Something occurred to me yesterday that may have occurred to people long before I thought of it. I think it's worth sharing though.
When we are having difficulty in a relationship with a spouse, adult child, friend, sibling, even George Bush, it might be helpful to visualize that person as a child. What does their adult action say about their childhood? What did they need that they didn't get?
Let's take George Bush for example. I have tried in many ways to have compassion for him. I used this idea on him yesterday and I saw a little boy with an overbearing mother, probably small for his age, maybe bullied. So obtaining power became his overarching goal. Maybe true, maybe not true, but this is how I thought of him, and I felt something for the small boy feeling powerless.
When we reduce each of us to the child, we cannot help but feel empathy. And if we feel empathy, we might feel compelled to address the need in the child/person by giving them stature, hugging them, complimenting them, being interested in them as opposed to belittling them more, shunning them because they annoy us, refusing to indulge their need for recognition, listening with an uninterested ear.
Okay, I admit, I felt something for the young George Bush. It's still hard to not be angry at the adult that is our President. But I've made a start. And if it works with him and me, sisters and brothers, it'll work with anybody.