I try to find compassion and reason in as much of life as I can, but there are some situations that make me feel like a straight up punk for being compassionate.
Looking back on my childhood, I remember hearing the phrase “Don’t take my kindness for weakness” but I picked up the distinct impression it was the opposite. I‘d ask myself, “Why am I bullied when I’m always kind? How could someone want me to mess with me when I’m nothing but nice to them?”. Little me couldn’t understand and it’s something that I’ve carried with most of my life.
I had decided that kindness must equal weakness or you wouldn’t have to tell someone not to mistake the two. I knew I was kind. Therefore, I must be weak. The brain can be horrifyingly efficient when it needs to be.
I am in love with my kind heart these days more than ever, but there are still moments when I question it. Normal, I know...but with an analytical mind like mine the questions go deep and wide pretty quickly. The conflicting ideas in my mind were battling in my internal arena when I came across a post on Instagram.
Now, I’ve been having conversations lately about how I stumble onto things that help me to walk through the struggles in my head. For example, I’ll be thinking about my career and end up watching one of my favorite shows where a character I relate to goes through a deep journey of discovery about their career and life. It hits me to the core and some sort of revelation is my parting gift. It’s been happening so frequently in the past year or so I fully trust that it will happen. It helps to cultivate a mindfulness about my life that has helped tremendously with my anxiety about the gaze of others and what’s “expected of me”. I know that the knowledge will come.
The internal battle continued, but then this post comes in like a wrecking ball...
All at once I’m reminded that I’m not the center of everyone’s world. Shocking, I know. I read my own struggles laid bare and realized my perspective was myopic. I forgot these same struggles I feel are felt by others. I replay the clash of conflict in my mind through this additional lens and realize all at it once it’s not my thing. It’s not related to me. I honor my feelings on the situation and let it all go a little more.
Suddenly, it doesn’t seem so hard to find that compassion because now it’s right here in front me. I went looking for compassion for others and walked right into compassion for myself.