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Thursday, 23 February 2012

A Compassionate Letter

This could be harder than I first thought.  Mainly because, so far as I can see, compassion appears to consist of the following things:
1. Making excuses for things that you do wrong.  Compassion as modelled to me by others seemed to spend an awful lot of time 'explaining away' mistakes and 'bad behaviour' by offering reasons for why it was that way.  Along the lines of "it is difficult to be assertive in the situation that you're in at work and so sometimes passivity is a valid means of dealing with things, you shouldn't beat yourself up over it."
2. Affecting symapthy where there is none.  That is, the idea that one could feel sympathetic to someone displaying behaviour that offered no chance to empathise.  "I know that you have had some bad experiences and so it is natural to respond in ways that would be inappropriate to society as you have not had the proper behaviour modelled." (this one also repeats point 1)
3. A belief that one is not responsible for one's own transgressions, that there is no consequence that is 'natural' from a given action.  I'm not sure I like this one, it stinks of moral relativism.

Then there's the problem of who I'm addressing this to.  Okay, that's supposed to be myself.  But is that me as I am now?  Me as I was a few years ago?  Me as a child?  What on Earth do I have to say to myself that I don't already know?  The last time I tried to be compassionate to myself I just said stuff that I already knew and had to really restrain myself from adding "but" to everything.  What is the point of saying "Being angry is a natural response, so there's no shame in it" when what I want to follow it with "but you know that and the more important part of this is not getting angry in the first place because it never goes well!"

My Blog: Happiness
The Internet
Dear Joanna,

First of all, take comfort from the fact that I know. Everything, I know everything that you know. I know about the fact that you feel selfish and self-obsessed, and I know that you are.  You are right when you feel that you don't pay attention to other people, you don't, and that's to be expected.  Doesn't make it right, but it does mean that you can't really escape it either.  You were ignored a lot as a child, not ignored like neglected or ignored more than most children of your generation but you were ignored.  It was taken as read that your opinion was unimportant and that your needs were more wants that could safely not be met as long as your parents got some time to themselves or just had a break from your crying, whinging, whining and inability to ask for anything politely.  For that reason it is no surprise that you are unable to pay attention to your wife when she talks to you or your children when looking after them.

I know that you find work difficult and pressured.  I know that you want to quit, as that is the only defence mechanism that you have, but also feel trapped by the fact that quitting would leave you with nothing.  You make mistakes, we all do, and sometimes those mistakes are costly.  Provided that you avoid making the same mistakes I guess that means you learn from them and so that is potentially a good thing.  You bought a house at the height of the housing boom, and it was over-priced then, and you crashed your car at precisely the moment that your wife actually trusted you enough at the wheel to drop off.  In both cases there is nothing you can do to make the situation 'right' and so worrying about it is counter-productive.  Paying financially for those mistakes is what keeps you at your job, and so it is natural to feel frustrated and resentful.

I know that you resent your children.  You resent the fact that they get a better experience than you did when you were their age and they don't appreciate it.  You resent the fact that your wife practically ignores you in a physicasl sense.  You are upset when she says that you want something that she cannot see a way to give you.  You are upset that there is very little in the way of physicality between you.  But you can't keep using her comments as a stick to beat yourself with.  Who cares that the last time she had sex with you, and it wasn't making loves, was done with the stated aim of "stopping you complaining because it's been nearly two years"?  Of course these things hurt your ego but what do you realistically expect?

I'm sorry that you feel that you are hard done to and hurt by the world around you, but you aren't and you're whining.  It should not surprise you that other people care little for you, your position or your feelings when you care so little for yourself.  Be a little less of a shit stain on the underpants of the Universe, quit moping and wallowing in your own self-pity, grow a pair and fucking get on with your life.

Fuck you,


I guess I'll have to try again later when I'm less tired.

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All comments are welcome, I have a thicker skin virtually than I do in real life!