Someone hasn’t had sex in 1 year.
And then I laughed.
I laughed because I haven’t seen “any” in 3 years
The only acceptable response to this revelation is “Cheesus Christ!!! I can’t even!!!”.
Yes. That is the only acceptable response.
It is not, however, the response I actually get from friends and such.
The response I do get is “Blah Mary, quit your whining, blah, no big deal”.
So now we have to talk about compassion
Compassion is the ability to say “Cheesus Christ!!!” in the face of pain.
Is the ability to recognise that the pain is, indeed, painful. No ifs, no buts, no coconuts.
Is the ability to recognise the pain and say “I’m sorry“.
We are all compassion deficient
None of us has experienced enough compassion. None of us knows how to give compassion to ourselves.
And so we get into compassion vicious circles. Such as this.
- I don’t get any compassion despite not having seen “any” for 3 years; therefore, I won’t have compassion for someone who hasn’t seen any for 1 year.
- The person who hasn’t had any sex for 1 year doesn’t get any compassion; therefore they won’t have compassion for the person who hasn’t had any for 4 months.
- The person who hasn’t had any for 4 months doesn’t get any compassion; therefore, they won’t have any compassion for the person who has just broken up with their partner.
- The person who has just broken up with their partner doesn’t get any compassion; therefore they won’t have any compassion for the person who just moved in with their partner and discovered that they leave their socks on the floor.
Do you see how it works?
Before you know it, nobody gets any compassion, and nobody has any compassion for anyone else.
And then we live in a compassion-less world. Which sucks.
So… What do we do?
I won’t tell you to start having compassion for everyone. It’s way too much to ask of people as starved of compassion as we all are in this culture.
I will give you 2 universal truths.
- ALL PAIN IS LEGITIMATE ALWAYS
You can tattoo this somewhere on your brain. It’s an absolute truth.
There isn’t pain that is “more legitimate” or “less legitimate”. All pain is legitimate.
This runs so against our culture, that it might take you years to absorb.
Everywhere you turn there’s people putting a value to pain. And diminishing their own pain, because “who am I to complain, when there are people who have it so much worse”.
A noble intention, but a misguided one. Because you need to…
- GIVE COMPASSION TO YOURSELF FIRST
Trust me, you won’t have compassion for anyone else until you have compassion for yourself.
Compassion is infinite. The more compassion we have for ourselves, the more compassion we have for others.
Our culture teaches us to ignore our pain and keep pushing because “it’s not so bad”. So everyone walks around with a huge chip on their shoulder about how their pain is not so bad to merit complaining about… “Who am I to complain when I have so and so”.
Actually, the more compassion we have for our own pain, the more we have for other people’s pain.
And if we don’t give ourselves compassion, we will have none to give others.
We will end up thinking “they shouldn’t be complaining, they have so and so, their pain is not so bad” etc. It becomes a vicious circle, and nobody ever gets what they need in the end.
If you’re wondering “how on EARTH do I give compassion to myself!” then I have advice:
- Get Kristin Neff’s meditations or
- Say “I’m sorry, sweetie” to yourself 20 times a day. Whenever something hurts at all.
Self-compassion, self-compassion always
The more you have for yourself, the more you will have for others.
And maybe one day I will be able to have compassion towards people who haven’t had “any” in 1 measly year…
For now, though, I’m gonna keep giving myself compassion.