Not too long ago, we talked about the shiny new Optimize Virtue Meditation we’re working on as part of our Optimize Coach program.
I’ve been thinking a lot about the virtues in general and the meditation in particular—especially a sub-virtue to Love that I’d like to talk about Today.
First, super-quick context.
As you may recall, the meditation has eleven virtues. On the inhale, we silently affirm the virtue to ourselves then on the exhale we have another declarative statement related to the primary virtue.
For example, we start with:
“I am Wise” on the inhale. Then “I know the game I’m playing” on the exhale.
“I am Virtuous” on the inhale and “I live with Areté” on the exhale.
Then… Well, let’s just do it! Continuing…
“I am Confident.“ “I trust my antifragile self.“
“I am Purpose-Driven.“ “I have strength for two.“
“I am Self-Aware.“ “I know myself.“
“I am Teleological.“ “I have clear targets.“
“I am Energized.“ “I honor my fundamentals.“
“I am Present.“ “I focus on what’s important now.“
“I am Courageous.“ “I say, ‘Bring it on!’”
“I am Loving.“ “I am kind, generous and encouraging.“
“I am Connected to My Daimon.“ “I shine with radiant enthusiasm.“
Today I want to shine a spotlight on the “I am Loving” part. With a focused beam on the “I am kind, generous and encouraging.” With an even tighter focus on the “encouraging” part.
It’s a REALLY beautiful word. And, the more I meditate on/reflect on the virtue, the more I think it’s a really underappreciated facet of love.
It seems to me like all the gurus talk a LOT about “compassion.” Now, of course, the ability to feel another’s pain is incredibly important and it’s (obviously) not either/or. But what about helping them GET OUT OF that pain? It seems like THAT is, arguably, considerably more important—especially in a world with so much suffering.
Let’s stroll over to our dictionary to juxtapose the meanings of the words compassion and encouragement.
Compassion means “sympathetic pity and concern for the sufferings or misfortunes of others: the victims should be treated with compassion.”
It comes from a Latin word that literally means to “suffer with.”
Again, super important to be attuned to the pain in the world. (Not so sure about the “pity” part but we’ll save that for another chat.)
Let’s look up encourage.
Encourage means “to inspire with hope, courage and confidence.”
It LITERALLY means to give someone courage. To inject them with it kinda thing.
Now, just for fun… Let’s revisit the sample sentence for compassion and see what it looks like with encouragement.
Perhaps this: “the victims should be treated with compassion.”
Can become this: “the victims should be treated with encouragement so they can become the heroes they are capable of and destined to be.”
Yah. I like that.
That’s Today’s +1.
Let’s practice celebrating people’s awesome—compassionately supporting them when facing inevitable challenges WHILE (by?) inspiring them with hope, courage and confidence.