June 2011

The weight of Compassion

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

    “The weight of Compassion.”

The following is the definition of compassion at Wikipedia:

Compassion (from Latin: “co-suffering”) is a virtue — one in which the emotional capacities of empathy and sympathy (for the suffering of others) are regarded as a part of love itself, and a cornerstone of greater social interconnection and humanism — foundational to the highest principles in philosophy, society, and personhood.

Compassion for others is something most of us have, some more than others. However, when does too much compassion become a serious problem? I like to think that my sense of compassion is perfectly balanced. I’d be lying if I said that were true because, such is not the case!

I come from a long line of dysfunction in the family setting. I have and am working hard to break the chain. However, within my journey I have discovered that I am suffering from the weight of my compassion for others!

What does this mean? It simply means that I have replaced my co-dependency issues with an unhealthy dose of way too much compassion! The weight of this compassion on me and my life is very, very heavy. Not only is it heavy but, it’s harmful as well.

You see, I took my sense of compassion for others and assumed it to mean that others problems were also my problems! I worried and fret over others situations, seeking a solution for them.

I allowed it to affect me on an emotional and sometimes physical level. I completely threw out any type of personal boundaries what so ever! In doing so, other people’s issues totally invaded my life. I was feeling their worry, their pain, and their sorrows, sometimes even more than the person themselves!

My compassion for others simply re-created itself into my former co-dependent relationships. I put myself on the back burner and concentrated on solely on how I would help them and/or how I could fix their problems.

Now some people appreciated my help and welcomed my ideas and other people came to expect my help and let me do all of the work for them! They were taking advantage of me, knowing that it wasn’t my place to be handling their personal problems. Those people enjoyed total freedom to do other things and enjoy themselves while I took care of their problems for them!

The weight of compassion can be devastating and it was for me! I was depressed, always moody, sleeping as much as possible, avoiding my family and friends, not handling my business matters or taking care of my, I was always getting sick, and I was absolutely STUCK!! By stuck I mean, that I made no progress towards my journey of healing from my past.

I couldn’t, maybe I should say wouldn’t accept responsibility for what I was doing to myself and my life. I was in denial about the fact that I had created my reality and all the mess that I was experiencing at the time. It got to a point in which I just wanted to shut down! I had no desire to do anything, talk to anyone, or take care of myself.

I lost so much weight, I never got dressed anymore, barely even showered and didn’t bother to do my hair or make-up at all. Then I would get mad if I had to go somewhere and do something, if I couldn’t get someone else to do it for me! I didn’t want to go out the way I looked and was to lazy to get ready then go.

Needless to say my compassion for others, the weight it brought down on me, was crushing the life right out of my body! Sounds a bit dramatic I know but, I can assure you that it absolutely felt that way to me. So much so that the way I was feeling inside showed up on the outside in my life, to every degree possible!

I was feeling hopeless that is, until someone helped me to see the err of my ways. I was an absolute train wreck at the time and for once I began to see light at the end of the tunnel!! This person whom I call my Wise Fairy Godmother, helped me to recognize the affects that my overly compassionate self had created. She showed me a way to bring my compassion into balance.

I felt an amazing shift within myself and it sparked my desire and my motivation to embark upon the journey I am currently on. What journey you ask? the Journey home to myself – the “Real Me”!! I am finally discovering how to achieve a healthy balance of compassion, how to set personal boundaries, how to heal from my past, discover my internal/learned beliefs and change the ones that are of no benefit to me. All the while, uncovering my authentic self, the “Me” that I have always been but, hid away deep inside to protect myself from my dysfunctional life.

Having lived such a dysfunctional life for so long, I had forgot who the real “Teri” was anymore or how to even find her!! That’s where my journey through YOU University comes into play. I have since experienced a tremendous amount of learning, growth, and healing. I continue to experience all of this and so much more to this day.

This whole story of what the weight of compassion has personally cost me, was an assignment. My Wise Fairy Godmother, also known as Maia Berens assigned it to me and I suspect the reason being; to help me continue doing what I am doing in YOU U but, more importantly! to help me from forgetting what,”The Weight of Compassion” was on me!!