If we were extraterrestrials looking down at the earth but could only see the waves of energy moving among us, not physical things, all hate, including hate directed at hate groups, would be considered harmful and unjustified. Hate, would be hate, regardless of moral justification. All and any of it would be considered toxic. The same is true for harm. If you’re someone who has a super high threshold for tolerating other people’s bull shit but little to no tolerance for your own way of being, you may actually be doing harm, and not to who you’d think.
To harm the self for the sake of another, is the same harm that’s perpetrated by another, for the sake of themselves.
Both directions of harm, are unjustified, spiritually speaking.
I’d road tripped ten hours to hear the Dalai Lama speak on “Compassion.”
I remember one thing he said from that talk because it punched me right in the heart in all the time stopping kind of ways. Everything else from that trip was a blur but the one thing that seemed to have zero to do with compassion came home with me like years of gum to chew on, but replaced of chemicals by the Dalai Lama’s words.
Someone asked him, “If you spent your whole life in silence but were afforded a last sentence to speak now, just one, what message would you deliver?” The Dalai Lama smiled and said, “This is a silly question. If I was hungry, I would say, “I am hungry so someone would bring me food,” and they moved onto the next question.
He didn’t say he’d offer some profound wisdom or extend himself in some communal empowerment movement on love and acceptance, what he said he’d do is take what he needed from the moment, and he said so, with zero shame. This isn’t because he’s a taker, it’s because he has one thing, many codependents don’t.
Typically codependents put up with a lot of shit because we deeply understand and also resist our own emptiness so we’re vicariously trying to fill someone else’s void by offering “all” of ourselves, dumping ourselves into their emptiness so we can vicariously heal our void, by saving someone else from theirs.
By not doing our own Work but picking up confusing relationships that distract us from it, you know, the kind of relationships that consume us and have us wondering every second what’s going on with it, we are harmful to the self for the sake of the other and we’re just bypassing work we’ll have to do on ourselves eventually anyway. By being compassionate with everyone, but us, may not be harming them, but it certainly isn’t medicine for us.
The flip side of this is the narcissistic person who is harmful to the other, for the sake of the self. I imagine them to be like gremlins making snorting noises eating up everything we give them until they’ve digested us, shit us out and no longer want to eat what we offer, but they’re eating, to fill the same void we’re attempting to fill in ourselves, just in them, and just in the “wrong,” way. They escape the void by consumption to fill it, and we escape it via self abandonment and self rejection but the escape, is an escape just the same.
We’re like three year olds trying to hand another three year old who’s upset because he lost his toy, ‘our’ toy to make him feel better. The other three year old doesn’t want our toy; it’s not the appropriate exchange, but we give it away (even if we miss it ourselves) and they take it because it’s a toy anyway! This is a tragedy because neither of us, truly, get what we’re after; we’re just exchanging plan B’s, and inadvertently, become them to other people.
What the Dalai Lama has that most codependents don’t is True compassion. I write True with a capital T because compassion itself is fullness; it’s a two way street, and to have compassion only flowing on one side of the road and not the other, separates us either from ourselves or from other people, and that’s not compassion at all, it’s just a void, avoiding a void.
I know we’ve been taught it’s better to be the giver than the taker, the “good” one rather than the “bad” one, and that we’re not actually that worthy of compassion, but the same way we cling onto a relationship so tightly we’ll abandon ourselves, our desires, our everything just to keep it, we need to cling onto ourselves, look ourselves in the face and say, “I’m here with you! I will not abandon you! I am in here and I see you (with my whole heart)!”
You, my love, don’t have to strive anymore to earn compassion though I know you’re still trying to be good enough to be worthy of it. You’ve ALWAYS deserved it, and if you aren’t willing to give it to yourself with the same ease and acceptance you’d give someone else, if you won’t raise the threshold for self tolerance, you’re going to be stuck in a codependency game of twister not just with one person, but with life itself until further notice.
The best gift you can give the world at large is to become a person; a whole person. That means, a person who doesn’t negate themselves, who shows up with what’s true rather than what’s expected, who honors all beings including themselves because we know even if we’re a nobody to the world, our only job is to make ourselves a “somebody” to us.
You’re not just allowed to have self compassion, it’s a hugely necessary key to all healing, individually and globally. Here’s your permission slip; just for today, put on the same sense of compassion for yourself as you do for others. It’s a “do onto yourself, as you’d do onto others,” mentally speaking, kind of game.
If you do, soon enough, you’ll find yourself in there. The ironic thing is, when you find yourself in there, you’re too Self full to continue taking on other people’s shit and that doesn’t make you not compassionate, it makes you sane.
Stacy Lee Hoch, MA, CLC
“Stacy Hoch, MA, CLC is the chakra centered psychotherapist, empowerment coach, and self-healing sherpa behind every woman’s must-read book Imperfectly Sane available on Amazon.
She offers services that’ve catapulted her own radical healing in her one to one private practice working with codependent empaths all over the world, teaching them to heal, love, and trust themselves. Connect with her at Stacy Hoch ~ Intuitive Psychotherapist | Life Coach | Empoweress for personal energetic attention or to sign up for her newsletter. For more writings find her on Facebook but most definitely subscribe to her YouTube Channel (Empoweress) for some extremely valuable, but free, juicy and where-it-counts education if you’re looking to break the chains of mental and emotional imprisonment to a life of authentic freedom and True healing.
A columnist, adjunct professor, and facilitator, Stacy is a lover by choice and fighter by necessity, with her first priority being her role of a naturalist mother to four cherubs who keep her ridiculously busy and always growing.”
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