On Compassion and the Role of Society at large with survivors of C-PTSD

As of late I seem to realize that it’s a fine line to walk between straight self pity and feeling sorry for not getting to express oneself or being the person one could have been. In other words: Grief for lost chances and lost self which are beyond one’s own choice should be o.k. – I think. Self pity is basically denying oneself the power to change things. On the other hand: I find the notion of choice overrated and there are experiences, events and outcomes of the first that are beyond one’s personal choice. I often see and read people advocating choice or promoting the “let go of that which doesn’t serve you” concept. Fair enough. However and recently, I have come across a MULTITUDE of examples and people, whose new choices aren’t exactly the result of free will. They may be the NEXT BEST THING to that, but they aren’t exactly voluntary. Understanding this is a question of personal respect for persons who have been affected by things at a time in their lives, when they found themselves overwhelmed and overpowered – and are likely to process these outcomes for a long time, if not the rest of their lives. The way I have come to see it, compassion actually goes BEYOND understanding and saying “I’ve been there, too”. Compassion in that sense is saying “I feel you, I’m here for you”, even when the underlying reasons can’t be understood or the actual experiences leading up to the outcomes were not personally made. Compassion of that kind is very, very rare to find IMHO and according to my experience.
I think there could and should be an awareness month for people, whose problems you may never fully understand, but who need and deserve respect and compassion like anyone else who struggles with something.

Ed Gavagan: A story about knots and surgeons | Video on TED.com.


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