What’s the point of compassion?

Boy hiding

I have been overwhelmed with a feeling of sadness and grief these last few weeks. Not for myself actually but for my children. A few things have happened that have really brought it home to me just how deeply saddening their lives have been and still are as a result. Sometimes we need to step back and just feel where they’re at – it’s so easy to get caught up in the angst, the challenging behaviours and the dramas and miss that at the core of who they are is a deep sadness and grief at what their lives have become.

I’m convinced the older I get that there aren’t many people who are actually living their first choice lives. In fact I’ve noticed over these last few weeks just how demanding life is – people have so much to cope with in their every day lives. Even those of us who have had a good childhood – trauma, rejection, loss and difficult times do come to us all.

Even though it’s been difficult feeling the sadness and pain my children feel at their 2nd choice lives it’s opened me up once again to the compassion needed to walk this road of adoption. Without it I wouldn’t be able to cope with the controlling behaviour – to know that without compassion and empathy my heart might become hard and unfeeling towards their circumstances. I wish I could fix it for them I really do – if I could air lift them out of the terrifying high school environment I would, if I could mend the broken heart and wave a magic wand so that they would have friends, fit in and be popular I would. There’s so much that feels out of my control sometimes – that I have to sit on the sidelines and watch them suffer – sometimes that’s so difficult!

So I wonder just how useful my compassion really is to them? I suppose if it drives me to act on their behalf (again and again) then it’s good. If it causes me to feel softness and warmth towards them then it’s good. If it propels me to learn more about them and how to help them then it has to be good. I know I’ve felt a feeling of hopelessness recently over some situations with one of our children but as I write this I realise that maybe there is more hope there than I thought – and that has to be good. Once you lose hope it’s a dangerous place to be.


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