“Compassion is all inclusive. Compassion knows no boundaries. Compassion comes with awareness, and awareness breaks all narrow territories” -Amit Ray
I learned a hard lesson this week. I met someone that, for reasons I don’t yet fully understand about myself, became very important to me in a short amount of time. It’s hard for me to write this post because I plan to explore some of my own issues as I write it. I have found myself often latching onto people that I think need saving, and how presumptuous of me to think that I, in all my fucked up glory have anything to offer these people, right? What makes me more “together” than these souls I find myself longing to help somehow?
Nothing. This is what I’m starting to see. But let’s take a break from me for a moment and get back to the soul in question. I’ve become taken with this person because of this very intense dichotomy I noticed pretty early on between the outward presentation and the inward reality. On the surface, the world is seeing a messy, quirky, open-minded person that seems unfazed by all of the misfortunes they’ve experienced/brought upon themselves. Yet within just a few hours, this facade shattered to reveal someone that is so intensely sad, it makes me think of a tragic statue in a rainy courtyard.
I sensed this overwhelming air of defeat and fragility, and as I dug deeper and deeper into this person (because I’m a pushy, ignorant, brat), I just found more and more complications. I figured that this overwhelming need to protect that I was feeling would be the driving force in the others in their life as well, but I was shocked to find the opposite to be true! This shattered, broken person I saw to be so obviously screaming for love and acceptance and help, was treated by their peers in a way that worsened my attachment to the idea of saving them. How could they not see it? How can they be so cruel to someone that’s so broken?
Back to me for a spell. My internal dialogue starts going into overdrive. Am I falling into a trap? Am I so utterly insightful that I’m seeing through all the bullshit these other people are blinded by and seeing the true person underneath, making me their only hope? Or am I the ignoramus that is falling for this person’s instinctual manipulative behavior that gets them the attention they want? What am I risking with either direction.. on the one hand I could make a real difference in somebody’s life that really needs it. On the other, I look like an idiot when it turns out they were right all along and I played right into it.
With this particular case, I risked my intellectualism and dignity and did everything I could to make it clear I wanted to help, to be this person with which they could crack it all open and feel accepted. Spoiler alert: it didn’t work. I’m still not sure whether my assessment of this person is correct.. but I know now that whether it was all an act or not.. they didn’t want to be helped. Or maybe they did, and then changed their mind.
I think there are a lot of these people out there, that don’t want to be helped. Maybe they’re comfortable in their misery, or too scared of what it will be like to live with accountability for their actions and feelings. Whatever it is, I feel true sorrow for them. Everyone should have at least one person in their lives that allows them to be exactly who they are all of the time, who makes them feel adequate and accepted. I don’t think I’ll ever stop trying to help these people, for whatever reasons about myself in which I remain naïve, but one day it’s going to work. I firmly believe that my incessant digging and meddling will one day pay off by helping that one person that wants it.
Is this the right ending to this post? Or am I supposed to end it with the very stereotypical Millennial response of “time to let it go and start caring for myself instead”.
Thanks for unpacking all of that with me, you guys are the best,