Having Trouble Understanding Care in One's Heart vs Action

couragetogrow

Not Active
Interested to hear how others distinguish between love in their hearts and action. This is somewhat related to my last post.

Beginning to wonder if my not being able to separate the two is what's contributing to my confusion/guilt...and resentment and I realize resentment hurts me and indirectly others which is not my intention.

Example: a loved one makes a criminal offense...i understand why, empathize, forgive them but the matter at hand still needs to be addressed. The criminal might argue that justice served is not loving because they had x, y, z excuse to perform criminal action...i feel guilt. this explains how i felt when i called the police on my brother to protect my life.

Example 2: I don't talk to my parents because it contributes negatively to my mental health..i don't have the bandwidth to engage with them w/o at some point losing my grip on reality...i've tried to prove myself wrong...kept happening and in the worst case my physical safety was at risk. I forgive them, want the best for them, try to understand, but can't and in their eyes I hate them.

The thing is - I get why they would feel this way. The action doesn't seem to line up with the claim. It's like I get a cognitive dissonance around this to where I start to question if I even know how to relate effectively, which is not helpful in any part of my life...second-guessing my behavior is like professional suicide in my career field.

Working w/my therapist on this. She thinks I take too much of others' responsibility on me, but I can't unsee the other's side. I realize that this pro-enabling bad behavior bias is part of how I was raised to think...to excuse the dysfunctional behavior of my parents that was giving them so much gratification...but I can't seem to separate loving action for myself in extreme situations w/o feeling like I'm throwing the other into a lion's den or an abyss.

Would love to hear if anyone's felt similar and how they've managed w/o internalizing feeling like a shitty person.

Thanks for reading.
 

Sideways

Moderator
She thinks I take too much of others' responsibility on me, but I can't unsee the other's side.
Can you separate these two things?

For example: I'm very empathetic. But I also take on responsibility that isn't mine, which is unhelpful (the second part needs work, the first part is a super crazy helpful trait).

Personally? The ability to understand the shades of grey that occur from human to human, the nuances that motivate people to act in ways that we wouldn't, that we might disagree with reeeeally strongly - that's an incredibly helpful skill to have. It gives you an edge relating to people, and will enable you to communicate effectively and productively with a whole range of people that cross your path.

Understanding where someone else is coming from doesn't have to mean also taking on their shit, or even agreeing with their shit. That's a self confidence and personal boundaries issue, and in my mind, you could work on those issues without compromising your capacity (and inclination) to understand people.

There's a degree of respect that underlies our communication with a person that we can empathise with: I understand why you did that, and while I don't agree with what you did, it makes sense to me. Any conversation can comes from that space has a much better chance of being a productive conversation. I wouldn't give up that skill. But fine tune your ability to hold healthy boundaries, sure. And build self confidence, so that when confronted with someone who ticks differently to you, you don't waver in knowing where you stand, what you believe, and what you value.
 

arfie

MyPTSD Pro
an exercise i use to help me untangle those fuzzy lines is separating my feelings from the facts.

Example: a loved one makes a criminal offense...i understand why, empathize, forgive them

fact: a criminal offense was committed.
feelings: understanding, empathy and forgiveness.

from there i begin to look at my reactions vs actions

example 2: i don't talk to my parents because they negatively impact my mental health.

reaction: the negative impact on my mental health
action: i don't talk to my parents.
 

couragetogrow

Not Active
And build self confidence, so that when confronted with someone who ticks differently to you, you don't waver in knowing where you stand, what you believe, and what you value.
Thanks, @Sideways. This resonates. I think I have these moments of "where do I stand?" Like the empathy affects my judgement of my action. Def building that surety in myself I see is key.


reaction: the negative impact on my mental health
action: i don't talk to my parents.
If I may ask, how do you cope with judging your actions as good or bad? I feel sure in my decision, but at times like it's the morally wrong one and shaming myself is very unhelpful.
 

arfie

MyPTSD Pro
how do you cope with judging your actions as good or bad? I feel sure in my decision, but at times like it's the morally wrong one and shaming myself is very unhelpful.

i work on not being judgmental, in general, across the board, especially when judging myself and my mental health issues. self-judging, self-shaming and self-castigating are beyond unhelpful. they are clearly and undisputedly destructive. outwardly projected, judgement, shame-peddling and vigilante punishment are silly, at best. i'd rather not speculate on the "at worst' scenarios.

when i can leave my judge's gavel in the closet, i very often find that some of my "wrongs" were miraculous gifts gone awry. it is all to easy to throw proverbial babies out with the moral bathwater. for certain, healing is far more possible in a healing center than a courtroom.
 
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