Monday, December 6, 2004

Compassion or Co-dependence?

From Boundaries and Relationships. Knowing, Protecting and Enjoying the Self by Charles L. Whitfield M.D.

Compassion is a feeling that is also a evolved and useful state of consciousness, probably second only to feeling Unconditional Love. But it can sometimes be difficult to differentiate true compassion from the simple and trapping passion of active co-dependence, where there are usually unhealthy boundaries.

Have you ever been moved by someone's story? We feel a similar empathy and passion in both compassion and active co-dependence. But in true compassion we feel warm and caring and yet do not feel compelled to jump in and rescue, fix or try to heal them. We are still there for people if they reach out to us in any way; but we are secure enough in ourself not to try to use fixing them to fill our own emptiness.