Can Love Motivate Violence?

By | 2019-05-14T10:41:14-07:00 May 14th, 2019|Categories: Anger, Compassion, Effective Communications, Empahty, Love, Psychological Wholeness, Rage, Vengeance|Tags: , , , , |

Is it possible to feel such deep love for a human being or an animal, to the point that if they were harmed, we would wish to seek vengeance on the perpetrator?  The easy answer is yes.  The more complex answer is no.  Let me explain…on the surface it seems as though our love is propelling us to avenge our beloved who has been harmed but is it really love?  Chris Hedges writes, “The initial selflessness of war mirrors that of love, the chief emotion war destroys.  And this is what war often looks and feels like, at its inception: love” (War is a Force that Gives Us Meaning 159).  It feels like we are acting out of love because we are motivated by our need to protect those whom we love but the underlying emotion propelling us is fear—fear of losing our beloved, fear that our beloved with never be the same after this pain and trauma (it may resonate more clearly to use the word anger in place of fear).  If [...]

When do we know when we are acting with compassion or caught by giving too much?

By | 2019-02-08T21:46:47-07:00 April 23rd, 2019|Categories: Compassion, Empahty, Psychological Wholeness, Self-compassion|

The key to knowing we are acting with authentic compassion is that after we finish with our compassionate act, no matter how small, we feel energized, inspired, or fed from the inside.  Often authentic compassion feels like a spiritual experience.  For me, I feel energized and excited to the point where I immediately beginning looking for another meaningful encounter to experience.  Authentic compassion brings a reflective perspective to our own lives and often puts our problems and self-pity in check—it gets us out of our own way.  It doesn’t diminish our problems as if they do not exist, but it does give us some depth to see the grave challenges and difficulties that others face. When we give our time or energy out of obligation, guilt, or the need to please others we are often left feeling taxed, tired, or overwhelmed.  We must take care of ourselves by resting when we need rest, meditating when we need to meditate, exercise when we need exercise, or getting a massage when we need a massage.  [...]

What is self-esteem? What is self-esteem vs ego esteem? Can we have too much self-esteem? Does too much self-esteem make us too self-focused and involved?

By | 2019-02-08T19:53:29-07:00 March 26th, 2019|Categories: Compassion, Psychological Wholeness, Self-compassion|

Self-esteem is the relationship we have with ourselves.  It is an inner-state of acceptance and okness about who we are—no matter what may arise.  Self-esteem is closely tied to what we believe we are worth, regardless of how much money we make or how important we are from the world’s perspective—it is our inner value.  Self-esteem is what’s left after we strip away all the houses, cars, big screen TV’s, vacations, money, power, beauty, athletic ability or whatever else. The self-talk that happens in your mind after a hardship or failure is often telling of the shape of our self-esteem.  For example, if I fail to close a new deal at work a healthy self-esteem might say something like, “Wow that’s really disappointing.  What could I have done better?  What did I do well?  Did I spend enough time preparing?  Did I have the right information?  Would it have been more effective for me to bring in Jeremy who is an expert in this area?  What can I do next time to work [...]

10 ways to live with more compassion without changing your normal routine

By | 2019-02-08T19:52:32-07:00 March 12th, 2019|Categories: Compassion|

Make eye contact more often—Making eye contact lets others know we are paying attention to them, it tells them we care, and we are interested in what they have to say. Do you best to slow down and make eye contact with strangers as you walk into the bank or grocery store, say hello or smile. Listen—When a loved one is speaking to us about a heart-felt situation it is an act of compassion to do nothing except listen. Do your best to ignore the cell phone (texts and phone calls can wait).  Turn off the TV.  Do you best not to think about what chores need to be done or the dishes in the sink or the work the email that needs to be answered.  Simply be attentive.  Ask questions if you are not clear about how she feels so you really feel like you understand what’s going on with your partner’s emotional state and in turn she will most likely feel validated and heard creating more closeness—more intimacy. Live with curiosity—As [...]

What is the difference between pity, empathy, and compassion?

By | 2019-02-08T19:50:11-07:00 February 26th, 2019|Categories: Compassion, Empahty, Psychological Wholeness|

Empathy is feeling with someone.  It is seeing another person’s pain and feeling from inside what that pain might be like.  Compassion is empathy in action; she feels empathy for another soul and then take-action to alleviate a part of their suffering.  Compassion is not giving away life and limb to “save” another person.  Compassion is healthy; it is not enmeshed in rescuing, enabling, or fixing others.  Compassion empowers the giver as well as the recipient.  Compassion does not stay in toxic or abusive relationships.  Compassion does not please another to avoid conflict or please another by neglecting her needs; that would be inauthentic and codependent. Compassion is circular, both self-compassion and compassion for others are essential pieces of the flow.  We must first have compassion for ourselves and set proper boundaries for appropriate self-care so that we may meet the world with an empathetic heart and act with compassion.  Empathy is not feeling sorry for another human being, that is pity.  Pity is judging another to be less fortunate than we are.  [...]

What is the difference between praise and encouragement? Why praise can be detrimental to our children and employees who work with us.

By | 2019-02-08T21:23:39-07:00 February 8th, 2019|Categories: Compassion, Psychological Wholeness|Tags: |

Praise is based on another’s performance and our approval of their performance.  When we praise a child or an employee, we are expressing our approval of their performance which after time may override their own potential to self-evaluate and often creates a dependence on others for validation and praise on future tasks or projects.  Praise is about perfection or doing it right; encouragement is about learning and growing from the experience.  Praised is “being good at” whereas encouragement is based on improvement after evidence of diligence or hard work.  Examples of praise: “Wow…great work,” “You’re so smart, you got an A,” “You have outshined everyone on the team.  Way to be an example,” “You hit two home runs, you’re the best.”  Examples of encouragement: “Wow…it’s evident how diligent you worked in the yard to clean up all those leaves.  Thank you, I feel grateful,” “You have been studying so hard the past two weeks.  How does it feel to work hard and see that you’ve earned an A?” “I see your commitment to [...]