Compassion, revisited — a Pagan Blog Project post

I covered compassion, or what compassion looks like on my particular path, back in 2012, but with compassion being such a crucial part of my path, I decided, why not take another look at it? In rereading that post, I realized that in the course of two years, some things had changed within, and while I shouldn’t be surprised at this point, I was. Compassion is never far from my mind, and there are standards I endeavor to hold myself to — which I sometimes succeed at doing, and which I sometimes fail — and while I can’t say that I really ever stop striving toward that goal, it doesn’t feel much like striving these days.

What’s changed?

PBP2014bThere are people in my life that I struggle against hating. I’ll be candid — there are people in my life, people from my past, who are no longer in my life, who, should they die a violent death tomorrow, I would be relieved to see them go. There are people whose continued existence annoys me. They aren’t a part of my life in any sense, and yet just knowing they are there and could become a part of my life again, frustrates the hell out of me.

I’m not proud of this. In the past couple of years, in fact, I’ve worked to change that, even. Hatred? Hatred provides energy, sure. But, that place of loving-kindness/compassion provides sustainable energy; hatred, at least how I experience hatred, consumes me. It leaves me with nothing else to give.

I’m not seeking to get to a place of trust and openness, with these people. I’m not trying to establish any sort of a new relationship. They’ll remain on my periphery because of the way my life is, because of the connections we have through family, but I am looking to root out hatred from my life and my being. Because it harms me. Because it distracts me. Because one cannot hold compassion and hatred in accord.

It’s been interesting. Pushing myself down this path, deeper into compassion, has allowed me to confront questions like: does compassion even have a place within paganism? (I think it does!) Am I truly being compassionate? (too often I’m not) Am I being authentic to this calling of mine? (again, too often, no.)

Yet, I’m not doing all that poorly, if, as I said going in, things have changed that I did not realize where changing, and for the better. So, this has been a learning experience, coming back to this subject.

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