The flight was overloaded and my friend had to give up her seat and get off. In the confusion of the moment she left her jacket on the plane. When she told her bio mom what happened, she chided her with, “Oh, Christine!” in a tone that said you should have known better. Later my friend told this same story to her adoptive mom who responded, “Oh Honey, I’m so sorry.”
My friend uses the incident as an example of how lucky she feels to be raised by the woman who adopted her, the one she thinks of as her real mom.
I think this story is a great reminder that, like the two moms, I have a choice in how I respond to others.
When a friend tells me a tale of woe, am I quick to criticize and point out where she went wrong? Is my go-to reaction one of admonishment? Or do I show compassion?
No one who has left a coat behind wants to hear how forgetful or scattered he or she is. I don’t know about you, but I never like to have someone point out where I messed up. If I’m not asking for self-improvement advice, please don’t jump in to tell me.
When I am sharing my bad day or moment, I want a kind heart
And so that’s what I will give when I am out in the world. As part of my journey of becoming a Messenger of Love (B.A.M.O.L.), I will try to be more like Christine’s adoptive mom. I’ll say, “Oh dear. I’m so sorry.” I may even add, “How can I help?”
Next time someone tells you about a bad day, step in to lighten his or her load. Choose to lift up by consoling, sympathizing and really acknowledging their struggle. Let them feel truly heard by nodding in agreement that this clearly must have been hard for them.
Remember to say, “Oh dear. I’m so sorry.” As well as “How can I help?”
Where in your life do you find it hard to be sympathetic? Is it easier to be compassionate to some people but not others? What can you do today to lift up those around you? Reply in the comments below. Then join the conversation in the private Facebook group.