For there to be love or any kind of desire, there must always be a recognition of the emotions of the other person and a desire to heal their wounds or face problems together.
Compassionate love is not the same as compassionate love. The first is fatal, because in the end it is about camouflaging your feelings in those of another person and attempts against the free will of something as inexplicable as the attraction to someone. On the other hand, the latter is essential in any loving or romantic relationship. When we think of compassion, the feeling of “empathy” that we feel for someone usually comes to mind. However, the latter concept tends more to apply universally, whereas compassion requires that there be some sort of affiliation with the person we feel it towards, or failing that, that they are in a lower position than we are.
“A state of mind endowed with a sense of concern for the suffering of others, and the aspiration to want to see that suffering alleviated.” This might be one of the best definitions of compassion, formulated by Thupten Jinpa, the main English-language author of the Dalai Lama's teachings. Therefore, it is logical to think that this emotion is necessarily and inseparably linked to the feeling of love. Basically, because when we know someone we tend to see their imperfections and take an interest in their problems, which results in an intention to want to solve them.
But compassion should not be reduced only to those we fall in love with. It should also prevail in any type of sex-affective relationship, without this meaning that we should put the other person's wishes above our own. Phenomena as in vogue today as ghosting or breadcrumbing are the result of a lack of compassion. It is therefore not a matter of giving in without complaining, but rather of putting communication above all else in the relationship, whatever it may be. The mere fact of recognizing, accepting and understanding someone's emotions denotes compassion, as a feeling of empathy emerges that ensures that these emotions are not undervalued or violated.
The most difficult thing is to “commit to dialogue with compassion”, which means that it will be necessary to eliminate rough edges when problems arise.
American psychologist and popularizer Barton Goldsmith, in a recent article published in Psychology Today, talks about compassionate love being one of the four types of love experienced by couples in a romantic relationship, along with passionate, companionship and attachment. Obviously, if your partner is sad, it is natural for you to come out in support, as this would be the most basic form of compassion that exists. It is just when this most basic form of compassion is decompensated, when the problems come. We all go through difficult times, and even though we may have that special person with us, we may not be aware of certain feelings or events that make them suffer in their life, perhaps because we are also going through a rough patch.
Can the compassion we feel be created or made to grow? For Goldsmith, it's not difficult at all. “First, it requires desire,” he assures. “You'll want to ask him what his needs are and also explain yours, which will make you more compassionate toward each other because then you'll know where you need to focus.” The hardest thing, in any case, is to “commit to always dialogue with compassion,” which means that you will have to eliminate the rough edges that may arise between you. When an argument arises, especially if it is about an issue that really affects the other person, the most compassionate thing to do is to identify it and then act with gentleness so that the relationship is not damaged and you can talk things over in a calm and peaceful way.
Whether there is love or not
One of the actions the psychologist recommends to foster that compassion is to look directly into each other's eyes. “Looking deeply into the eyes of the person you love and feeling their emotions will create more complicity and compassion,” he advises. Another more abstract tip is to think about those things that bring you together, which are likely to be many if you get along so well or love each other. In this sense, you may both dislike certain situations, such as a loud argument at home about a particular topic. This is very basic, but extrapolating it to a more positive level, what you have in common and what unites you most is the desire to have a life together. And to be clear about that is also to foster compassion. As well as realizing that this is not what you want at all and to cut it off as soon as possible. For one thing as for the other, you need a lot of compassion.
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