I had an interesting revelation today and one that I am pretty sure isn’t going to excite you very much. If anything, it is more likely to incite you.
When I wrote my “When I see you, I see me” post, I shared that it was through seeing others that I was able to see myself. I saw the good, the bad, the ugly in both of us. I saw the vulnerable, the needy, the strengths and the limitations for us both.
When I become angry about something someone else does, eventually, I come back around to seeing myself in something they have done. At that point, and at that point only, I have compassion, love and understanding for them instead of anger.
At that point, I also feel compelled to look at that aspect of myself to see how I can be more aware of it to avoid behaving or thinking of behaving in similar ways as those that spurred my anger to begin with.
I have a dark or shadow side. We all do. We don’t always act on it. We aren’t always even aware of it, nor do we always acknowledge that it exists. I may write about my ability to shift my perspective, but I am shifting it from the shadows into the light of day.
I choose to do this because I prefer the light of day, quite frankly, over the darkness. I share it with you because I believe you, too, prefer it and strive to stay in the light of day instead of in the shadows.
I think we can all agree on these points. I share the rest, in hopes that it merely incites some reflection and pause.
Would you think I had gone mad if I said that I felt compassion, love and understanding for the shooter in the recent tragedy in Newtown? If I said that I could see my own darkness in his darkness, would you tell me I had lost it?
“When I see you, I see me” applies just as much to him in this situation—at least I think it does to the best of my understanding. Doesn’t it?
My love and compassion for the shooter does not at all take away from the love and compassion I feel for the families and the community of Newtown. In fact, it seems to expand it.
More of my energy is going in their direction because it isn’t competing as much with my outrage over the tragedy. (Notice I said “as much” because I too still haven’t stopped feeling the outrage.)
It doesn’t change my feelings about the broken systems in our country, but it does allow me some clarity about what role I can play in helping to create change within those broken systems.
When I see you, I see me. No matter what you’ve done.
- A Compassionate Warrior (amandamain.wordpress.com)