Compassionate Blind Spots
Someone who I love very much ~ someone very close to me ~ gave me a gift recently. It was a bit painful to receive at first and worth every second of discomfort in the end.
The message arose out of an ordinary moment of interaction and kind of blindsided me. Maybe, sometimes, we need to bit surprised in order to pay extra close attention.
I was shown where I had a blind spot in my capacity for compassion.
I have always thought of myself as a compassionate individual ~ I feel a strong sense of connection to others and when I love someone, I love with all my heart.
I have become aware of those times when I have closed my heart down in order to avoid being hurt or feeling pain and I’m starting to realize that in these moments, I have been withholding compassion from myself.
Self-Compassion has been a key focus in my life for the last several months after deepening my understanding of what it really means to be self-compassionate.
But, this was different. This time it wasn’t only me that I was leaving out of the compassion equation.
Someone my loved one and I are both connected to had recently experienced a loss. My loved one was sharing his feelings and concern for this person and the situation and I made a gesture that indicated I didn’t really care.
With such courage, my loved one pointed out that it appeared I had a blind spot when it came to this person ~ a blind spot in my compassion.
In confusion, my loved one struggled to understand how I could be so compassionate in most situations and yet, in this instance, I seemed devoid of any feeling at all.
At first, I wanted to defend myself and justify exactly why I didn’t need to and couldn’t feel any compassion for this other person. I wanted to make myself right and allow that blind spot to continue.
Then I realized the message I was sending to my loved one. What was I saying about what it means to be compassionate ~ what it means to embrace forgiveness of self and others ~ what it means to be committed to a life of joy and peace?
Beyond the messages I would be sending out to my loved ones as a result of withholding compassionate energy, I realized that no matter how hard I tried to fake it, avoid it or cover it up, my coldness would be felt by others ~ and mostly by those closest to me.
And even one step further, it dawned on me that putting up a dam that held back compassion from even just one person ultimately blocked it from my own heart as well.
I thought about those times when my mood would change in an instant just because I had contact with this individual or worse yet, if I even thought about them. I could go from happy and on top of the world to grumpy and bitchy in a millisecond.
I recalled other times in my life when I had experienced the same thing with other people and declared myself done with this practice. I no longer wish to give up my power to feel peaceful and happy to anyone or anything. I know it is me who is making that choice and it has nothing to do with the other person ~ what they have done or not done ~ and whether I think it’s right or wrong.
To restore a sense of peace and joy means that living in compassion must apply across the board in every single situation. Every. Single. One.
I knew it would take awhile longer to figure out what this would mean for me in my interactions with this person as I became more aligned and began to fully embody compassion.
And I know I’ll get there. I can be patient.
I am grateful to my loved one for showing me this and for having the guts to tell me that it was a part of me that was hard to like. Nothing says I love you more than that.
Let’s get started!
Where are your compassionate blind spots?
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