Thursday, 18 September 2014

Taking care to care.

In Moodscope, while we are a very caring and compassionate community, we sometimes see the 'result' of someone feeling stressed or simply uncomfortable by something someone said in their blog or even in a comment.

And with so many people on Moodscope who can be challenged by our own lives, on a daily basis, how do we attempt to reduce such occurrences? Especially when many of those who write or even comment, already feel they are taking a risk by writing!

So I offer the following...

We all know how to care. To care for and about others is part of our nature. Yet how we express our care can add more stress to our lives when we confuse care with empathy or sympathy. This becomes clearer when we look at the meaning behind these two words.

Empathy, as defined in one dictionary, is the 'intellectual (IQ) identification with or vicarious experiencing of the feelings, thoughts or attitudes of another'. And, sympathy (EQ) is defined as 'sharing the feelings of another especially in sorrow or trouble'. Emotional over-identity with another or lack of our own emotional management or even awareness, can turn our care into someone else's stressful feelings of anxiety, anger or worry and eventually drain our energy.

The more physiological balanced state would probably be compassionate care.

What we mean here, comes from the origins of the word compassion: To 'be present' or with or together with another with feeling and not to simply mirror or 'wear' the other's pain or trouble or negative attitude or feeling.

Compassion slows down the drain on our energy stores and releases some of the stress that can come from over-attachment and over-identity. The positive effect of compassion creates more inner balance and is accompanied by peaceful feelings of care, benevolence, tenderness and kindness.

Next time you want to express your care on Moodscope or in life, do an internal check first: Is your care, stress reducing or stress producing?

Whether or not you know why you're feeling stressed or disturbed, take a few slow heart-focused breaths (breathe from your heart) to disengage from any discomfort or stressful feeling. Thus become settled and balanced. Then, and only then, recall and activate a sincere feeling or attitude of compassion or care.

Watch what emerges now and note any differences for future exploration.

Take care of your care.

Les
A Moodscope member.