Last Updated on August 22, 2016 by Cindy Bekesi
Only those who have suffered can truly understand what suffering feels like.
If you grew up in a home with domestic violence, you understand suffering. Because
you endured this pain and fear as a child, you have a unique gift: an enormous capacity for compassion.
You Are Uniquely Designed
You have endured far more hardship in childhood than most people will ever have to face. You know what it’s like to feel extraordinary pain, and this allows you to understand how others feel when they are hurting.
As world-renowned psychotherapist Cloé Madenes puts it, “People who experience an injustice in childhood, one brought on by their parents, feel a spiritual pain that shapes the unconscious. Because of what they experienced, they are able to reach a plane that few humans can, a level of understanding, resilience, and compassion that resides deep inside them.”
Self-Compassion Must Come First
You cannot have compassion for others until you feel compassion for yourself. This self-compassion will arise from learning the truth behind what you experienced.
The injustice you faced as a child was not your fault: the adults most responsible for your care, support, and security should nt have put you in a position to be hurt, and it was never your job to stop it. You were vulnerable and powerless, and someone should have taken away your pain. Once you realize this truth, you will be able to feel compassion for yourself.
Self-Compassion Creates Compassion for Others
The self-compassion you develop will then lead to compassion for others, especially towards those who hurt you. It takes deep “compassion to rise above our own pain and recognize that the people who have hurt us are often deeply wounded themselves.” (Invincible) You will be able to respond with empathy and compassion to anyone who is suffering, and your sympathy for them will be accompanied by a strong desire to alleviate their pain.
Compassion is Within You
This unique capacity for compassion lies deep within all children of domestic violence. It is a special gift you earned in exchange for the price you paid as a child.Once you open yourself up to the Truths behind your childhood experiences, these profound traits of empathy and compassion will come naturally to you: you will be able to feel self-compassion, and give that compassion freely to others. Remember, you have reached a plane that few humans can.