I’m super excited to be launching the No More Perfect Podcast! Episode 1 is now available and I’m pulling back the curtain on a place where I’ve had a big learning curve in my life.
As a mom and wife, I am always learning and growing. One of the places that I have grown the most over the years is learning the impact of compassion on my family. I had to learn how to change from being a buck up wife and mom and begin to choose to respond with compassion and empathy.
In my book My Hearts at Home, I shared about home being a trauma unit. This chapter came out of a season of growth for me where I learned about the importance of approaching painful circumstances with compassion. When I was a buck up mom, kindness and compassion weren’t always my response. During my journey, God brought me to Ephesians 4:32.
“Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other just as Christ, God, forgave you.” Ephesians 4:32.
This is what I learned:
Buck up spouses try to fix.
Compassionate spouses try to feel.
Buck up parents try to fix.
Compassionate parents try to feel.
Compassion builds bridges and security in the relationships that mean the most to you.
How did I start increasing compassion? Listen in as I share my journey–here are some of the highlights:
1. Focus on feelings not a solution.
I am a natural fixer, but I had to learn to focus on the feelings myself and others were experiencing. I would use the Soul Words list by Milan and Kay Yerkovich to help me identify those feelings.
People don’t care what you know until they know that you care.
Sit with them. Listen. Say, “Tell me More” so they can elaborate on their feelings.
2. Look at the situation from the other person’s perspective.
Walk in their shoes.
Validate where they are emotionally. “It makes sense that you would feel _____________.”
Eventually you can move to the fix-it place, but you have to allow the time for feeling it first.
3. Respond with empathetic statements
“I bet that was so disappointing.”
“I’m sure that hurt your heart deeply.”
“That breaks my heart, I’m sure it breaks your heart as well.”
“I am so sorry, I’m sure that was painful for you to experience.”
I want to encourage you to pay attention to those opportunities where you can go the old way and try to fix it, or you can go the new way to try to feel it. I believe you’ll see the difference it makes in that relationship!
Resources Mentioned in Today’s Podcast
My Hearts at Home
No More Perfect Moms
No More Perfect Kids
No More Perfect Marriages
How We Love by Milan and Kay Yerkovich
Soul Words List
Thank you for your podcast on choosing compassion. I realize I have been a buck up kind of person all my life and it has affected my marriage and my family. I buck up whenever there is any controversy or leave the room in any disagreement. With my adult children, we avoid any subjects that are sensitive , like politics and religion. Although my husband and I have been married 50 years, it is held together from my perspective by the commitment we vowed on our wedding day. Jill, I attended the virtual Revive and Thrive conference and you were the one I identified with the most. I took notes on that conference and just hearing you made it very worthwhile. I have subscribed for your podcasts and look forward to applying your messages. I copied the feeling words and will try to recognize them in myself as well as in my husband. Do you think I can change with the Lord’s help?
Linda, I KNOW you can change with the Lord’s help. I also know that it’s never too late!
So, so good, Jill!! Thanks. Although I wouldn’t have said that I avoid emotion, I have been way too quick to try to “fix” the negative emotions of my spouse and kids, and friends, and mentees, and . . . everyone, with my optimism and faith, like “Joy” in the movie “Inside Out.” God has been changing my knee-jerk response to more of a compassionate attunement and validation of someone’s pain. Thanks for the reminder and encouragement.
YES! That’s so important Lyn! So glad you’ve responded to God’s invitation to grow in this area of life!