I must admit, this was a tough nut to crack. How can I represent compassion as an energetic interaction?
This journey of thought took me first through the concept of asymmetrical interactions, where an output or reaction seems a non sequitur to the input. After all, compassion “is sympathetic pity and concern for the sufferings or misfortunes of others“. When suffering is broadly defined to include any challenge or struggle (including those of our own making), compassion could be described as anything nice we do for others, even those who are unkind to us.
This asymmetric response is THE key. I’ll explain the spiritual why in a bit.
The asymmetric relationship can be described in an energetic metaphor that I think you’ll like:
A step-up transformer.
A step-up transformer is used in an AC system to alter the voltage from lower to higher, sometimes much higher. The fascinating part of this is the input and output wires aren’t physically connected. At all. They are a literal non sequitur. The transformation happens because the input and output coils have different turns (output has more) and share a magnetic field.
When we interact with someone, we are sharing a space. But that space, or the input from the other party, doesn’t have to define the parameters of our response. We can’t choose their inputs, or the turns of their coil. We can choose ours, and that choice can be proactive.
In fact, it has to be proactive if anything is ever to improve. That’s right. I said it. The world will only get better if we make it better. We cannot react our way into a better future. It’s not rhetoric. It’s physics.
We cannot allow lower behavior to define the parameters of our interactions. We must redefine those interactions. Redefine the space. Transform our behavior!
And it’s simple. Set a goal to try it. It can be as simple as:
“Next time my kid is talking to me, I will put my phone away and listen intently.”
“Next time my coworker is crying, I will offer a tissue and some water instead of walking by hurriedly.”
“Next time, I will shoulder extra responsibilities without complaint so my coworker can go home to their sick spouse.”
See the interpersonal spaces in your life as opportunities to exercise compassion. It will transform your life.
Today’s challenge is to step up and transform your space with compassion. Then feel good inside because you lifted another person, the universe, and yourself.