I couldn’t even handle watching movies where someone was hurt, made fun of or rejected.
I could literally feel their pain (even though they weren’t real!). I remember when I watched “Never Been Kissed” for the first time. My insides hurt for Josie when she got egged. One of my friends that I was watching with actually laughed at the scene. I was so appalled that you would think that had happened to me on my prom night (it didn’t).
Any time I watched that movie after that first time, I couldn’t even watch this scene.
It was just too awful and too sad.
Anyone that has known me within the past 10 years or so probably wouldn’t even be able to believe that about me.
Somewhere along the way, I lost my compassion.
In some ways, I think I couldn’t handle carrying that type of deep empathy for other people, not even Grossy Josie!
Caring so deeply about other people’s misfortunes was just too much. So, I stopped caring so much.
I wasn’t completely heartless. I think I just let the “rational” part of me take over (did I just call myself rational?).
Instead of feeling sympathy or empathy, I “helped” by finding solutions and encouraging (sometimes forcing) personal responsibility.
There’s nothing wrong with solutions or taking personal responsibility, these are both good and necessary. However, I had replaced compassion with problem solving.
Again, it’s not that I didn’t care. I just found a different way to care. One that didn’t make me feel so deeply.
To avoid feeling the pain of compassion, I showed my care through asking how can this be fixed and how can this be avoided in the future.
The problem with this is, as a Christ-follower, I am called to be compassionate. I am supposed to strive to be like Christ.
And He was (is) compassionate.
He was driven by compassion for others. So much so that it compelled Him to the pain of the cross.
Through the experience of my pregnancy, I have rediscovered compassion. My sympathy and empathy for others have been unearthed.
Do I still believe in solutions and personal responsibility? Absolutely!
But sometimes we just need someone to feel with us. Sometimes we need someone to feel for us.
And often times it’s easier to accept the logic when it’s preceded by compassion.