A memory. A child, maybe 8 year-old, maybe 10 or 12; helping my dad fix one thing or another at the bathroom. He gives me an instruction, and I misunderstand what he means. My father bursts in anger, possibly calling me a name. I contract in fear. An emotional scar is created; scar as a result of being scared. No wonder scar and scared seem related.
My father passed away forty years ago. He was a good and kind person, and not one to lose his temper easily. I have no doubt that whatever instruction I didn’t understand, didn’t deserve his furious response. But now, as a grown man, I can find compassion. My father was likely carrying weight from other events in his life, and that minor misunderstanding was the straw, the one last frustration that made him burst. God know how many time since then, I have been in that very same situation.
I find compassion towards my younger self, scared, not sure what I did wrong to bring about such anger; compassion for my contracting heart, a heart that, despite such events, learned to open.
I find compassion towards myself as a young father, making similar mistakes with my own children. Not yet knowing to identify the pressure building within, and finding ways to funnel it without scarring others. I hadn’t the maturity; I was still evolving; still am.
I find compassion towards my kids, for experiencing me at moments of frustration and anger. I am sorry. I only hope I haven’t scarred you deeply and that you would learn faster than I did, so that when you have kids, you would act better.
All that being said, I am good with this emotional scar. Like most scars, it is there to serve as a reminder; a reminder if I only chose to look and remember its lesson. This scars serves me as a guide, a road-sign, on the long and winding road from immaturity to compassion.