Jane St. Croix Ireland: Connecting through compassion
“OMG, lady! You are just plain wrong” is not the way to open a dialogue with me, I thought to myself as I read someone’s response to my column defending a woman’s right to choose. I quickly recognized, though, that assuming the speaker would want to dialogue was projecting my own desires onto the situation. She wanted to argue and beat me up for disagreeing with her. Her earlier question of whether I had ever looked into the birth control methods promoted by the Catholic Church, and her statement that I should pull myself into reality (her reality), were attempts to shove me into her box.
I see energy all the time. I often pick up on how someone is feeling, what their state of consciousness is, by the glowing energy that surrounds the letters of their message. These were coarse, unskillful communications from a hurt person lacking a better method. The post author’s failure to recognize that not everyone is Catholic illustrated her narrow box. It was a statement about her.
My reflexive response was “ugh, what smallness.” I couldn’t care less about the Catholic Church. Most of the time I have known better than to shoot from the hip and engage with that kind of energy. I took steps back and worked out, attended to other business and journaled to gather my thoughts before responding.
During my time out I also admitted to myself that my opening phrase in the pro-choice column “What right to lifers fail to comprehend” had insulted them. Many applauded the views I expressed in the piece. This woman vehemently disagreed. She disagreed with me on principle, but perhaps the tone of my opening added to her defensiveness.
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I’d gotten so aggravated listening to the news of anti-abortion advocates emboldened by the new administration that I sat down and penned my perspective. I was fed up with what I deemed ignorance and short-sightedness, but the article wasn’t angry. It simply offered a different perspective. However, my irritation bled into the opening phrase.
Over a decade ago, when I first started my intuitive reading and energy-balancing practice, I took a coaching class. A key principle I learned is that when we come from the heart we can say almost anything. People sense where others are coming from. We pick up on not only what people say, but the way they say it. When we speak from irritation we’re more likely to get irritation back. I strive to keep my emotions in check so my writing and work with people is pure, clear and free of judgment. This helps people feel safe. Most often I succeed, but that opening fell short.
Some will be angry with anything I ever have to say, which is fine. That’s their right. I forgave my own ignorance, and was grateful for the reminder to always pay scrupulous attention to my tone.
My intention in responding was to genuinely wish the post author well, speak my truth respectfully, and disengage from conflict. I responded to the Catholic question saying simply that while the Catholic Church may be a positive for many, it’s not the ultimate authority for all.
Traditional religion sometimes fails to facilitate access to the living presence of the All that is within and around us. People are channels, but the All is the source of good. We’re visitors in this temporary world, which arises from the permanent, perfect, unlimited realm of our eternal home.
Our heart may be in the right place, but when we rely solely on our five senses and the contents of our mind, we’re disconnected, insecure and easily threatened. We’re quick to slip into fear. We urgently need to defend our sense of self, so we mindlessly lash out.
Arguing, bullying, insisting on being right never works. We may emerge victorious in the moment, but the loss of connection perpetuates chaos. Kind, respectful communication works. Things change when we change.
When we get real and vulnerable, instead of covering hurt by lashing out, we open a window to the eternal. We connect through the heart. Supportive guidance and information slides in and helps us understand ourselves and the universe. We’re less threatened because we know we can never lose. This connection that makes life so much richer and easier is available to everyone. Connected to the divinity and love of the All, we can have compassion for ourselves and others.
Jane St. Croix Ireland is an accomplished intuitive reader, teacher and certified personal trainer. For more than a decade, she’s helped hundreds across the county reach their full potential and live healthy, happy, successful, abundant, fulfilling lives. You may view her work and other writings at http://www.janestcroix.com.
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