On Love & Compassion: Lessons From Downton Abbey


On Love & Compassion: Lessons From Downton Abbey
Whether it is 1921 or 2013, love is a powerful promoter of the best impulses of the human spirit.

Lord Grantham insists that the police have been wrongly summoned and he bravely protects Thomas from the backlash of bigotry and homophobia.  Given his own pathetic expressions of prejudice while he and his wife were not on speaking terms, it seems obvious that his wife's love and support are grounding him, guiding him through the terrible grief of his daughter's death, and allowing Lord Grantham to be the leader Downton wants and needs.

As a therapist, the connection between love, connection and compassion is a common theme.  Obviously, a sense of love and connection is never a necessary pre-requisite for compassion; however, the relationship can be transformational.  I once worked with a client in her thirties who had never experienced a relationship that lasted longer than a few weeks.  By working through significant trauma from her past, and by examining her own pattern of choosing unsuitable, unavailable partners, she learned to make healthier relationship choices.  A few months into a relationship with the man whom she eventually married she reflected:


"I'm still the same person, obviously.  But knowing that I have such a wonderful person to talk with and enjoy at the end of each day hasn't just made me happier.  I'm gutsier.  A colleague made a racist remark at the office and I spoke out in objection.  And others chimed in to support me.  The old me had all of the same views, I just lacked the confidence to express them."

Whether it is 1921 or 2013, the Valentine's message is clear: love is a powerful promoter of the best impulses of the human spirit.

Elisabeth's book, Overcoming Your Parents' Divorce, was a finalist in the relationship category of the 2008 Best Book Award.  Visit www.elisabethlamotte.com to learn more and follow @elisjoy.

Article contributed by
Advanced Member

Elisabeth LaMotte


Social worker, psychotherapist, blogger and author of "Overcoming Your Parents' Divorce"

Location: Washington, DC
Credentials: LICSW, MFT, MSW
Specialties: Communication Problems, Dating/Being Single Support, Divorce/Divorce Prevention
Other Articles/News by Elisabeth LaMotte:

4 Struggles All Sex Addicts Face


Romantic relationships are complicated, intense, beautiful entities that can be challenging to nurture and sustain. Today's persistent emphasis on high-speed solutions, high-tech communications and ubiquitous social networking can compromise the development of a simple, organic union between two like-minded people hoping to find love. For those who struggle ... Read more

What Happens if Your Spouse Wants to Cheat?


Can a marriage be saved after infidelity? Is it okay to cheat if a marriage has become sexless? If infidelity is discovered and a couple wants to stay together, how do they find their way through? These questions are raised frequently during couples therapy if one or both partners have strayed. Ian McEwan's 2014 novel, The Children Act, offers a ... Read more

A Therapist's Review Of 'Romantics Anonymous'


Most of us experience some form of social anxiety. We may feel nervous before a social gathering or slightly agitated during group activities. In the extreme, social anxiety compromises the ability to connect to another person in an intimate relationship. Jean-Pierre Ameris' 2010 French film, Les Emotifs Anonymous, is a comedic but meaningful study of what ... Read more

See More

My Videos
Must-see Videos
Most Popular