we stand for ourselves. And, when we are standing, we are being open to all that life gives us. We don’t pick and choose the times we are engaged and willing to stand for ourselves and the people we love. We do it all the time. Without thinking. It just happens. We create more openness within ourselves because we are living through experiences that we may have run from before; and, when we stand through all of the stormy times, our connection to ourselves and the people we love deepens even further.
  • Kindness – with our hearts more open in these engaged relationships, we develop more kindness for ourselves and everyone else. It happens as a result of continuing to navigate all of life’s triumphs and challenges. In essence, we become a kinder human being, because we’ve been through more challenges. We’ve become more vulnerable; and, when we become more vulnerable, yes, we get stronger, and we get kinder. All of which also creates a more intense connection with ourselves and the people we love.
  • Care – when we are kind, engaged, and open-hearted in our relationships, we develop more care. We have a better understanding of the human condition, and what it takes to stand for ourselves and the people we love. Every day. And, as we do this work, a deeper awareness develops within ourselves, which includes a deeper connection of care to everyone and everything.

The 3 S’s of Connection

Photo by Quino Al on Unsplash

I also like to think about connection in regard to three other concepts. Here they are.

  • Safety – when we stand for ourselves and other human beings, we stay engaged, regardless of the situation. A result of increased engagement is safety. When we know we won’t run at the first sight of trouble, people feel safe. And, when people feel safe with you, they will be much more connected.
  • Security – as a sense of safety develops in your relationships, a sense of security also develops. It has to. When we feel safe, we also feel secure. Secure in the knowledge that our relationships are a place where we don’t have to worry or create anxiety over people leaving us, or being upset with us. Now, that doesn’t mean there will never be disagreements, or even arguments; what it does mean is that people will respect each other, and speak their truth, without fear of reprisal. That’s security.
  • Stability – and, when we feel safe and secure, we also feel stable. The relationship we have with ourselves is more stable, which means all of our relationships are more stable.

When we have safety, security, and stability in our relationships, we have a deeper connection to those we love. It also means that we know when a relationship is not going to work. Whereas this is difficult, we stay true to our truth. The knowing we have of the kind of relationship we are creating, and want to have. Therefore, we are much more clear on the people we allow into our lives. In fact, we have much more clarity about humanity in general. Beautiful.

Connection and Compassion

Photo by Quino Al on Unsplash

With more clarity about our own humanity, we are much more clear on all humanity. I’ve written this sentence differently many times. Yet, it is such an important part of deepening our connection with ourselves and the people we love.

When we have authentic relationships, we are working hard on them all the time. And, as we do the hard work, we go through many challenges. These challenging times show us more about our own humanity, and then our collective humanity.

For instance, we can read every book ever written on being vulnerable, yet the only way to really know about vulnerability is to practice being vulnerable. It is the only way. Without the practical experience of being vulnerable, vulnerability is just information in our heads; we leave our hearts behind.

Yet, when we are open to all of the experiences life gives us, we get to learn so much more. And, it is inside of these learnings where we further deepen our connection with ourselves and everyone else.

As we deepen our connections, we also develop more compassion. We develop more compassion, because as we go through more challenges, we develop a new understanding of how hard life can be; and with this new experiential knowledge, the compassion we have for ourselves and everyone else deepens.

When we are more compassionate, we are also more patient, and have more love for people when they are struggling, because we can see ourselves in them. And, for me, one of the most magical experiences of my practice of self-inquiry over the past four years has been seeing myself in other people. It is a beautiful experience.

Remember, every connection we have in life starts with the one we have with ourselves. When we have a deep connection with ourselves, we will have a deeper connection with the people we love, and we will also become a more compassionate human being. And, guess what?

We need more compassionate people on this planet.

#care, #compassion, #engagement, #human-connection, #humandevelopment, #leadership, #minfulness, #openheart, #relationships, #safety, #security, #selfdevelopment, #stability

Presence is Present as a Present: Amber and Jeff (2)

Photo by Jamie Pilgrim on Unsplash

I sit and stare out the window,
as light, refracting,
dances and glints at me,
reminiscent of memories of another
time,
filling my face with light that
glows brightly from within as
the presence
sits upright and holds tight.

Within the temple of my senses,
the mystery I contemplate
awakens me
to the quiet immensity
of the antenna of my satellite.

I watch, listen, and learn, from
within,
the presence fills me with such
delight, and
the awakening keeps my mind clear
insight.

The outer world’s reflection
is alive with sprites,
beings in this garden
of Gaia’s night.

Behold,
the sense of alight
you feel,
as you watch,
the silent observer within,
for the next part of this
rhyme,
we may call life’s present to
sight.

Dreaming imagination,
yet steady observance
within this soul vehicle,
drifting in and out
of shades of consciousness
whilst grounding to the foundations
of the earth’s core vibration.

Within and without, such
a dance of wonder and joy
to conjure and explore. Stay and move
with the vibration that’s there, for it’s the gift
of this life’s stability and core.

Presence is present as a present,
multitudes of every giving galore.

We hope you enjoyed this second collaboration between Amber of DiosRaw and myself. Much fun.

#poetry, #awakening, #consciousness, #contemplation, #gaia, #imagination, #introspection, #light, #memories, #poem, #poems, #presence, #present, #senses, #soul, #stability, #vibration

Stability

Photo by engin akyurt on Unsplash

What lives inside the expected,
Is a river of gold so long for the road,
People often mistake it for their own abode.

When we think we know, we wander into
The scene with a predisposition toward
Contriteness, and not so much politeness.

We get stuck inside our own heads, leaving
Our heart in another’s hands. Walking away from
Heart is sure to give you a start, and a prodding
So don’t be beguiled, nay, keep trotting.

Movement is key, even when we are not
In the scene. We set our course with intention
Of course, and then let loose the heart we’ve been
Waiting for, which is our Source.

Times at an end, my friend, unleash all that is inside
You. Be not afraid of the things lurking in the dark,
For they’re not going to persuade you from your mark.

Even if for a time they chance a succession of events
That causes your mind to spin, be sure to let go
And untether your grin.

And, be at peace with the unexpected. Around every
Twist and turn know there’s a chance for more
Connected pieces. We pick them up as we go, don’t wait
Just recalibrate, and walk into the scene with a fresh
Sense of humility.

For it’s inside of the unexpected, where we can
find tranquility and our own sense
of pliability and stability.

In response to the Saturday RDP Unexpected, by Punam.

#poetry, #heart, #humility, #life, #love, #poem, #poems, #rdp, #stability, #unexpected