Monday, June 23, 2014

Elements #25

Start being more open about how you feel. If you're hurting, give yourself the necessary space and time to hurt, but be open about it. Talk to those closest to you. Tell them the truth about how you feel. Let them listen. The simple act of getting things off your chest and into the open is your first step toward feeling good again.
Why do I feel like this one is a loaded gun?I have been thinking about this for a few days and I realized that I don't want to write about it. So I started to think about the reason behind that. I believe it is because the past still hurts.

There have been many times in my life when I was hurting because of someone's actions or words and when I would speak up, the other person would turn the situation around to be my fault. When I didn't want to stay in a bowling alley with the people I worked with and chose to go home instead, harsh words were hurled at me and it turned out to be "my fault" that I wasn't being more understanding or accepting. When I was hurting because I was lied to about my parentage, it was my fault for asking and causing a stir in the household. When I was hurting over the absence of someone it was somehow my fault for wanting to spend more time with them. When I was hurting over the lies and half-truths told to me... well, I didn't even speak up about those since I knew that the other person wouldn't understand my pain and would somehow brush it all off as my own mistake for taking their words literally.There are so many other times when I would speak up about the pain I was in and was summarily shut down. And there were times when the person would say that they were going to hear me out, then manipulated the situation to where they were right and I was wrong (this happened repeatedly).

Was it because the other person didn't want to hear the truth? Was it because they truly didn't see their actions as damaging to me? Or is it part of human nature to become blind to the things we aren't ready to deal with.

Don't get me wrong; there have been times when I spoke up and the other person genuinely listened to me. Oddly enough, those times were with people who are blood related. When I told my father that I was hurt that he didn't accept me as a non-Christian, he listened, he heard me out. I didn't change his mind (of course), but he stopped pushing me to change mine. Now that I think about this a little more, I realized that my children are the only other ones who have heard me out when I was hurting about something they said or did.

Perhaps there are people in the world who would actually listen, but I've not extended that trust to a lot of people.

So where does that leave this post? I feel like I should meditate on this a little more and come back to it, but I also feel like I should leave it alone. I find it hard to agree with this Element simply because I've known so many people who were significant in my life become resentful and angry when I'd speak about my own pain. Most of the time I don't think we should spread resentment or other forms of negativity. At the same time I don't think people should blissfully go about their days not knowing how much pain they are inflicting on those around them. Somewhere in the middle of this I'm sure there is a balance. I am not wise enough to find it easily, though. Maybe in a few years or after I've learned more lessons on my own Journey.

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