May 17, 2021
Returning To Compassion
‘Schadenfreude,’ the pleasure derived from another person’s misfortune, is an entirely human, natural emotion. Especially if it concerns a person by whom we have felt victimized, betrayed and misrepresented. It should also be an emotion that shakes us up a little bit, though. It alerts us to the power we’ve given this person over our spiritual landscape. It’s a signal that we’ve allowed something to pull us away from Compassion. We’ve let the Shadow out to play.
Everyone has a Shadow. There’s no shame in the Shadow. It’s simply important to recognize the feelings that come from the Shadow-place and to understand what their purpose is.
Schadenfreude is a Shadow-emotion. It’s petty, vindictive and self-gratifying. It’s there to boost our Ego and make us feel good in a cheap, easy way. It exists in the Shadows of our subconscious and pokes its head out when our defenses are down.
As I said, this is natural and very human. We are messy, imperfect, raw and beautiful creatures. The idea of the Shadow is not to shame ourselves, repress our feelings, and judge ourselves harshly. It’s just about awareness.
Schadenfreude, like most Shadow feelings, is about our Shadows trying to protect us and make us feel good. It means something, or someone, has shaken up our spiritual landscape and poked at our vulnerabilities. It’s a knee-jerk reaction to a situation we’ve felt attacked by.
When we feel a Shadow-emotion rise to the surface, the first thing to do is thank our Shadows. They are just trying to protect us, and in so doing, they have alerted us that we’re a little off-balance; that we’ve lost our grounding.
Thank your Shadow, accept the emotion, and accept that warning. Take the steps that are necessary for you to re-center yourself, find your grounding, and return to Compassion.
No one has the power to pull you entirely away from Compassion, except for you. Below are some recommended practices to help bring you back into balance and help cultivate Compassion: