I was tagged back by Shauna over at Life on Celestial Circle. I figured that maybe I could draw that tag out into a few different posts, rather than one general post. She had some really great questions. The question that I tackle today is
What characteristic do you find yourself constantly striving for but never quite reaching?
I didn't have to think long on this one. Compassion.
The definition of compassion is: a feeling of deep sympathy and sorrow for another who is stricken by misfortune, accompanied by a strong desire to alleviate that misfortune.
It is a struggle for me. It's not that I don't feel the sympathy or sorrow for others. My struggled comes with that "strong desire" to do something about it. Mostly because I feel like whatever I do to help it really won't matter. It is a very strong, very real sense of helplessness.
It wasn't always this way. In my life I have witnessed much struggling and sorrow within my own family. In the past I have tried to step in and help, tried to alleviate the suffering. In doing so it seemed to be made clear to me over and over, no matter my words, no matter what my actions, no matter how many tears I would cry for and with people, nothing changed. The pain and the suffering were still there.
After time, and time, and time again of trying and flailing and failure upon failure something happened. Something broke deep down inside of me. I can pretty much pinpoint the day and the occurrences that led up to that point but I won't go into that. There are times when I have difficulty summoning up sympathy. I have to dig deep to find it some days. Sorrow is still my companion. It comes and sits quietly beside me. Sympathy and Compassion do not come unless called upon for a long period of times and sometimes they don't arrive unless I scream.
I am acutely, aware that I lack this particular characteristic. I strive to look at life and others, especially those closest to me, with more compassion but I always find myself falling short. I will continue to strive for more compassion in my life because I am keenly aware of how important it is.
I hope and pray for the day when Compassion and Sympathy will sit on either side of me, pushing Sorrow to the edge of the couch. Hopefully that day will come when they will take me by the hand, soften my heart, and lead and direct me to help those who are suffering.
And maybe, just maybe that time it will make a difference.