Originally Posted by GroundedSpirit
Maybe a lot of truth to it for many ? Interesting.
Makes me wonder. Is this a hint of selfishness ? Is it harder to be happy for/with someone when WE aren't happy ? Why ?
Happiness is another of those funny things - like love. We can borrow some of it from others and yet never reduce what they have. In fact, it seems to replicate and reciprocate. They in turn get to borrow from OUR happiness. It can be what the scientific minded often refer to as a 'positive feedback loop'.
And on the other hand, the opposite is possible. I've seen this a lot. I suspect we all have.
When we feel (and express) UNhappiness at someone else's happiness - what happens ? We suck up some of their positive energy and destroy it. Negative loop.
I think that you are correct when it comes to more abstract areas(like the mental act of loving people).
However, when it comes down to physical things(like time spent with an SO, sex, death rays, whatever) that is where I think Twain's expression comes into play.
I do not have scientific research, but I think that the reason this is is hard wired into us. If I do not have as much food as I want then it will be very hard for me to be happy that my SO or anyone else has enough food. And remember that even though a lot of the things we think of as tangible "needs" in a relationship aren't life or death, they are important enough to be called "needs".
Now, of course, if the person trying to learn compersion is smart, they will try to get their needs met, either via their SO or other means and that will make the learning a lot easier.
But during the time when their needs are not met, unless the person has a martyr complex or is an honest-to-goodness saint, compersion will be much more difficult. Of course, this is my observation and YMMV.