It didn’t take me long to settle on the word: Compassion.
When we work together or interact on social media, we see some of people’s authenticity but we also see a mask. Most of the time the picture is not complete. We see what people think they need to be or project to avoid rejection.
The reality is we have no idea what most people are going through.
The holiday season can be a time of joy, but for many, it is a time of sadness and grief. In seasons of turmoil, we can almost assume that most people we know are experiencing difficulties that are not visible to us.
That’s where my word of the season may be helpful: Compassion.
Maybe we just give an extra dose of it to the drivers on the road. Maybe we heighten our awareness to the inner judgments we have of co-workers.
Or maybe we give it to the person who usually needs it most – ourselves.
I learned a great coaching question from a friend recently: “What would bring you the most relief right now?”
Many times the answer is some form of compassion toward yourself. Whether it’s saying no to a holiday party or making a doctor’s appointment you’ve been putting off, self-compassion is a key to navigating differences or challenges with others.
Compassion literally means “suffer together.” Being a human is tough, and we all need people who recognize our humanity.
As a coach I have the privilege to stand with people in their joys and their suffering, and to partner with them as they move toward transformation. This holiday season I give thanks for all of my clients and colleagues who have entrusted me with their vulnerability.
Wishing you a compassionate holiday season and an inspiring start to 2023!