Sunday, August 21, 2016

My Daily Reflections: Compassion versus Justification

I think that I am becoming more aware as well as clearer about the fact that there is a difference between being compassionate for another person's position and what they do because of that position and taking the next step which is saying just because I have compassion I accept it.

Compassion is a good trait; it allows me to wish healing for others, even those who harm me.  However I do not have to use that feeling of compassion to justify hurtful actions. While I can feel compassion for the unresolved issues the person harming me may be experiencing, it remains unacceptable that they do the harm to me.  

Whereas compassion is a good way to feel towards those that have hurt me, justifying their action is not alright, because justification devalues me as the victim of their hurtful actions.  Compassion does not extend to excusing bad behaviour.

I can use all kinds of words to "justify" actions, to make excuses for wrong doing. I can take even take on responsibility for maybe not handling difficult situations better. However, if I can take full responsibility for my own actions I also have the right to expect the other person to take responsibility for their actions. 

I have to remember, however, that justification poses the risk of going down a slippery slope. It takes me to a place where I accept bad behaviour simply because I can find a reason to justify it. If I were to justify a choice of bad behaviour based on extenuating circumstances then there is the danger of going down the path that I deserved wrongful actions of others, simply because I can give justifying excuses.  There is no justifying bad behaviour. 

If I have core values, if I fundamentally believe in the basic concept that I am not to be treated with disrespect, that I am not to be taunted with name calling or with emotionally abusive actions or with manipulative controlling bullying behaviour, then by extension I have the right to personal boundaries.   I have the right to not accept or excuse bad behaviour.  I have the right to point out behaviours that are inappropriate.  Pointing out behaviours that case me harm is not judgmental, it is simply stating a fact that a certain behavious caused me hurt.  I am not asking the other person to change, I am simple acknowledging that the action towards me was inappropriate and that I do not have to accept such behaviour.  I can choose to walk away.

While I am prepared to be compassionate I am not willing to justify other people’s inexcusable actions.  

While I can feel compassionate for their circumstances I cannot use that compassion to exonerate their actions.  As much as being compassionate is a positive virtue, and one I wish to cultivate, I will not do so at the expense of self-compassion, which recognizes that I too have a fundamental right to being treated well.

Renate Dundys Marrello
 2016 – 08 – 15

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Tuesday, August 2, 2016

My Daily Reflection: Becoming an adult is a mourning process

We face with a certain amount of fear, leaving the "growing up process" where in childhood our path was laid out for us by others.  

We break bonds with those who had a hand in shaping us. And a part of us fears the changes even when we do not voice these fears.

We mourn that we are leaving the days of being guided toward what we need to learn while at the same time we fight against those whose job it was to guide us.  Our fight is in essence our denial of fear that we are now responsible for our own evolution.  We are mourning that we are losing our excuse that everything in our life is "someone else's" fault. 

We camouflage our mourning by focusing aggressively on the faults of our guides and teachers.
Their job was to show as a path toward becoming a social creature, someone that will be able to become an independent and yet contributing part of the human community.  As long as we can blame "them" for the problems in our life we are in denial that we are now responsible to shape our transformation.
By finding fault with "them" we can begin to chart our own course.  The break allows us to justify moving in a new, our own, direction.  However denial also stunts our spiritual growth. 

How many of us choose to truly follow our own destiny and How many of us continue to follow the path laid before us with resentment and buried anger?  
How many of us have the emotional tools to do this work of transformation?  
How many of us remain stuck in feeling we have to conform to be loved? 

What messages did we learn? 
How did we internalize the messages that we received?  

That is where our personal growing starts.  Evaluating if the messages we thought we heard were actually the messages that we were being taught.

How many of us question our internal voices? Versus how many of us blame our internal voices on our teachers, while at the same time continuing to speak those same words over and over with our inner mind. 

How many of us realize that growing up and continuing our evolution is not physical separation from our teachers but rather our own internal ongoing debates as to whether our inner messages are in fact true.  

When we actually take time to reflect upon what we think and consider each inner message for veracity and truth and verisimilitude, we are in fact freeing ourselves from messages that may have been interpreted incorrectly. 

The sooner we can do this the better we are able to govern our adult self-talk and the easier it becomes to chart our own transformational growth.  As long as we “believe” the inaccurate messages to be true ones we are stuck in a repetitive cycle of dissatisfaction alternating with looking for the source of our own discontent. 

Growing up is not when we leave home and start an independent life. That is only independence.  

Growing up is when we choose to understand our inner thought processes and evaluate what works and what does not work for us. We grow up when we start to make choices about our inner workings in the same way we made choices about career path and romantic path and family path. 

Many of us are independent at a young age but actually grow up much, much later in life.  I can look back now and see that I did not start to grow up until I reached my 60’s.  That was when I started to ask the important questions.  Completing the evolutionary process of growing up is a choice to be made and requires effort and work.  We have to mourn what we thought we knew and recognize how little we actually understood. 

How many people think they are grown up when in fact they are only independent?
How many people associate emancipation and separation with growing up?
How many people never question why they act the way they do and the habits that they repeat, even when they are destructive either to themselves or the others. 

And how few in comparison, ever come to realize that the final stages of growing up, comes with the incredibly difficult growing pains of self-awareness and personal accountability. And mourning the loss of "someone else to blame".  

How few recognize that taking on adult roles and adult obligations is not a sign of being grown up.  Being grown up is the process of becoming aware that it is our evolutionary function as humans to take what we were given in our growing years and transforming those thoughts in our own unique evolutionary process toward selfhood.  

Until we take those independent self-discovery steps, where we take on responsibility for each of our thoughts and actions we remain children in adult bodies. 

Renate Dundys Marrello 
2016 - 08 - 02

photo credit - as marked or unknown

My journal blog entries are copyright.
I love when you share my page to spread the word.

If you want to quote me I kindly ask that you please provide a link back to my page.