Dali Lama Style


arjuna_zbycho / Flickr

Have you ever wondered where the word compassion originates?

It’s a Greek word which means “to suffer with”.

T learned that at a forum on compassion held in Vancouver in the Fall of 2009 in which his Holiness, the Dali Lama, was in conversation with Nobel Laureates.

How does this relate to my relationship you might wonder? Is it just us or do many of us forget the compassion when it comes to their beloved? Why is it such a challenge for most of us? Compassion seems so simple. That may be true it just isn’t easy!

We believe this is the reality for most of us. It’s really hard to let our partner’s experience just be. Instead we usually slip into judging our partner. Yet we can often show deep compassion for other people in our lives. We are sometimes more compassionate to strangers and even animals than to the person we love and commit to most.

What’s up with that?

Consider this.

Most of us think we have the right to judge our partners. We tell them what to think. How to think. What they think. What they should do. What they should not do. We even tell our partners who they are.

So to “suffer with” my partner, to show compassion, really means I have to experience and accept my partner for who they actually are. Wow, that means I have to accept that they are really different from me.

What’s hard about this is that we think to feel close and connected to our partners means we have to be more the same than different. But often this is not the case. We are actually very different. What happens next? This brings up insecurity and fear for most of us. When we feel insecure we start to judge our partner and blame them. Oh yeah, don’t forget my (T) personal favorite…disapproval and trying to change them.

My story: For me (T) I came to realize that to show real compassion meant I had to find a place in my heart where I could accept Sarah for who she is even when I do not like how she is being. Believe me there are many moments when this is more difficult than childbirth. Yet when I can really let go and not give into the energy and anxiety of my reactions, I really let go and I am free.

On a great day I can feel acceptance for Sarah, real compassion for her, and know deep inside we are two, not one. Breathing helps.

Dare ya –

Close your eyes and visualize your partner in your mind. Their smile, their eyes, their laugh, all of their sweetness. Notice how you feel in your body when you do this. Remember how safe you can feel in the presence of your partner when you allow yourself. Breathe in compassion. Compassion for their life story and all of who they are. Give yourself permission to let your partner be exactly who they are. Allow the feeling of compassion for who they are to flow through your body. Do this every day at least 1 time per day for 2 weeks. We promise, it will start to feel really good.

Yours really truly,



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