Compassion is the heart of sustainable service. Literally translated ‘suffering with’, compassion goes beyond feeling another’s suffering to actively mitigating it. Codependence has been defined as ‘the dis-ease of the lost self’. It becomes problematic when we consciously or subconsciously seek something outside as a way to sidestep looking inside. The line between the two can be fuzzy and confusing. When service or activism comes from codependence it becomes what Buddhist teacher Chogyam Trungpa calls ‘Idiot Compassion’ or compassion with neurosis. Even though good intentions may be at its core, compassion steeped in codependence becomes unskillful and ultimately damaging.
True compassion balances concern and wisdom.
When we find ourselves trying to fix another person or needing to help for our own sense of identity – it’s codependence not compassion. Buddhist teacher Jack Kornfield stresses that true compassion only comes through deep self-acceptance.
This session explores codependence, compassion and self-acceptance. Topics include:
- Cultural and individual samskara (patterns) of codependency
- How martyrdom, resentment, fixing and burnout can be signs of codependence
- The drama triangle: victim, perpetrator, rescuer
- Examining our motives
- The difference between interdependency and codependency
- The mechanics of transforming codependent behavior into authentic compassion and care
- Self reclamation as cornerstone of service
- Self-compassion: what it means and knowing when its present
- Setting healthy boundaries
- Having the courage to say ‘No’
When we are able to come alongside someone who is hurting or is in need and help them through supportive conversation, active listening, and suggestions (when they are wanted) we are acting compassionately. When we find ourselves trying to fix the other person’s problem or if we find ourselves needing to help the other person for our own sense of identity – then we are dealing with co-dependency.
$30 | $20 for Y12SR Leaders