In case you're wondering...
Separated husband is hospitalized for a month now. I'm selling the house, sorting out finances, making runs and calls to hospital, banks, lawyers, doctors, his workplace, cleaning house, packing, sorting, throwing, crossing the town from where I live to the property home and back. Dealing with rules, laws, bureaucracy and plain shitty circumstances that are out of my hands.
My work projects are waiting till this is all sorted out and cleared. Spending very little time on Facebook: when personal stress is hugely demanding, the world's problems fade away in importance...
When this is all cleared, I'm having a party and you're invited!
That I treat a cruel person with compassion has nothing to do with rewarding or reciprocating his behaviour, but it has to do with who I am and what I cultivate.
I don't follow feelings because there's a mix of them: "You're a hurtful, heartless asshole and I want nothing more to do with you!"; "I am so sad to see you suffer like this, can I make it better for you?"; "You dug yourself into this hole with your crappy lifestyle and attitude, now live with it!", "There have been times when you did kind things for me, and I remember them" and "I can't let you fall through the cracks, no one else is there for you, so I will!"
I follow the compass of my own compassion and try to do that which is kindest, and which I can live with after the deed. No, I am not sure, and I have doubts. I have no map for much of my choosing, checking with my feelings but not relying solely on them, and checking often with the wise and caring people in my life - friends, coaches and therapists.
When I get burned out, which I often do, since I'm still fragile after the years of distress, and while I'm still grieving for Kinook, then I return the focus of my compassion to myself and run to a yoga class (even if in street clothes and without a bra!) or do some other practice (or iPad games, or Netflix Therapy) and then spiral my care outwards again, to include others.