Compassion:Easier Said Than Done

I felt sad, misunderstood and wronged. Later, I felt disappointed and wondered if we could ever be friends again. Finally I felt betrayed and feeling love was out of reach.

Compassion is another component of love.

For me it has been a tool that leads to forgiveness. When I feel hurt or am offended that is the time when I need compassion. Today I’m writing about compassion for others and this will help us understand how to have compassion for ourselves when faced with illness and disease.

A friend of mine had been estranged from her adult daughter and her family. She told me that things had been better lately and she wished she could see them but communication and finances were not aligning for that to happen. I stepped up to facilitate a visit from her daughter over her birthday week by offering airport pick up and opening our home to the group. After what appeared to be a wonderful visit, my friend told me things she didn’t like about the experience.

She said that she was upset that her daughter gave me “credit” for the experience. She didn’t like me interacting with her daughter’s family, even though they were in my home.  

It felt like I was being told to butt out of her life and that everything I had done had been bad.

I felt sad, misunderstood and wronged. Later, I felt disappointed and wondered if we could ever be friends again. Finally I felt betrayed and feeling love was out of reach.

How could she have made such negative experiences out of something lovely? I had been there. I had witnessed it all. When life gets messed up some people talk, some people walk, some people eat or smoke or drink….I write. After a while of rambling with words, I wrote my new understanding of what had happened.

“I understand that my friend needed to blame someone for her own issues and although she had asked for and accepted my help, I was in the line of fire. I can understand her experience comes from her pain. Instead of me interpreting her words to mean for me to butt out, I can choose to hear her saying that me setting up a visit and facilitating the details was too much for her to handle.”

When I hear that interpretation there is room for love to prevail.

Hurt feelings can quiet the mind and shed light on understanding that allows compassion to become the focus. This automatically leads to forgiveness and love will be triggered. Is there a time when you felt hurt from someone’s words or action? What did you do?

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One thought on “Compassion:Easier Said Than Done

  1. Wonderful thought provoking article. I could relate well as I have tried to help with more than a couple of “dysfunctional” families. I seem to be able to get along with nearly everyone. For the most part I just don’t understand parents who disown their children or children who disown their parents, or the like. I know there are valid reasons for doing so but they are hard for me to get my arms around as I try to love nearly everyone . Family problems such as these are deep and often incurable or unsolvable. I give you a ton of credit for trying. Some of these wounds are beyond the point of no return. If was great for you to try to help. But you can see that your efforts were not appreciated. Another kind offer would be to arrange for a family counselor to get involved. They have deep training in these issues and are probably more likely to be successful. Perhaps you could anonymously “purchase” a couple of hours of counseling for your friend? But again I congratulate you for trying YOU are the kind of person I love and admire. These deeply personal matters are often just too deep or beyond the reach of us “lay” folks no matter how much love and compassion we have in our hearts. I have been in your position more times than I care to admit. Takers see Givers from miles away.

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