Have you discovered that Love can be even more powerful when she is accompanied by her first cousin, Compassion?
For many of us, we have experienced relationships where we thought that to love someone meant to give completely and unconditionally. This is fine on the honeymoon and in a retreat space where the boundaries are clear and the hearts of all involved are open and generous. But what happens when we engage with people at work who don’t know the principles of loving community? Or when you and your partner are just having a bad day?
This is where Compassion and Respectful Confrontation come in to support, guide and empower Love. Yes, it is appropriate to love someone deeply and still claim your space and state your boundaries. Yes, it is possible to say no in a way that still encourages further discussion and connection. When Love is propelled by Compassion, you have the courage and confidence to have those “difficult” conversations and still stay in an openhearted and respectful place.
In fact, it is BECAUSE of having the difficult conversations that you drop deeper into intimacy and the magic that comes from merging and mutual growth. When “unconditional” feels safe, there is nothing more profound and beautiful; when it doesn’t feel appropriate, unconditional can be replaced with the “acceptance” of the limitations, boundaries and finite self of all involved. The practices of RC shine a light on the sometimes confusing and misty realms of love, relationship, feelings, wounds, and expectations.
Respectful Confrontation helps us to navigate and unify the seeming polarities and contradictions. By asserting your “no” in an openhearted way, you open to more “yes”. By setting and clarifying your boundaries, you expand into a deeper level of yourself and relationship. By having the courage to express your feelings and needs, you open to a vulnerability that allows your True Power to be revealed.
Let’s all initiate this Dance of Love and Compassion and transform ourselves, our relationships and society!
May 31 – June 3 I will be leading a Respectful Confrontation retreat at Shalom Mountain Retreat Center, a community that has been practicing the principles of loving communityfor decades. Join us explore this dance.