So often, we think we have to put up with behaviour that is the result of someone else’s unintegrated pain because we “know their story”. We know how much they hurt back then. We know the needs they didn’t have met in their family of origin or in their last relationship. So we condone and explain away unacceptable behaviour based on the belief that “they can’t do any better because of their past”. And we may even unconsciously hold ourselves up on a self-righteous pedestal for being such “compassionate”, or “loving” partners and friends (usually there is a sneaky form of martyrdom in there).
Here’s the thing though: putting up with unacceptable behaviour has less to do with true “compassion” for someone else’s pain, and much more to do with our own leaky boundaries, underlying feelings of unworthiness/unlovability (to name a few), and unhealed pain from our own past.
Otherwise, we would know we deserved better. Right?
I’m not saying not to have compassion for other people’s journeys……it’s super important, and in fact, is where healing starts. But when someone doesn’t show any interest in personal growth, or working through the shit they’re constantly projecting onto us……the ball is in our court. Remember, we can have compassion for where they come from, AND act in way that honours and upholds our own integrity. However we hold onto ourselves is up to us……just remember that true “compassion” doesn’t involve throwing ourselves away in relationship. This is just our own old story talking.
Because healing is a decision. We choose whether the pain we experienced in our family system is an end point (“I will forever remain a product or victim of my environment”) or whether it’s a starting point for acceptance, integration and change. And we can’t force someone else to go inward. All we can do is take care of ourselves, and learn to love others in a way that honours both us and them.