Walk a mile in my shoes. We’ve heard that old cliche so many times. Yet it seems to fly right over the consciousness of most people.
Very few will admit that they don’t understand this. Everyone knows the cliche, but that’s about where the water’s edge stops.
To Have Compassion
To walk a mile in my shoes or whomever the shoes belong to is to have complete compassion for another individual. It means you’ve disengaged your own ego and you’re there with them listening and holding the space for them.
The ego can be quite funny and peculiar in this behavior because it blinds us to the fact that we are not as compassionate as we lead others to believe. It tricks us into thinking that we know best and we hold the answers. While we may know a great deal and see things differently, the other person may be working on that life lesson.
Walk A Mile In My Shoes Example
To walk a mile in my shoes I think is best explained in this example. There is someone further up the mountain climbing the path of life. They have a different vantage point and so they can see what someone further down the mountain cannot. However, instead of remembering where the person is, they act as if the person should see what they see. To them, if you can’t see this, you are somehow wrong.
However, while my above example may be true, I believe this is another part to these ego-based compassion proclamations. If something you say resonates with an injured part in another, they often want nothing to do with it. If you talk about it or share it, then it means they either have to be dismissive or they have to deal with it in their own life. Far too many people don’t want to be confronted with those things and so they turn the tables on the person that shares a vulnerable moment in their life’s journey.
I’ll never forget an individual in a healing organization that was looked up to by many. On two different occasions, his sweet gentle nature was all outrage and contempt for me. One time, he was in a complete rage against me for something I had no control over and it was so toxic I wanted nothing to do with him the rest of the day. He didn’t even attempt to walk a mile in my shoes.
In another instance, I went for a trade day exercise. Someone attending asked me what had been going on in my life. I started to answer, being cautious about what I was going to say, and all at once he started raging against me, “We don’t want to hear about your life’s problems!” He didn’t even let me get out what I was trying to say and I wasn’t even going to say a word about what he thought I was going to share.
Far Too Many People
Instead of each of us working through our issues, we project our unhealed hurts on to other people. For a long time, I just thought I was the only one that was messed up. Now, I’m seeing that far too many people do this. They are toxic even though they act superior and self-righteous.
It isn’t easy to walk a mile in my shoes, but I’m learning to let go of the people who only know how to hurl their own pain, not act with compassion. It is not easy because we live in a world where everyone is angry with each other and everyone seems to engage with it every moment of the day.
As my tweet said, ” Even if you think you have a compassionate answer, walk a mile in my shoes before letting your ego proclaim your thoughts.
We need far more compassionate humans in this world and a lot less ego on display. Compassion helps others heal. It helps show us the connected side of being human. The ego just destroys and leaves ashes in its wake as it consumes everything in its path. The ego is not a friend, even if it has a smile displayed.
Walk A Mile Using Your Heart
We must heal ourselves if we truly want to be compassionate but that is often a lifetime journey. It is part of the reason we are walking on this planet.
Work to engage your words and thoughts through your heart, not the ego, and life will rapidly improve.