Tuesday, March 15, 2011
Sticks and Stones
Some of the people who have hurt me the most over the years are completely oblivious to it – people who treated me like I was more of an idea or a thing than a person. And there were times when what was the most painful about it was their ambivalence and ignorance. They were so wrapped up in themselves and what they wanted that they had no idea what they were doing to me. Or they didn’t care.
I’m not saying I’m any better. I know it must be true of me as well. I know I’ve done this to others, especially when I was younger. It’s a trait of the immature and the self centered. And you’d think people would grow out of it, but some don’t. It’s so easy to objectify people in the pursuit of our own desires. We care about causes. We care about ourselves. We care about injustice and religion and politics. But all of those things become sticks and stones for hurting others if we don’t genuinely care about people like we should.
I’m saddened by the fact that, in my weaknesses and my inability, I fail to care for some of these people like I should. Like I want to. People I care about. People who might not even want to, but they will hurt me with their thrashing through life.
So you learn. You learn that sometimes it doesn’t much matter what you say and do, certain people are not going to listen to you. They aren’t going to take any lessons from you. You learn sometimes that you are not the person who is going to be an agent of change in their life. And, despite what you may have been told, meaningful relationships are about how we change one another. If your friendships, your relationships, don’t involve good, healthy change in your life and in the lives of the people you are connected with, then those aren’t relationships. They’re acquaintances. If you aren’t growing in kindness and compassion and peace through your relationships, then something is wrong.
The reality is, like it or not, there are some people you could love perfectly, if that were possible, and it still wouldn’t be enough because they’re too busy loving themselves or hating themselves or taking care of themselves or making sure they have what they want, or what they think they need. There’s no room left for you in their life. You can come or go, they don't really care. You're of no use to them except, maybe, as a punching bag. And they will hurt you over and over again if you let them.
Sometimes it isn’t a question of forgiveness. It’s a question of survival.
Peace to you.
© LW Publishing 2011