For the sake of blogging and self-exploration and contemplation, I answer a question a day off of this list.
Today’s question : Can you describe your life in a six word sentence?
“Try to be a good person.”
I try very hard to live life according to the values that I believe in. I try to respect others. I try to help where I can, and to keep my nose out of other people’s business unless they invite me in.
I’m far from perfect. In fact, I’m flawed in a lot of ways. Sometimes my emotions cloud my judgment. Sometimes I have a lot of trouble letting go of hurt, especially when whomever hurt me isn’t in the least bit apologetic about it or even willing to acknowledge it. And like all humans, there have been times in the past that I have hurt others, too.
Just last night I was thinking back on someone I know I hurt in the past, and sometimes those thoughts keep me up at night. The thing about me is that I never intentionally hurt anyone. If I hurt someone, usually it’s an unfortunate side-effect of something else going on. That doesn’t mean I’m not responsible for hurting the person, but I’m only saying that hurting someone has never been my agenda.
I can’t change the past or go back and make different choices with the people I did hurt, but I try very hard these days to apologize to those who deserve it, and then live that apology by respecting them going forward in whatever way is best. One person has never spoken to me since I apologized, and I get that. Forgiving someone, letting go, moving on does not mean you want that person back in your life.
Another person I’ve spoken to a few times but we will never be close. I think that’s a mutual decision on both of our parts because I feel like our personalities just seemed to find each other’s triggers and friendships like that are not healthy for either person.
I think though, at least I hope, that acknowledging their feelings and apologizing helped ease their pain. I am only one person with one set of experiences, but I know that when someone hurts me, what hurts the most isn’t the initial thing they did that hurt me, but the way they handle it. It hurts twice as much when someone refuse to admit what they’ve done; when they act like they’re not in the least bit sorry and they don’t care, at all, that they hurt me. In my opinion, there is no worse way to treat someone than to treat them like they don’t matter, at all, or that their agenda is “validly” more important than my pain. Let me tell you something very important :
If you have to hurt someone to get what you want, it’s probably not something you should have in the first place.
People matter. I matter. You matter. The people I love matter. The people I’ve hurt matter. And every single one of our feelings all matter, too.
I’m human. I’m flawed. But I have a soft heart and a contemplative mind, and although sometimes I go down the rabbit hole of guilt over mistakes I’ve made in the past, I do have to remind myself that I try every day to be a good person.
I don’t always succeed, but I always try.