Saturday, May 11, 2024

May 11--Working Compassion

Compassion is an unstable emotion. It needs to be translated into action, or it withers.  --Susan Sontag

    Often when I am lap-swimming there is a water exercise class underway, and the teacher plays old oldies. Stuck in my brain now are these lyrics performed by Lesley Gore:
It's my party and I'll cry if I want to, 
cry if I want to,
cry if I want to.
You would cry too if it happened to you. 
    I comically note this as the theme song of self-pity. Unfortunately, I do hang out there sometimes. 
    But back to compassion. This word makes me think of my mother (Mother's Day weekend, huh!). It took a long time for me to come to a place of compassion toward her. She was a food addict and codependent and passed on those modes of operation to me. I feel great compassion toward her because she was never able to see those things in herself, and even if she had sought help, there was nothing available in the boondocks of Pennsylvania at the time. I translated that compassion into action by joining a 12-Step program to address my addictions. I could have carried on like my mother and killed myself with food. 
    Compassionate action makes options available to those who need them,

Oh, baby, love that hairstyle!!!

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