Considering the boundaries between compassion and patience with mistakes and lazily making excuses for patterns of behavior.
I looked myself in the mirror and wondered, am I one of those “bad people” out there. One of those people that parents warn their children about. Someone who hurts people intentionally. Someone who only thinks of themselves. Someone who lacks empathy to other’s pain. Someone who lies. Someone who doesn’t really care.
I’ve made mistakes. I can forgive myself for being human. I like to think I am brave for being strong enough to push myself to the edges of what I am comfortable with in life. That gives me the opportunity to make mistakes. I have given myself opportunities to be great, and because of that, I have made great big mistakes.
There is a space between accepting mistakes as learning, or repeating mistakes to creating bad habits.
How many mistakes am I allowed? How many times can I learn from the same mistake?
Good and bad. Are they too binary? Too black and white? When does the grey actions turn too dark to be compassionate towards? How many euphemism can I go through before I am just an ass hole.
I believe we are always learning and growing. That process involves making mistakes and failing.
When I was a younger woman, I remember telling my Dad to never apologize to me again, because I was sick of hearing it. I looked him straight in the face and told him I didn't accept his apology, because after a few times of the same apology for the same mistake, it is no longer a mistake but a choice. And if you make a choice that you think is wrong, then you shouldn’t ask for an apology because you should be sorry for your repeated choices.
I remember he heard me deeply. And I don't remember him apologizing anymore.
What if I were to hold myself to the same logic and standards as my younger self kept other people accountable for? What would I say to myself now?
I have grown to see the complexity of situations. Now I am compassionate to hurts and sensitive to motives. Is this a positive quality, to put up with negative behavior because the intentions were not bad? Is a bad act really a bad act?
The United States Justice system thinks to think so. With more people imprisoned than any other industrialized nation, it seems that we have all collectively agreed that a crime is a crime. No if, ands, or buts. Al Capone and most other criminals would beg to differ. Most consider themselves just doing what was necessary, or a stupid mistake. Just because something is against the law, does it make it bad? Humans rationalize: It keeps us sane and feeling good.
I am not trying to emotionally imprison myself with guilt, but I do want to cut my own crap and start making positive changes. And that starts with breaking up with my old habits and seeing them for what they are - bad habits.