Find compassion when Love has Left the Building

Posted by on Mar 29, 2017 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Find compassion when Love has Left the Building

I had a rare free half hour in my office the other day to do nothing but check e-mails and catch up on the ever lengthening to do list and I decided to watch a short video for therapists on how to work with couples. In the video Esther Perel and Terry Real talked about principles for staying in love with your partner. After letting things sink in I started to think how these same principles of compassion and mindfulness could be applied to the relationship with our children. One of the things they talked about is remembering that this is a person you love. Sometimes when one of my daughters is rolling her eyes, or simply not even making eye contact, I have brief moments when I momentarily forget this fact, and am overcome with annoyance or exasperation. This is when we have to remember that it is our inner child that is being hurt.  Afterall, just like our children, one of the things we want most of all is to feel heard and cared for. We want to know that we matter. I remember feeling equally exasperated when my children were younger and throwing a tantrum in the middle of the grocery store.(when all I wanted was to finish shopping and get home) I use positive discipline principals with my children, and one of the things they teach is  “connection before correction.” Often what they are referring to I believe, is an attempt to validate the other’s feelings, and to let the person  know you are coming from a caring place. However, just as important I think is that same connection with ourselves. Taking that Pause to notice. Why are you really upset? Because usually it has little to do with what we think we are upset about. -the eye rolling, the temper tantrum, or that my partner forgot to pick up more milk on the way home. If we can take a moment to zero in on our wound, and acknowledge our own vulnerability before we respond, then perhaps, we can more easily respond from a place of love. Let me be clear, I don’t mean to spend time digging up past hurts, or relive painful experiences every time we are ‘triggered’-just that it’s important to acknowledge that our current state of mind or behavior is coming from  an old wound or an unmet need. Once we know that, we can have compassion for the part of us that has just been hurt. Only then, can we address the real issue in front of us, and also have compassion for our loved one who just rolled his or her eyes in our direction.

Please feel free to join one of my groups, or schedule an individual appointment to find out and practice how to have more of these moments. Call 408-680-8114 for a free consultation or questions. More at