25 Comments
Jan 19, 2023Liked by Renee Faber

beautiful summary of "feelings"- we are all human and staying away from people who have

little compassion or understanding might be the best way to handle unfriendly situations. Let it pass and not fester-yep- difficult

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Yes, the wise thing to do. So difficult, indeed!

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Jan 28, 2023Liked by Renee Faber

Such a thought-provoking post. Thank you, as always, for sharing your light with us all. I'm sorry you were hurt—it always catches me when people are mean, but I have said exactly the same to my daughter growing up, that hurt people hurt. Of course, we can show compassion but there is also a line when protecting ourselves. A precarious dance sometimes! I will be pondering your words for some time, dear Renee. Thank you.

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Thank you, Alice, for your kindness.

I love how you have passed your wise words onto your daughter. It's empowering to learn compassion for others and self so young.

After pondering all of the wisdom in this thread, it is becoming clear the need to distinguish compassion for others and compassion for self. They can be in harmony, but not when self-compassion is sacrificed!

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I cannot fathom what kind of an adult humiliates someone on the basis of their looks, perhaps the one who never grew up! Totally despicable!

Thank you for reminding us of this crucial yet extraordinarily difficult practice of detaching from the actions of others and identifying the real roots of their actions.

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It never fails to surprise me to be confronted, or to witness someone else being confronted, by such behavior. Truly, Swarna, it confuses me!

In these moments when compassion is difficult to practice, having others help hold our compass is akin to morning sunshine hitting the side our face after a cold night. This is one reason I'm so thankful for this publication, which I continue to hope will be a support for us all.

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The inevitability of our work emerges when such confrontations happen in the outside world. And you are right hence we created such spaces to fall into, to express our exhaustions and be understood by those who experience the same.

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Beautifully stated. This points to what we've said in response to one of your amazing essays months ago--the play of opposites...the inevitable yin and yang... and from the muck, emerges the lotus. The reality of it, I must admit, still frustrates despite the peace that pulses inside.

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It does Renee, speaking from my own experiences, it is hard to say, but I’ll still say it regardless - most people in the world do not deserve our kindness or sympathy. When such circumstances arise and it becomes essential for my own protection to choose, I choose to practice detachment and building boundaries so that their actions have no power over me from that moment onwards till the end of time. Please know that if you need to cut someone off from your life because they are toxic, you need nobody’s approval or permission, nor do you owe them any explanation. Choose your tribe!

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Sometimes looking after yourself and prioritising your sanity are the most spiritual things that you could do.

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It's vital to understand boundaries. I believe that is a form of self compassion.

Thank you, Swarna, for offering these words, they have much depth and add important layers to the difficulty of unkindness.

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Happy to be a part of this journey to forgiveness and detachment dear friend!

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Jan 19, 2023Liked by Renee Faber

exactly

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This topic struck me a lot this week, thank you for this post :)

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Thank you for taking the time to read. Personally, this idea of hurt people hurt people helps keep me rooted, though it is more difficult for me to stay in equanimity the more destructive actions from hurt people become. It's a practice, one I'm still learning.

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Definitely easier said than done. It’s a constant reminder and practice to not fall into that cycle.

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Absolutely. When that sting of unkindness hits, oh boy, it's so difficult to remember the cycle!

Thank you for reading, Israel, and adding to the conversation. :)

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This post shook me.

It lingers in my mind daily, creeping into normal activities.

Thank you for sharing this post. It is helpful to healing.

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It's a difficult thing to do--to actually feel compassion when our mind/hearts are hurting. The Dalai Lama has said that when someone is unkind to us it is a shock because our basic nature is loving-kindness. I think about this in regards to people who hurt others. I imagine they do so because they have been hurt somehow deeply and their reaction is to lash out to the world.

As I just replied to Terry Freedman below, I'm finally learning compassion with boundaries, or having compassion but knowing when to allow another to be in my more personal world. I'm a slow learning on that front.

Thank you, Phia for responding and I send you so much light of healing.

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Jan 23, 2023Liked by Renee Faber

There is so much hurting happening. It is pervasive and persistent.

Sometimes, there are layers of hurt that have been laid down for generations. & sometimes we can even be doing it to ourselves, shaming ourselves for imperfection.

I didn't start granting myself compassion until I had learn to grant it to others. With practice, it gets easier to recognize hurt in others, but it is much more difficult to recognize when we are hurting our self.

It is also much more difficult to stop hurting ourselves even if we recognize it.

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So well stated. Layers of hurt is a profound imagery, and shame is a big hurdle, especially for introspective people. I'm going to sit with your words in contemplation.

Thank you, Phia, for your thoughtful responses.

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I've no idea why anyone would wish to make fun of your looks, or why they would think it appropriate to do so. My experience of people who that sort of thing (I've had the same in various ways) is that they say it in a way that if you object they accuse you of having no sense of humour. It's a kind of bullying. Well, kudos to you for having compassion for them, but that doesn't mean you have to put up with them. I've actually dropped some friendships because after giving them the benefit of the doubt time and again i finally decided that self-preservation was more important. See, for example, https://terryfreedman.substack.com/p/language-and-self

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It's always a strange experience, especially at my age. I thought maturity progressed as we moved through the years. I'm finally learning the lesson of compassion with boundaries. (Took a few decades too long for that lesson to take root!)

I just pulled up your article and about to dive into it. I, too, have released friendships for similar reasons.

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When I was a child I longed to be an adult because grown ups don't fight. How naive was that!

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And that's why the innocence of children is so heartwarming. :) I wish you had been right!

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