Can you risk being compassionate in your relationships?

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I've been reflecting this week on the theme of compassion in relationships.

Compassion is often thought of as a gentle, loving thing, tender and kind. A softness, a flexing.[nbsp] However, this is only one aspect of what compassion can be, it is also so much more.

For me, compassion is about looking with eyes prepared to truly see..[nbsp] It is about having the courage to notice and perhaps name uncomfortable truths, and to spontaneously reflect at depth on what is good to do in any given situation.

Compassion is not about judging or blaming. It is about seeing a situation from many perspectives, and seeking and/both explanations that incorporate different angles and perceive things in the round.

Sometimes compassion calls us to be tough. We may choose to make difficult decisions in the interests of not continually repeating harmful patterns for ourselves or with others.[nbsp] Sometimes compassion calls us to be fierce in our protection of what really matters, deep down at the level of our values.

Compassion enables honesty.[nbsp] It facilitates an intimacy in a relationship where you connect meaningfully, prepared to go beyond the superficial and polite, into sharing meaning and really supporting each other.

Compassion starts at home. Respecting our own experience and continually reflecting on the meanings we are making from things and how they colour our behaviour and feelings can cause us to take ownership of ourselves and to do what is needed to be congruent.[nbsp] From this steady base we can then extend compassion to those around us, and look with kind eyes.

If you want to develop greater compassion in your life, mindfulness practice can be very helpful.[nbsp] As well as through classes, mindfulness can be accessed through apps like Headspace and Calm. There are also a wealth of books that act as initial roadmaps, my favourite is Williams and Penman's Mindfulness: a guide to finding peace in a frantic world.[nbsp] There are many communities practicing meditation and mindfulness in a wide range of traditions, both secular and sacred.[nbsp] If the idea of having compassion interests you, why not pick an initial approach and begin exploring?

Fe Robinson, Psychotherapist

I am here to help you thrive, whatever life brings. I offer Psychotherapy, EMDR therapy and Couples Counselling to clients based in Durham. I am UKCP Accredited and an EMDR Europe Practitioner, and offer Clinical Supervision to counsellors and psychotherapists locally. I have worked in private practice, the NHS, and in charitable organisations, with a wide range of clients and conditions.

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