Tuesday, March 10, 2015

What is Compassion?

Image result for the loneliest people are the kindest
The loneliest people are the kindest.
The saddest people smile the brightest.
The most damaged people are the wisest.
All because they do not wish to see others suffer the way they have.

We've heard the quotes before but somehow still fail to see it in others.
I have a friend who once told me she thought I was, "So nice." If you know me, I reacted a little pleasantly surprised. Not that I'm a mean person, but I'm cynical and a realist. I tend to call it Like it is and sometimes that "is" is negative if you catch my drift....I'm not a gal who will blow fairy dust up your skirt. So, when this friend of mine told me she thought I was nice, and not just nice, but nice with a so in front of it, I was very touched. I thought about our experiences together as friends and how she would've come to this conclusion that I am a so nice person. What I realized shocked me even more than her compliment.
The most damaged people show great compassion. I think it's safe to say I fall into this category. No, I don't talk about intimate details of that damage, A. Because it's inappropriate for media and B. You'd likely judge or disbelieve me. But yes, the damage I've experienced is near equivalent of 30 years of crap condensed into a couple of years. Those couple of years were cataclysmic. They also taught me what it means to be a compassionate person. First, I was not shown much compassion during my darkest struggles, outside of my immediate family. Second, I was not showing compassion to those around me.
When I learned what compassion meant, it changed my life. I legitimately do not want other people to suffer in ways I have. I look at some of the bystanders who watched my demise and literally ignored or rejected any of my pleas for help. Some of them claim to be great Christian people. Maybe they are in many aspects. I think their small flaw was a lack in compassion. The same lack I adopted when I was bitter and alone. I did not want to help people or see their problems as big as my own. Maybe I wanted them to suffer. Maybe people wanted me to suffer. We were all lacking compassion.
It took so much self discovery, self acceptance, and self forgiveness for me to learn that compassion is not a verb aligned with convenience. Compassion is only compassion when it is actually more challenging, or unnatural. Anyone can show love or sympathy to a loved one. It is finding the love, sympathy, kindness, generosity, compassion, in your heart for those you find it most difficult to show it to.
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Since I have learned these lessons, I have made great efforts to be a more compassionate person. My friendship with the girl who says I am so nice began only two years ago, after most of my self discovery took place. When I compare in my mind who she sees me as and who I see my self as, I'm including all those years I spent as a sad, lonely, bedraggled, selfish woman. I didn't understand that she could see me as a nice person, and recognize all the changes I'd made. Well, she want seeing them as changes because she hadn't known me back then. She was seeing me now. And I'm so glad she reminded me of that, of how far I've come. While I have failures and set backs, it is still something I pray about every night. In fact, I'm going to share with you my personal challenge. I have an associate who I struggle tolerating. We don't fight or hate one another, but it is an ongoing mental battle for me. I find it hard to trust this person, or feel sympathy for them in their day to day ups and downs. Basically, in a nutshell, their personality grates on my nerves like a pedegg. (Look it up)
I know it's impossible to be everyone's best friend, but I'm challenging myself for the next 2 weeks, like it states on step 9 of the ARP program, to pray for compassion for this person. I am hoping and trusting that in 2 weeks I will feel drastically different about this individual and my struggles will cease to bother me.
In the end, I want to say thank you to everyone who has shown me compassion over the years, and also ask forgiveness for anyone I have not shown compassion. I will certainly try to be better.

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