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Illness Does Not Justify Mistreatment

Updated: Jan 1, 2022

“It’s just the way it is.”

“They didn’t choose to be sick.”

“They had a traumatic childhood.”

“They were abandoned.”

“They had poor role models.”

“They are just preoccupied with their own issues.”

“They just aren’t capable of more.”

“They’ve had a rough road.”

“They just don’t know any better.”

It’s ok, I understand.

Sometimes having a compassionate nature has been a trap for me.

I have always been more than willing to offer others permission to have their messiness. I see people’s pain easily. I see people’s messy journeys and the compensation and coping they use to deal with their battle scars and open wounds. I just have this knack for “understanding”, even without words or explanations.

And because I care, I have often excused others’ incapabilities to be there for me. Maybe they are emotionally unavailable. Maybe they are incapable of giving me the attention, affection, or recognition I have always craved. Maybe their needs consistently take the spotlight. Maybe they aren’t able to equally contribute to the relationship. Maybe their life is full of chaos and sadness, dimming my own peace and happiness.

It’s ok. I understand.

But surrounding myself with others with heightened needs, broken wings, wounds, traumas, and illnesses, had it’s cost. It took its toll on me. It suppressed me. It became really hard to look at my needs because

I don’t really need so much.

I don’t need attention as much as they do.

How dare I ask, when they are clearly struggling so much.

My needs seem silly and insignificant when I’m looking at their crisis.

So, it’s ok. I understand.

Until, I find myself apologizing for my most basic needs. I try to stay small. I try to need less.

And these are the consequences of allowing Understanding and Compassion too much space, without the balance of self-worth.

Because the truth is, no matter how much compassion I have, it does not detract from my own needs. It does not make my needs less valid. It does not make them silly.

I allowed my compassion and understanding to rob me of having any desires or feeling like I had any right to ask for what I wanted. In the end, I found I was capable of giving others SO MUCH MORE when I gave myself permission to ask for what I needed and even what I WANTED. I stopped allowing myself to be on the back burner. I stopped waiting for a turn. I stopped apologizing for what I desired.

Are you one of those big-hearted people too? Do you allow your compassion to end up suppressing your ability to ask for what you want? Are you ready to give yourself a turn?

It really is your turn now. And you don’t have to apologize for it.


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