When you set out to cause suffering in another, you double your own and invite more of it. You cannot escape the suffering you put on others until you give up the practice of causing it, and give up your addiction to that savage, satiating feeling you think fixes you when you cause it.
This manufacturing of suffering is a vicious cycle for all involved. Life brings suffering at times on its own, this is a fact. But the manufacturing of it is something else. It’s abuse, for one thing, and manipulation. But more than that, it’s a whole cycle. The one inflicting the suffering circumstances (manipulator, abuser) is already suffering. What a horrid way to go through life — perpetrating hurt and pain on others. I’ve heard victims say that they don’t understand how the abuser lives such a good life, or gets away with their behavior. I can see how it appears that way, but I think this is mostly false.
Once the cycle starts, the target will find ways to avoid the circumstances and abusers will double-down on their victims, but the suffering continues to return to the manipulator and multiplies by a factor of their own and the person/s they’re hurting. One’s own suffering can’t actually be cured or satiated by inflicting more suffering. And if you’re the abuser, frankly, you give up your right to be angry at the change in people caused by your endless refusal or inability to be decent, or their willingness to go to great lengths to stay out of your line of fire. That’s part of the price you pay. So… more suffering.
We often stop to think, contemplate, plan about and for our child’s future. But do we do the same for the future of others from the standpoint of how our children will affect them, affect the rest of the world? If not, why not?
I remember being bullied as a kid by a jerk down the street for years — he was such a mean kid, by “mean girls” in my neighborhood, and by some in school who just didn’t like the way I looked or who my friends were. I struggle to believe that their parents didn’t know how mean and even abusive some were, and I often wonder how some of them are now as adults. In the workplace I would imagine which employees and managers had been bullied as kids or were the bullies. We see and hear about abusive relationships with spouses, with children, even with elderly parents. I can recall even a few teachers that definitely were. Can you imagine — the people responsible for educating our children? We don’t like to talk about it. We don’t like to ask about it or get involved. Sometimes we even shame the victim (another abuse). We even deny it when we’re the one with the personality problem (so it continues). We don’t want to admit when it’s an issue in our families or how we might be affected by it. So, when does it STOP? Where does it END? No type of abuse is acceptable, or so we like to say. Verbal, sexual, physical, and even schoolyard bullying — all types are VIOLENCE.
When does one finally look at it honestly and squarely and say, “THIS ENDS WITH ME RIGHT NOW?” We don’t have to be the abuser, necessarily, to change it and turn it around. You know how some of us like to pretend that there’s nothing wrong in our family dynamics. We might have responsibility because we know it’s happening. Yes, if we know, we are responsible. And if you are the abuser — how miserable you must be stuck in that way. Don’t you want more for yourself, for your kids, for others that you affect?
The saying goes, “Hurt people hurt people.” I prefer, “Miserable people make other miserable people who turn around and make other people miserable.”
You can’t get to a better present or a new future without acknowledging the past, and you can’t apologize your way out of bad behavior without reform. Acknowledge Action Commitment Integrity
Relationships, reparations, business, neighbors… all of it is really about relationships, is it not?
Most of us say we want a better or brighter future, but fail to do anything different. We sit here and wait on someone else to change it so we can step into it and say, “Look at me in this new thing!” Then we pat ourselves on the back and wonder why we get stuck again.
We hurt each other, and sometimes we take a corrective course, but fail at acknowledging what happened. Can you imagine bringing your car home from the shop with only three wheels? The shop fixed everything else, but the front passenger tire was removed because it was flat. Well, you don’t have the flat tire anymore, right? Have you ever had your shoes polished? They look so great afterwards – all clean and shiny. But what if you got them back with a heel missing? Yes, it’s like that when you forget the acknowledgement. Your shoes look great, but the function is just off, and no one notices how shiny they are, just that your heel is missing and you’re walking weird. Then to add to the ridiculousness of it all, you’re trying your darnedest to ignore what’s wrong with the shoes and keep talking about how clean and shiny they are.
Relationships are like that. Corrective action doesn’t mean a whole lot without conversation about the problem and a meaningful apology, and especially if it has been an ongoing issue. The other person likely sees what you’ve corrected, but is now standing by for you to resume your previous behaviors. Why? Because there was no conversation or apology, and the recipient/s of your bad behavior are likely operating in protective mode. That is the foundation, the frame, that you created by skipping over key steps and actions. You’re just driving around with your person or people, bumping along without that tire and wondering why the ride is so rough. Your passenger/s know… but you’re still pretending you’re in a new vehicle.
Our country, our government, our systems have this same issue. We have whole systems put into place that were born out of racism, classism, sexism, etc. The sentiments of our time may not be the same as they were then (we say), but the systems are still in place bringing with them into our present and our future the spirit, the energy, and the isms that put them there in the first place. That’s us gimping along in our polished shoes with the heel missing. We keep saying we’re fixing things, making them better, but we’re failing to recognize or acknowledge what got us here in the first place. We can keep shining those shoes, but until we go back and look at what’s missing, acknowledge that it’s broken, we are not going to fix it. Fixing it doesn’t mean that everyone gets to have shoes with broken heels, or cars with only three tires so that no one notices what’s wrong.
