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Love! Valor! Compassion!

Years ago, I was in a fabulous production of Love! Valor! Compassion! I loved that play and everyone in it! An all male cast and all female crew. Of all the many shows I’ve been a part of, this AIDS era play created such a feeling of love for these characters and their intense struggles.

The title reflects the love, the bravery and the compassionate response needed when facing challenges that no one has any solutions for. Maybe that’s what made compassion the right choice during the early years of the epidemic. To offer compassion is to meet someone emotionally in the present moment. When someone seemingly has no future, compassion is the only appropriate response.

Compassion, these days, seems to becoming a lost art. Or at least, not a first response. These days when I express my struggles I am met with a team of problem solvers. Our friends and family want to be the ones to be our heroes, to be the ones that lead us out of our problems. To be the treasured guides that help us to a better future.

Sometimes, we need advice and seek it out when we are ready to make change, but when we are dealing with an unpleasant emotion, it can not only hard to bear but also feel really isolating. When we reach out for compassion and get a life coach, it intensifies the feeling of disconnection.

The next someone comes to you with sadness or struggle, ask yourself what this person is really asking me for. Am I the best person to offer them business advice? Am I a relationship expert? Or are they hurting and simply need some compassion right now?

Here’s a simple refresher.

That must be hard.

I feel your pain.

I’m sorry you’re struggling with this.

I can imagine how sad or angry you are right now. I would be too!

We all want our loved ones to feel loved and to help them out of their pain. Meeting them where they are emotionally and holding their pain with them for just a moment or two can be the love they need before they can reach to the valor, the bravery to face their struggle. In any event, no matter how you respond, you can never go wrong by offering just a little compassion.

Love! Valor! Compassion! We don’t need to be in dire circumstances to give these gifts. But who knows what our future holds. We also don’t need to put on a tutu and dance like a swan. But it couldn’t hurt.

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