Compassionate CuriousityOn July 21, 2023 by Pam
As many of you know, I read a lot. I read all kinds of books and I love learning. In my “second half of life”, I have embraced wholeness through meditation, self-doubt, study and conversation. Creative doubt (curiosity) keeps me with a perpetual “beginner’s mind” – growing, humble and enduring (and even celebrating) the mystery of life.
I read about “compassionate curiousity” in a book difficult conversations. Compassionate curiousity involves acknowledging emotions, getting curious with compassion and joint problem-solving. Difficult conversations remedy misunderstanding and ignorance by sharing information and listening. When we cultivate curiousity, we are less self-assured, we ask more questions because we are interested in increasing our knowledge and we understand the importance of boundaries. Empathy is the recognition and appreciation of the the thoughts, feelings, and attitudes and personal space of another, while respecting each others’ humanity. You accomplish more from the respectful and appropriate questions you ask, than from the statements you make.
A friend of mine recently shared this and it made me think of compassionate curiousity. It is so important that we seek to understand and definitely that we listen, always.
Hot tip, if you get into a committed relationship with someone that has chronic health issues please, please, please understand that that person may not be able to do anything for themselves for weeks to months at a time, and a large burden is going to fall on you. Take the time to make sure you’re able to handle it before you commit.
I didn’t ask for my body to fail.
My favorite quote from my doctor was, “it can’t really be that bad if you are still working and doing everything you do.” I told him I didn’t know I had a choice.
Years in pain, tired and the many changes in me for no reason or apparent reason… Hiding everything from someone else, pretending to be doing better than you are; until it no longer works. No matter how strong you want to be. Then the moment comes when they tell you what you have… You have mixed feelings. You finally know what you have, but how do you deal with it?
Lack of encouragement, wanting to lie down, taking medication frequently, having a whole pharmacy on top of the nightstand. Then, the daily responses, “Why did you get so fat?” “I have this great diet, if you just go out and exercise.” That once beautiful hair of yours now awful and it falls out. What happened to you??? This is all true and that’s why I’m sharing it!
Silent and invisible diseases do exist.
When you have an invisible disease it is difficult to argue from your perspective with ignorant people.
Life takes a lot of turns!!!
Tired of being told:
* Did you go to the doctor?
* Have you tried this?
* Have you tried that?
* I don’t know what else we can do for you…
Yes! I tried and still try everything!!!
Doctors say this disease is forever. That I will not heal. However, I am not giving up, but I want to make others realize:
* A nap will not cure me but it will help me …
* I am not lazy, I take medication and it sometimes makes me sleepy.
* I am not angry but sometimes cranky with pain.
*I struggle daily with pain, mobility problems, fatigue, the criticism of my environment.
Most frustratingly, people look at me and say, “It can’t be that bad; you look good”
Despite the fact that my body is experiencing excruciating pain everywhere, of course I look good, I always try to look good, it is an “invisible” disease.
This disease affects me physically, mentally and emotionally. Because rare autoimmune diseases cannot be seen, but we feel them. And they are there… Silent attack but extra painful.
This really hit home – I want to be better tomorrow than I am today by asking someone if they want to talk about it before I start peppering them with questions and suggestions. I want to do practical things like meals and offering to drive or babysit or clean, rather than wondering things that are none of my business. We need to learn that things just happen – and sometimes you really can’t explain it.
So, this post goes out to anyone in my circle – you can always reach out to me, I will listen and I will do what I can to support you. To my friend for sharing this – thank you – you are one of the best.