I think this is why we don’t like to discuss reparations for Black folks. This means we have to take accountability for the brokenness that we caused. This means we have to acknowledge that everything isn’t fair and equal now just because we marched and made new laws. This would mean we would have to acknowledge that we have a whole group of people that are severely affected still because 1. the life we forced them into was an unspeakable horror to begin with; 2. we are pretending that we made it right with laws; 3. we refuse to look at the space we created and the foundation we keep polishing (original systems); 4. we think we apologized long ago; 5. we think they should be happy with shiny broken shoes.
You can always make a difference, but pretending and turning away will keep you stuck. If you’re stuck, you’re likely holding other people down with you or trying to keep them there with you. Don’t turn over a new leaf, plant a whole new garden.
Acknowledge what went wrong.
Take corrective action.
Make a commitment to do better or cease the hurtful behavior.
Stay in integrity; keep your word because you are a keeper of your word.
I was a hot-head in my younger days – kid, teen, young adult… And I mean HOT! Someone asked me one time a while back how I began my journey of transforming my anger and reactions. At the time he asked, I just didn’t know; I only knew that I had to do something. He asked me how I did it. I really didn’t know the answer to that either.
That journey began 25 years ago on my 30th birthday when I knew something had to change, and just today – this day – I realize what it was that put me into action. It was realizing who I was hurting (part of that being myself). I made those people more important than anything else. I just simply made my well-being and theirs bigger than the anger. That’s really all it was, and every time I felt angry, I put them back in their rightful, bigger places.
I didn’t quit <period>.
P.S. I have never perfected this. I still have to do this. I will ALWAYS have to do this – FOREVER. Who I was will always be a part of who I am. It’s important to know this and leave it right there as a reminder.
💜I can take part in your healing (even without you knowing), but I cannot heal you. The choice to heal is 100% yours.
💜Step 1: Self is the place to start.
💜Starting may feel like daunting, rugged, mountainous terrain with no clear path.
I know you are struggling with some issues in your life right now. I know you have some big concerns that are weighing on you. I see and feel that you are hurting.
I want you to know that it is all going to be okay. Really. It may not feel acceptable in this moment, but if you take care of yourself it is all going to work out. It may not be the way you want it to look or think it might look, but there is going to be something there for your higher good. Be patient and I promise you it will reveal itself. Be open for good to show up in spite of what is going on right now. Love yourself more than your attachment to your circumstances.
If your past is hurting you, I want you to consider that it is no longer happening. Whatever was done is done. It is no longer hurting you; hanging onto it is what is hurting. Take charge and drop that hurt on the spot and gently step forward. Now pat yourself on the back. This is enough for today. Tomorrow, take another easy step forward without looking at what you dropped off. Take a moment for a self-hug and breathe. Purpose to care more for yourself than the hurt you were holding onto.
If you are hurting someone, consider that you are also bringing that into your own life. The reasons don’t matter because what you are ushering into your life is the same regardless of the reasons. Haven’t you hurt enough? It’s up to you. You are in charge of ALL of it. Own your experience. It is, whether or not you want it, your responsibility. The sooner you see this, the sooner you can surrender all of it. Love yourself more.
Surrender to that which you claim you want. Claim and own that you are peace, that you are love, that you are trust, that you are harmony, etc. Set an example for yourself. The rest will follow your lead. This is how it works.
So I see you today, and I want you to know that you are not alone. I want you to know there is a way out that will leave you whole and wholly fulfilled. Be willing. Be open. Be receptive. Be honest. Above all, love yourself bigger than what is going on around you. No one has the power to take that away from you, except you, and no one has the ability to give you that kind of love except you! That is the truth.
We all know the old saying “Forgive and forget.” Some believe you can forgive but should never forget. Jesus tells us in The Parable of the Unforgiving Servant (Matthew 18:22) that we should forgive “not seven times, but seventy-seven times.” In other words, we should continue being forgiving, and it should be innumerable, unending. It is a simple concept, but not so easy to accomplish sometimes.
I personally struggle with forgiveness of those that commit heinous crimes, acts of violence, and most especially against children, elderly, or animals. Don’t even get me started on hate crimes! Those are some of my biases. It is good to know our own biases at any time, but especially helpful regarding forgiveness. I have another personal statement in my head: Intolerance will not be tolerated! 🙂 Yes, I know it is contradictory… maybe a paradox.
Personally, I find it easiest tojust realize that this is who I have in my life when I have forgiven someone for wrongdoings. Then I am free to choose whether they should remain in my life, and to what extent. Sometimes we can forgive, but it is not so wise to keep them around once they have shown us who they are. ‘Just goes to show you that forgiveness is really for the one doing the forgiving, and not necessarily for the transgressor.
We all struggle from time to time with that person that continues to abuse the privilege of our forgiveness, or our kind nature. On the other hand, perhaps we have been the one repeating a hurtful error on someone — a loved one, teacher, workmate, etc.
This quote can mean something different depending on from which perspective you are reading. It is actually for the one forgiving,as well asthe one being forgiven. It is helpful if you can read it both ways, as there is opportunity in there regardless of how this lands for you personally.