(Continued from Alcohol Substitute)
These are the ones my wife and I took a long hard look at and abandoned, primarily because of our children and our own sanity. It was this period of time that I have come to call The Cleansing.
There are times now when I feel fully convinced and content that it is done and over; that we have successfully purged these non-reciprocal or toxic relations and personalities out of our lives. But there are other times when I feel that it is not done, that the task is not yet complete or final.
It is clear to me, through incidental and sporadic chance encounters of information, that some of these people have not found closure or understanding or acceptance of this "cleansing". I wonder if the fault lies within myself for not having a bold enough confrontation on these issues. Other times I wonder if the reason they struggle is indicative of the self-serving causes that ultimately led to these circumstances. That they cannot see or cannot understand because they cannot, or will not, look at themselves. Lost in their delusions and denial.
And that is why they fail to see. They can no longer understand what it means to be a victim, because they aren't one.
Do I have an obligation to help others of their illnesses, especially people I have chosen - with reason - to abandon?
I must make it clear that I do not feel anger towards these people. I do not feel hurt, or resentment, or even disappointment anymore. I personally have come to terms with what these past relationships have, and have not, been. I have long since let go of what I might have hoped they might be, or what they should or should not have been. If I feel anything at all, it's pity... but not compassion.
And it is at this point that I become concerned: the lack of Compassion.
I have come to the conclusion (in The Dharma Entanglement) that Compassion is one of 3 elements integral critical, and necessary for a healthy spiritual life and growth. However, I debate whether Compassion is called for in The Cleansing or not.
There is a difference between Pity and Compassion. I fear a great many people confuse or conveniently exchange the two. I myself, unfortunately, lack that luxury. Pity is sympathizing with someone's pain and suffering (but doing nothing). Compassion is sympathizing with someone's suffer and doing something to help alleviate it.
The question ultimately becomes, who is deserving or worthy of my Compassion?
Although I have spiritually moved beyond Christianity, I have borrowed their concept of Grace:
(Being rewarded or benefiting from something positive when you do not deserve it and have not earned it).
I'd like to believe that's part of my understanding of Compassion.
...or maybe this was the reason why those non-reciprocal and toxic relationships initially lingered of for so long.
Was my tolerance and Compassion their encouragement, their permission?
...or was my Pity the solution?