Compassion means sympathetic consciousness of others’ distress together with a desire to alleviate it. At Ironwood we are full of compassion, both staff and residents alike, which allows for a productive environment to work on personal growth.
I have observed that the residents at Frye are working on being more compassionate toward others, which in itself benefits them. At the Farmhouse we have a compassionate community, and the residents find it easier to relate and connect with one another. This results in positive energy and makes the residents work as if we were one giant family.
Recovery is a more selective therapeutic group that is based on recovering from an addiction. I’ve noticed that in recovery we all have compassion for one another. Although we don’t all share the same addiction, we share the same struggle. This helps us connect on a deeper level and makes it easier to have a solution based mindset. This is so important when you’re working on your personal recovery.
During sports last week we watched a documentary on Netflix about three young girls who are all track stars. In the documentary, they were originally living in a homeless shelter with their mother, when Tyler Perry performed a very compassionate act. He secured them an apartment and paid the rent for two years to help them get back on their feet. This story was a great example of the power of compassion.
Compassion is one of the keys to achieving peace within yourself and in your relationship with others. At Ironwood our compassion levels can feel like we are on a rollercoaster, but they are typically high. I hope everyone reading this can monitor themselves for compassionate acts because it helps everyone at the end of each day.
*As we share these weekly updates, we hear the perspectives of residents who are nearing their Ironwood journey’s end. These authors are feeling good about their progression over many months and they are feeling the payoff for their hard work and investment to change…as they should. However, these positive shares do not mean that all residents are in a similar place. That’s just simply not the case. We also have residents with us today who are truly struggling with their current position in this world and they are strategizing in their minds on how to best deal and respond to it. Some are able to develop effective mechanisms of response and some, at least for a time, just remain stuck.
Our approach in these cases is to also make available an environment that is filled with compassion. “We are sorry that you are struggling and stuck…we believe that you can work through this time toward a better life…and we believe that it is worth it for you to continue trying, because we also believe that you are worth it.” Compassion is a super power around this place and we hope that those who need it most will see it an receive it, as part of their ongoing experience on campus.
Have a nice weekend!