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What Really Matters: Cupping Our Ears to One Another’s Hearts with Compassion

Right now, I’m immersed in Sue Monk Kidd’s book When the Heart Waits. I always seem to find answers in her books when I’m at a crossroads in my life. Dance of the Dissident Daughter helped give me sanity when I was questioning my belief system and When the Heart Waits is helping me through my midlife crisis, or as Brené Brown likes to call it – Spiritual Awakening.

The deeper I get into my middle-agedness, the more I realize we’re all just bumbling about on our journeys, trying each day to be our best selves. Part of being our best selves means judging each other less and being more accepting of each other’s faults. It also means caring more about caring less. My kids have a saying that I initially thought was a naïve oversimplification of this concept but it makes more and more sense all the time – DGAF. Perhaps you are familiar with the acronym?

In When the Heart Waits (1990), Sue Monk Kidd posits, “I believe we’ll all be better off when we take off our religious masks and become more human. Then we can get on with what really matters – the act of cupping our ears to one another’s hearts with compassion (p. 96).”

When she refers to “religious masks,” consider that this could mean any of our masks – our professional masks, our social masks, our family masks, our whatever masks. When we’re unmasked aka authentic, we’re in a position to cup “our ears to one another’s hearts with compassion.” This means we stop judging and love more.

I used to reserve my love for my family and close friends; however, I’ve realized I have love to give to the mom in the store struggling with a cart full of small children and I have love to give to the belligerent teenager acting a fool on the street. It costs me nothing to send a small piece of compassion and love into the Universe but it could mean the world to its recipient. We never know how much our smile, small act of kindness, or positive energy will change another person’s life.

How are you discovering what really matters? How do you cup your ears to another’s heart with compassion?

Kidd, S. (1990). When the heart waits: Spiritual direction for life’s sacred questions. New York, NY: Harper Collins.

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