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Holding the Pain of Others

Personalized support for learning how to integrate mindfulness into your life. Delivered fresh everyday by our world renowned experts. Choose meditation duration:

Hi, and welcome to your Daily Mindfulness. Today, we're going to talk about holding the pain of others. So I'm curious, have you ever had the experience of talking to someone about your pain or your suffering, but the other person was so uncomfortable with witnessing your pain that they didn't really listen. They couldn't really be there for you fully and give empathy because they were so rattled by what you were saying. In these moments, the other person may try to change the topic, give you some advice, or even invalidate your pain by saying things like it's not that big a deal or telling you to get over it or move on, or they may even make an excuse to leave.

We may have had this done to us, or we may be recognizing in this moment that this is something we may have done to another. So why is learning to hold the pain of others so important? One of the things that we all really most long for is to feel received and seen by others. It's an enormous source of comfort and self-regulation when we have someone supportive by our side when we're suffering. And turning that around, your openness to another person, your willingness to be with them and be moved by their struggles is one of the greatest gifts that you can give someone when they're in pain. So how can we learn to hold the pain of others in an open hearted way while also staying balanced, steady, and grounded in our own being, you know, not losing ourselves in this suffering? So, first of all, just letting the other person's pain touch your heart and move you.

Instead of trying to resist the feeling, see if you can stay attuned to a person as they're speaking and to whatever emotions come up for you both, just being really present with that. And second, just having a sense of meeting the other person's pain with active compassion. So it's as if you could imagine wrapping their pain in your loving kindness. Really allowing yourself to feel the love behind the genuine wish for this other person's suffering to be eased for them to be happy. So whilst the empathy, which is the ability to feel with the other, while that on its own can sometimes feel really overwhelming for some people, we can feel a bit rattled and lost in it, compassion fills our own mind and heart with feelings of love and warmth and tenderness, even while feeling that little bit of pain and while feeling the other person's pain.

So it's as if the pain is then surrounded by this soothing, warm embrace of compassion. If we can learn to be more present, open and compassionate when other people are in pain, we can also be more supportive and helpful as well. And we can bring the light of healing and comfort and love into the darkest of times. I wish you well with this practice. And as always, thank you for your practice and for being here in this community.

Let's settle in for today's meditation.

Melli O'Brien

4.7

Holding the Pain of Others

Personalized support for learning how to integrate mindfulness into your life. Delivered fresh everyday by our world renowned experts. Choose meditation duration:

Duration

Your default time is based on your progress and is changed automatically as you practice.

Hi, and welcome to your Daily Mindfulness. Today, we're going to talk about holding the pain of others. So I'm curious, have you ever had the experience of talking to someone about your pain or your suffering, but the other person was so uncomfortable with witnessing your pain that they didn't really listen. They couldn't really be there for you fully and give empathy because they were so rattled by what you were saying. In these moments, the other person may try to change the topic, give you some advice, or even invalidate your pain by saying things like it's not that big a deal or telling you to get over it or move on, or they may even make an excuse to leave.

We may have had this done to us, or we may be recognizing in this moment that this is something we may have done to another. So why is learning to hold the pain of others so important? One of the things that we all really most long for is to feel received and seen by others. It's an enormous source of comfort and self-regulation when we have someone supportive by our side when we're suffering. And turning that around, your openness to another person, your willingness to be with them and be moved by their struggles is one of the greatest gifts that you can give someone when they're in pain. So how can we learn to hold the pain of others in an open hearted way while also staying balanced, steady, and grounded in our own being, you know, not losing ourselves in this suffering? So, first of all, just letting the other person's pain touch your heart and move you.

Instead of trying to resist the feeling, see if you can stay attuned to a person as they're speaking and to whatever emotions come up for you both, just being really present with that. And second, just having a sense of meeting the other person's pain with active compassion. So it's as if you could imagine wrapping their pain in your loving kindness. Really allowing yourself to feel the love behind the genuine wish for this other person's suffering to be eased for them to be happy. So whilst the empathy, which is the ability to feel with the other, while that on its own can sometimes feel really overwhelming for some people, we can feel a bit rattled and lost in it, compassion fills our own mind and heart with feelings of love and warmth and tenderness, even while feeling that little bit of pain and while feeling the other person's pain.

So it's as if the pain is then surrounded by this soothing, warm embrace of compassion. If we can learn to be more present, open and compassionate when other people are in pain, we can also be more supportive and helpful as well. And we can bring the light of healing and comfort and love into the darkest of times. I wish you well with this practice. And as always, thank you for your practice and for being here in this community.

Let's settle in for today's meditation.

Melli O'Brien

4.7

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