What he desired was there all the time.
Indeed, the fact that we seek compassion or forgiveness means we’re on the right path. Richard Rohr says, “I am, at least in part, the very thing I am seeking.” He says that we cannot find what we desire out there until we first awaken it in here. “What you seek is what you are.”
Eventually, we reach out to others. Each act (offering mercy, compassion, forgiveness) becomes a redemptive act for us as well – a simultaneity echoed in the Prayer of St. Francis:
For it is in giving that we receive; it is in pardoning that we are pardoned.
So, continue to seek – reaching out, deepening your experience. And, when frustrated with what seemingly cannot be found, remember that it’s already found. It simply needs to be awakened.
There are numerous entry points to the eternal wisdom of the heart, which can be called “the gates of awakening.” Each gateway is a doorway to ourselves, a doorway to the truth. Jack Kornfield
Here is a brief excerpt on The Gates of Awakening from Jack Kornfield’s book, After the Ecstasy, the Laundry (read now)