I recently wrote a blog that inadvertently hurt somebody’s feelings. Or better said, I referred to something that made this person feel bad about themselves. It happened a while ago and I am just now considering it all–my blogging, that reaction and the ups and downs of writing my life.
The sad thing about a life is that at some point, someone gets offended–at least it happens that way in my life. And almost always afterwards I learn something very important that makes my life more evolved and better understood to myself. I have never intentionally, at least not since I passed my college entrance exam, ever made someone purposely angry– but I have done it nonetheless.
Take the time a friend was sick and wanted me to come over to check in. She must have said or done something to send me the drift that I should stop by, but I didn’t pick up on it and I didn’t come by. The next time I saw her she was pretty angry with me and I apologized–I even brought flowers. But I learned something very important about myself and about her and it’s been critical to me in my relationship with her ever since. I learned that I need to never give the impression that I understand subliminal messages. I need people to tell me what they need up front and not expect that I’ll “just know.” I used to “just know”, in fact I think I was some kind of a pro, knowing just what someone else was feeling and attempting to help them through it–before they even knew what the problem was themselves.
In the past, the folks in my life became dependent on my “knowing just what they needed” and I exhausted myself showing up for everyone in need. But those days are over and I say good riddance to them. And thanks to this friend and our conflict, I learned absolutely that I no more want to be a person who automatically takes on other’s burdens. In the past my choice to do so was my choice alone: I needed to stop myself from doing that. And I finally did it.
My friend got over it. She now knows me a little better now, too—knows what I can and can’t be. And so do I. This pal–incidentally a better pal now than ever before–inadvertently helped me learn this very important lesson about myself. And I am forever grateful to her for that.
That’s what usually happens with me: through trauma and drama come enlightenment and evolution. It’s a hard price to pay but I pay it none-the-less.
I’m not referring to blame here. I’m not saying “and so-and-so learned never to cross me again.” Blame has nothing to do with this. It’s about me learning, growing, evolving–understanding my life and my self and how it all works—the ups, the downs, the highs and the lows. I never blame anybody. I learn from them.
So for me, it is never about the moment of pain that any one, least of all anyone in my life including me–should stay stuck in. It’s about the learning and the growth. And if you are someone who may have inadvertently hurt me–like I did my friend–I hope you move on. I hope you don’t blame yourself, or blame me, or blame blame for what happened. Everyone is doing their best in this lifetime. That I know for certain.
We can’t change other people, as I always tell my kids–we can only change our reaction to them. It’s harder when that person turns out to be us. But we have to learn to forgive ourselves–after all, who’s purposely manipulating and plotting and planning to wreak havoc on another? Unless it’s a bad soap opera or an episode of “Desperate Housewives” who in the world is trying to mess up?
Life is short–and take it from someone who knows all too well just what that saying really means. We all deserve a break. We are all doing our best. And our best IS good enough. If it isn’t, we’re in the wrong company.
As the anonymous saying goes, “Forgiveness is to set a prisoner free and realize the prisoner is yourself.”
I say it’s time to set ourselves free.
|Posted January 25th, 2012 by|