How deep does it go?

I often talk to clients about love being abundent - ie its like a bottomless pit.  Until recently though, I have never really thought about whether this applies to all emotions.  Do some emotions have depths of reserves that may actually be quite shallow??

I have been running my own little experiment around compassion.  Is it also abundent or just how deep are my reserves? And so far it is looking pretty positive!  There is a 'but' though!

My relationship with my father has been 'interesting'.  The mind has a way of prioritising the good memories over the bad but I am all too aware of a pretty big file lodged away in the back of my mind that I choose not to refer to often of 'not so good' memories.  In recent months however, the file has grown somewhat. 

Dad decided to use me as his target for his anger and at one point even told me I no longer had a father and he disowned me.  When that didn't get the desired response, he thought threatening suicide and blaming me may get a rise - and to be fair, it did!  

And through all this I have been wondering, "How deep does my compassion go?"

And the answer is, I have not come to the bottom yet!  My conclusion at the moment is that I am not caring for him because he is my Dad.  I am looking out for him because I aim to be a decent human being and he is a sad and lonely old man.   Just as we have different categories of love;  the love for a partner, different to the love of friends, different to the love of our children, - I believe there are different categories of compassion and the one that fits here is to 'just do the right thing' for a fellow human being.

Phase two of the experiment brought forgiveness into the mix - now there is an interesting one!  Is the ability to forgive endless?

The experiment on that is still running and so far the answer I am moving towards is 'No'.  There are some things that I feel that I can't ever forgive him for - like leaving Mum to be on her own when she was told she was terminally ill.  Doing what I do however, I know that nursing negative emotions is very destructive.  My working strategy at the moment is to acknowledge that he did not go to that appointment for his own reasons.  They were his reasons, not mine and his conscious will have to deal with that.  And therefore the best thing I can do is to make sure that I learn from his mistakes and do all I can to be the best partner, the best Mum, the best human being I can be.  It's still a developing strategy but one that feels much better than dwelling on my lack of abundent forgiveness!

This is a tough time for many people.  I hope that what I am sharing through my experiences helps others to have insights into their own feelings, see their own situations differently.  If this article has helped you, please let me know by commenting below.  Or if you would like to talk to me about your own concerns, I would love to hear from you.

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