My friend Bruce from The Rock Dose posted a Michael Jackson video and quote today that kind of lifted me up a little for a second. (Yeah, as I’m sure you can imagine, emotions are quite fleeting for me at the moment.)
"Everyday create your history, every path you take you're leaving your legacy." - Michael Jackson, History
This got me thinking about how we essentially carve things in stone every moment of our lives, and they’re things we can never take back, we can’t change, and we owe to ourselves to remember.
When we hurt someone who loves us, that hurt doesn’t really ever go away, even if they forgive us. We’ve made history with that person.
Same holds true when we give love to others. We’ve made history with that person, that maybe they will only remember when it’s already long passed.
I’ve been thinking a lot about how when we’re hurt, we tend to put walls up so that others can’t hurt us even more. Some people put up a wall by being verbally abusive to everyone they meet. Others lock themselves away so that no one can get a chance to hurt them. Others still, simply refuse to see people as they truly are, and are always looking over their shoulder or waiting for the bomb to drop.
Some people do this to themselves, because they feel they’ve let themselves down, or have hurt themselves too much to forgive. They’ve got a history of behavior toward themselves that continues in a vicious cycle… 1. Do something against my own good interest. 2. Beat myself up for it. 3. Do something more against my own good interest to punish myself.
I’ve never been that way with love or friendship. It’s always been very hard for me to walk away from someone, and I’ve only been successful with it maybe once in my life, at the hands of a very abusive female “friend”. But it took me 2 years to wake up and realize that she was toxic.
Sometimes I wish I could be mean, or totally write people off when they’ve hurt me. But I do feel that kind of “empathy”, where I keep thinking that it’s not me that they’re trying to hurt, it’s themselves that they’re trying to protect.
I just wish that people could see others for who they really are sometimes. Let people make their own history with you, and let it count, you know?
Thanks for this thoughtful post. It makes me remember something that Audrey Hepburn once said: "Never throw anyone away. People, more than things, need to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed, and redeemed." I think that empathy is a very strong quality in myself, as well, and for the most part, I agree with the quote--but at the same time, I think that setting boundaries and understanding that sometimes, despite history, two lives can take diverging paths (and that's okay!) are both crucial.
I agree, Nirmala... sometimes people change, or in a relationship, one person changes. And the only thing you can do is walk away.
That's MY problem though. Change or not, it always takes me a very long time to make that choice to walk away. No matter how much I hurt, or think that the other person is hurting, or what have you. It's just sometimes too hard for me to walk away.