when you don't feel compassion

When I was a child my Dad had back to back assignments with the U.S.Army in Germany. My parents held high the value of travel and also the appreciation of both culture and creation. This desire meant that my weekends and holidays were spent exploring all of Europe in our Dodge camper. My Dad would always joke that if they left me alone in a city, I would return home with every homeless beggar and stray animal I met along the way .  I was constantly pleading to my parents for money to give. I just could not ignore the needs of others around me. As a child the desperation of people in need would bring me to tears. To answer this longing of my heart, at the start of each trip my parents would give me a set amount of coins that I was able to donate to whomever I wanted. There was never enough change in the bag. 

When I see someone hurting, my soul aches. It's my make up and this personality trait has guided much of the course of my life. I came to motherhood with the expectation that everyone just naturally feels the same way. God has blessed me with a tribe of little people who are all very unique. Some of them are naturally compassionate and some of them, well, they just aren't. 

You cannot teach someone to feel compassion. You can provide opportunities to practice compassion, but you cannot make someone feel something. Believe me, I have tried and seen the futility in that pursuit. It becomes especially difficult when you are training someone who struggles with social cues and emotional connections. We ARE making breakthroughs because I changed directions in my teaching. We do not act because we feel something, we act because it is a choice to love. God IS love and when we chose to obey and surrender then we can also choose to Love. And so we can choose to be.....
not jealous
not arrogand
to not act unbecomingly
to not be selfish
to not be easily angered
to let go of wrongs
to rejoice only in truth and not evil

to bear all things, to believe all things, to hope all things

Just because we do not feel compassion does not mean we cannot act in a compassionate way.  Just because we feel anger does not mean we have to act in a hurtful way.  It has become my mommy mantra. I do not know if my children will ever feel the emotion of compassion, but I will do everything I can to teach them what love looks like in action regardless of the what they are feeling inside.

To all my fellow mamas in the trenches, much love to you. 


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