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When Compassion Looks Like a Lack of Compassion

This is going to be a tough topic to tackle, but it's something I am currently wrestling with and feel like I need to process through writing.

So here it is.

Four years ago, I read some troubling things about the "one and only true church" I had belonged to my whole life. The church that was EVERYTHING to me. These were things that I read on the church's own website that I did not feel comfortable with.

And because of this (and a few other reasons), I had to walk away.

For my own integrity and personal well-being -

I had to walk away.

And I made the decision to speak out about my perspectives and experiences on social media. These were based on things that happened to me, my beautiful family, and some of my most cherished friends because of the church system and rhetoric.

As I have done this, I have hurt people that I love.

People that still believe the things I used to believe.

These are good and loving people.

People who are serving and sharing and just trying to navigate life in the best ways they know how.

I imagine they must feel betrayed and heartbroken that I am speaking out against the very thing they love. It doesn't feel like compassion to them at all.

But I still want to speak out because I see things now that I didn't see before.

I see how the system is hurting so many people below the shiny, happy surface.

I have spent time in support groups and have witnessed the most honest, heart-wrenching stories imaginable.

All at the hands of a system I once loved and is still loved by many.

Man, it's hard.

I've had to ask myself over and over again if speaking up is the right thing.

And sometimes, I find that I go too far.

Sometimes I say things in a way that I later regret and for that I am sorry.

But in the end, all I can do is share my experiences and insights the way I have lived them.

All I can do is be honest about what I have seen and witnessed in a very real way.

All I can do is try to shine a light and speak up on behalf of the people who have been greatly harmed by a system that still seems to be working for some.

I feel so sad about the people I have hurt along the way.

And I wish I could have deeper conversations with them about it, but that never seems to work.

They don't want to talk about it.

So I'm left to swim in the sadness of the paradox.

What feels like compassion to me (speaking up for the marginalized members of society) looks like a lack of compassion to them (speaking out against a belief system they love more than anything).

It's heartbreaking.

All I can do right now is name it.

And let go of the parts I can't control.

Oh, and listen to a little of Brené Brown's insights along the way.

Being human can be so hard sometimes.

Lots of love,


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