Saturday, January 19, 2013

" The Look of Love ... "

When your world is full of strange arrangements 
And gravity won't pull you through 
You know you're missing out on something 
Well that something depends on you ... 

That's the look, that's the look 
The look of love ...
Then your dreams fall apart at the seams 
Your reason for living's your reason for leaving 
Don't ask me what it means 

Who's got the look? I don't know the answer to that question 
Where's the look? if I knew I would tell you 
What's the look? look for your information 
Yes there's one thing, the one thing that still holds true ...

That's the look, that's the look 
The look of love 

~ ABC ~ The Look of Love ~ 

Last night at a social gathering I experienced some interesting dialogue.  Having had some rough days and months past, dialogue I was more aware of.  While my outer appearance was calm, cool and collective, my inside was of another variety.  Again, having had some rough days and months ... if they only knew.

Picture this ....

Person: “you look pretty good”
Me (outside): “thank-you, that is very kind of you
Me (inside): “actually, I feel pretty bad”

Person: “keep up the good work”
Me (outside): smile, “thanks”
Me (inside): “it sure does feel like work all the time”

Person: “you’ve lost weight, what is your secret?”
Me (outside): “thanks, healthy eating”
Me (inside): “you have noooo idea”

Person: “aren’t you going to have dinner or are you on a diet?”
Me (outside): “oh, I’ve already eaten thanks”
Me (inside): “you have noooo idea”

And it goes on ... you get the idea.  I realized as well that once again, just when you think EVERYONE knows what you are going through, they don’t.  And it’s not because they don’t care, but because they themselves have their own challenges they are dealing with.  And right then and there you realize ... your life does only revolve around you.

I will admit I was bit tired by those that did know and how uncomfortable it still makes them.  When you they ask you “how are you doing”, they really don’t want to hear that inside voice in your head, the honest one, the vulnerable one.  Mainly because that would be uncomfortable to hear.  How many people truly know how to cope, manage or deal with another person’s adversity?  When the response is something other than what they expect, what are they suppose to do with it?

Since my diagnosis, I have had friends that have vanished, or maybe a nicer way of saying it ... “are soooo busy”.  And it is not because they don’t care, it’s because they don’t know how to deal with it.  It makes them uncomfortable dealing with the idea of mortality, mine or their own.  Oddly enough, it doesn’t go away because it is the elephant in the room, causing each subsequent conversation to get more and more difficult.

The look, your look says a lot about you.  But we can all fake it and most of the time we do.  We look the part and act the part but do we really feel the part??  Aha ... yeah, that is the key.  Working on what is going on inside.  And while we are all “strive to survive”, sometimes survival is acting the part so that we can make do.  Just think if we went to work and really acted how we were feeling ... chances are, we'd be unemployed and probably be escorted to the nearest mental health office for “assistance”.  But I'm pretty sure we'd have a great deal of company.

Of course if we need professional help we should seek it.  Yet sometimes we just need someone to listen to what our hearts are saying.  Instinctively, I feel we really do know when others are in pain, suffering and in need of help.  It is whether we chose to do something about it or just ignore it.  

Active Compassion versus Passive Empathy ...

When you read between the lines, understand another's pain and suffering and act on it with assistance ... that is active compassion.  When you feel sorry for someone, wish them the best but don’t get involved, and are happy it isn’t you ... that is passive empathy or pity.  There is a difference.  A big difference ... compassion creates connections where pity creates distance.

Compassion becomes active when it is worked like a muscle ...

“Every moment offers us a chance to be gentle instead of sharp, thoughtful instead of insensitive.  Making compassion an automatic response, by directing consistent attention and effort in every situation is to consciously practice incorporating it into our lives.  But we must choose to naturally sink into a rhythm of words and behaviors that reflect this loving kindness in everything we do”.

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