“Those who are without compassion cannot see what is seen with the eyes of compassion.”- Thich Nhat Hanh
In trials of great suffering, it is hard to find the correct words to sooth someone who’s hurting from within. It is always a difficult process watching someone you care about cope with an eating disorder. Eating disorders can be paralyzing and especially dooming for the victim. In times of returning anxiety, finding the right words to comfort someone runs scarce.
Any type of mental disorder requires a great deal of love.
Mindfulness teaches us that the way we speak is a form of meditation. Again, the concept of mindfulness is surrounded by awareness. When we choose to become aware of our vernacular, then we are practicing a form of “kind speech.” Before speaking, this involves actively thinking before responding. You want to be aware of the emotions your words will cause and take into consideration the response of the other person. In mindful speech, the focus is on the wellbeing of both parties. You never want to appear self centered or self absorbed in conversation. The conversational environment should be loving and invite an open dialogue. I have seen this work with my students who have trouble expressing their needs to those closest to them.
When we want to offer words of comfort, we must create a sense of love. I have many favorite mindfulness phrases, but one holds the top spot as a favorite. The saying goes;
“I do not know the suffering you are going through, but I will always be here for you. I love you so much.”
This phrase paints a perfect example of speaking mindfully. People suffering from an eating disorder loathe the saying; “I know how you feel,” from those who have never suffered from one. When we acknowledge that we don’t understand one’s suffering, we are showing that person loving honesty. Telling the person you’re always available to them, and always loving them, gives them a safe gateway into a conversation. Being the safety someone needs is a great form of love.
Wouldn’t the world be a better place if we all held compassion in our hearts for those suffering? Let’s make the effort to speak mindfully to those with eating disorders. It doesn’t take too much. This post wasn’t meant to be lengthy – it was just sent as a reminder to always be kind.
Marissa Ranahan – Owner of Karmic Flow