I recently had an outburst with my father when he said he was 80 years old and could say what he wants to say. I said he has been saying what he wants to say his whole life, I am an adult and I don’t need to expose myself to this anymore. I feel terrible and I know I have hurt his feelings. In some ways I feel the outburst came because I am learning to love and value myself but on the other hand I know I could have expressed myself in a more compassionate way and feel this expression did not align with who I know myself to be. Can you offer me some insight?
You are correct on both counts. First, your father does have a right to say what he wants. Second, so do you! When you start to put yourself first and love you, then sometimes the other person will feel the difference in the energy. That’s OK. He may feel hurt, but you did not hurt him; he did that himself when you didn’t respond to him as you usually did. Good for you. Compassion is not just for others, it is first and foremost for yourself. Then, and only then, can you truly be compassionate to others.
Instead of feeling guilty for the outburst, see what it is that you need and be true to that. AND, you are also correct — you don’t have to subject yourself to anything that is less than loving to you. You let him know you deserved better. Stand in that and let him adjust to the new you.