Today I’m taking a departure from my normal writing to talk about something bigger and more important than success, money or financial freedom.
I don’t know if you’re feeling it too but something is shifting and happening in the world. Perhaps it’s just my world. But I am seeing people experience enormous amounts of pain and anguish. Some people are leaving (death) and o thers are struggling to hold on to
their sense of self and walk through the seriousness of their situation with dignity and faith.
What can we do, as the bystanders, in these situations
What is good, right and appropriate?
And how does one best support others while they are in a major transition in their lives, careers, health and relationship
In October I heard Frieda Hill of Pfizer speak on this very topic. A rousing inspirational story about standing strong in the midst of great challenges she faced as one of the first African American, female, medical students in the country, as a doctor and within her own families crisis. This week her words ran through my mind over and over again.
“Equanimity under duress” she said.
Then added “This is the gift we give to others.”.
Being able to maintain balance and be non-emotional, to hold the space for the person
or people in pain is the gift we give them. To allow those in pain to process what they are going through without interference from the listener, their opinion or their own natural emotional reaction. To simply be still.
Quiet. Solid. And stand next to them. Holding the place of peace for another person until they are strong enough to re-engage it for themselves. This is one of the greatest acts of compassion we can give to another person. Free of charge.
Without any debt to be paid back.
We are asked to be kind, loving and compassionate
to others as a natural practice of who we are in this world.
Sometimes it means listening.
Sometimes it means holding another’s hand.
But being ever mindful of drawing the line at buying into
the victim mentality.
Listening but not enabling.
That is the delicate balance of being compassionate.