Have you ever really sat and tried to pay attention to how you affect the people around you? The people close to you but also your old friends and relationships.
Recently I watched a weird video on Facebook that they put old friends, or old lovers in a room together and had then ask each other a series of questions. Some of them were simple questions about when they were closer, how did they interpret or appreciate certain behaviors. Or now that they are so far removed, can you discuss a problem that occurred between the two of you that caused the end of communications.
It made me start to think about whether people who I have severed ties with, their choice or mine, know what kind of memories or hurts I came away with. Then I realized that was a selfish way to look at it. Did I really feel like I had a grasp on how they felt and what memories that they walked away with?
I never spend the time to care what they walk away thinking or feeling because I am too worried about my own. Which I am led to believe is normal. I am fairly positive that the majority of them do not spend much time thinking about my feelings.
Matter of fact, I am fairly positive most of them spend the majority of time assuming how I feel without every actually asking me how something has affected me. When did that become the norm?
So here I start thinking about if I have ever left a positive emotion to people who I no longer spend time with. I have always tried to be pleasant with strangers and acquaintances that I touch base with from time to time, so I am not as worried about them right now. I fully believe in the act of kindness to a stranger or person in need. That is what drew me to work in the medical field.
For a person to be an ex lover or an ex friend, that means that at one time they had to be my friend/lover. To be considered that close to me, that means that I liked you enough to allow you that close. I cared enough about you to allow you inside my boundaries. At some point, I loved you.
Sooner or later, in most situations the betrayal that happened in our past will fade, the emotions will diffuse. Sooner or later, the hurt is not fresh. The feelings don’t cut as deep. The wound isn’t open anymore. And at that point you get to make a choice. Do you decide to move past the feelings and be able to shut the door to the person? Or will you keep that emotion close to your sleeve and react every time you see them or have to talk about them. We all know that it is healthier to forgive and forget, but it sure isn’t easy.
It is much harder to face the realty of what kind of memory they have of you. They got to see you at your worst. When you were hurt, yelling, crying or maybe even just at your wit’s end. Maybe they got to see your jealous side as things got weird.
They saw your mistakes. You saw theirs.
While the friendships or relationships are irreconcilable, you should still take a moment to think about the effect you had on them.
Were you the one that scarred them to hell and back? Did you cause them real emotional damage? Are you the person that they talk about when they describe the horror’s of their life?
The next time that you are complaining about the things that they did to you, the ways they made you feel, can you honestly explain your side of things out loud to another set of ears and not be embarrassed?
Now of course you should never live your life always apologizing for the things that you have done, and everyone knows that mistakes happen. Everyone has reasons to do the things that they have done. I am not asking you to reconcile with any person in your life, nor do I think that you have to forgive them or look around the wrong doings that they have done to you. I also don’t mean that you have to change yourself in any way because of a jerk who may have a low opinion of you. This is strictly about knowing that you have the ability to effect people, good or bad.
Defend yourself. Respect yourself. Honor yourself. Understand yourself.
Most of all, be yourself.