Hey, Women and Womxn! It’s a scorcher out here in the Seattle area. When I got to the car at my co-working space, it said outside temp. was 114*… Wow. I also melted on the way home because the car made a funny whining noise, so I left the A/C off. So, today’s post will be shorter because I think my brain and body are a little fried.
There’s nothing like 100 degrees+ to show people’s tipping point, honestly. Yesterday, at a local Big Box Store, it was already climbing into the 90s and I witnessed a rather crabby guy be impatient with a staff member. It wasn’t cruel rude, but you could tell the temper was high like the literal temperature outside. She was doing the best she could, but he would not budge.
Eventually, he left with his mood to go sit outside and wait for his partner/spouse to finish the business of product exchange or something. Now, I don’t this guy from anyone and it was blooming hot out. But I saw that his lack of patience and his moodiness made him choose to leave the store in a huff and sit outside…in the near triple digits…in a huff. I’d rather be impatient in cooler air if you ask me.
Fast forward to today at the co-working space; it was still friggin’ hot outside and inside. But what I witnessed was something different. Yes, we were trying to survive the heat and do our best work. But we still had some smiles on our faces, I got called “my dear” from a visitor who I helped out the door, and it was overall a pretty good day. So, what’s the point?
When we’re pissy, hot, and not feeling great we’ve got some basic, humane questions we can ask ourselves:
How can I be compassionate in this exchange?
What is the most generous response in this stressful moment?
In what ways can I communicate with kindness to myself and to others when I’m not feeling well?
How does this lesson (in literal heat waves) teach me about others’ suffering in this world, beyond my own suffering?
While not easy to digest sometimes, especially when we are suffering, it’s “easier” when we know others suffer right along with us. Does that make sense? Ideally, none of us would suffer… But sometimes we get reminded that we’re all trying to do the best we can with what we’ve got. This is a (tough) lesson in selfishness and selflessness. Or, a combination of both. And in the end, while suffering along with everyone in the heat, great conversations came about, smiles still happened, and we showed each other that we care in the small gestures of kindness.
Alright, time to bail for the evening and cool off before tomorrow comes. What do you think about this idea: trying to find compassion in suffering? While from this vantage point it’s a very practical conversation, I’m curious to know where you are at with this idea. If you’ve got questions or thoughts, leave a comment below. Or if you’d rather, email me 1:1 here. The FSW Circle is here for you as well, and the FSW Quiz is another way to dapple in this inner wisdom space before joining the Circle. Stay cool everyone and keep your compassionate insight for yourself and for others as much as possible this Summer!