“A moment of self-compassion can change your entire day. A string of such moments can change the course of your life.” –Christopher K. Germer
I didn’t realize it until today that I have high-functioning anxiety and compassion burnout. I came to the realization when I saw our Governor of New York, Kathy Hochul, posting about the mask mandates, on Facebook, while people were typing a barrage of hate to her. Accusations of her “stripping away the rights of NY’rs” to direct insults flew off the fingers of the social justice warriors. All over social distancing and mask mandates to stop the spread of Covid.
I asked someone, “What rights specifically has she stripped you of?” and regretted it immediately. The accusations flew at me… the flying monkeys, the narcissist’s fingers pointing… and suddenly, just like that, something changed in me. I no longer gave a damn. It bothered me, this sudden lack of compassion, the loss of empathy.
People claimed I should know everything about their issues, and that I was somehow an idiot or a sheep because I wasn’t aware of their agendas, or that somehow I was to blame for their troubles all because they couldn’t express themselves in a manner that was educational and promoted their agenda through learning moments. The only thing I learned from the constant attack was that people with empathy and sympathy be damned, people are addicted to rage, like a drug, their passion for their misery knows no boundaries – yet I do.
So, I set up the boundaries. I blocked people, and I ignored the comments. I am completely burned out. Where once there was sympathy and empathy, there’s only ignorance. Is the problem still there? Sure it is. But I’m through with being the talk therapist.
When people accuse the workers in government as being “dictators”, something that the majority on he right love to accuse the Governor and President of, what they’re really believing is that our elected officials are despots, because that’s what they supported when Donald Trump was elected President of the United States. His style of government, the authoritarian style despotism based on fear-mongering was embraced by the far right to be the hope they were looking for, their savior, someone who was going to “crack down” on all the rhetorical problems that Southern White America had been complaining about for years and felt like nobody was listening to them, especially the Democratic Party.
I’m trying to recognize the unhealthy behaviors I’ve been engaging in and correcting them the best I can to be the best person I can be. I am realizing that I have a finite amount of compassion and if I let myself, I’ll waste it on the undeserving.
“We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair;
Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed.”
2 Corinthians 4:8-9 (KJV)
Even Jesus had his moments of needing a break from people, as he’d disappear from the disciples to talk with God. So, we must also remind ourselves to take a break from the caring for others, and refill from the well.