Compassion happens in the place where our stories intersect. Maybe we just imagine what something would feel like, or might look like: another’s experience cloaked in our skin. Or maybe we have been someplace similar, and empathy comes like a reflex.
But there are those lines that remain far apart and we keep them from crossing to protect ourselves. It’s a sound theory to suppose we should always forgive, try again a thousand times, if that’s what it takes. But there are too many real sadnesses in the world, too much to live and love, to get hung up on people who don’t care.
As much as I think we should fill in the blanks with kindness, and not contempt, you can only make excuses for someone for so long before you have to stop. If a person’s character requires steady defenses to make it acceptable, stop accepting it. That person will surprise you and start trying; change can happen, I believe that. Or you will never hear from that person again, no surprise.
But, it’s ok. You can write yourself a different story. Your story can be true and complete. Your children will grow up with reassurances you never had. You will be loved.
(It’s funny how I sat here to write about one thing and ended up with a cryptic invocation for someone very close to me. Sometimes stuff just falls out. Who knows. I failed to upload the daily picture last night before bed, and computer time during the day is so interrupted. It’s a wonder I made a complete sentence at all, what with all the keeping-Super-Uly-from-choking that happens every second of the waking day. I’ve been around a lot of babies, this is not a case of old April being a nervous nellie over here, that baby is so, so fast.)