I have written this before but I’ll write it again: My mantra as a teen was, I don’t care.
I hurt too much to feel, and care demands feeling. The more we care, the deeper we feel the care.
Yesterday I hurt my Dad’s feelings. He is 86-years-old. And he pushed me and I pushed back. I told him he was an angry man when I was young, among other things.
Then I wanted to take my anger and throw it anywhere but at him. I hurt. He hurt me, so I hurt him.
We made up soon after and I called later on that day to remind him that if he wasn’t the way he is and was, and mom wasn’t who she is and was, then I would not be who I am.
And I kind of like who I am.
The anger I learned from him saved my ass more than once. In fact, it saved my life. If I was not angry and arrogant when I was sick and stuck in the mental health system, I might not have found my way out.
Well, today someone I have come to care about deeply, might be drying her tears because she hurts. Someone she loves said the worst thing he could probably say to her: He told her she did not care about him. He told her she did not care enough. He took care, compassion’s finger tips, and turned it into a fist.
Now I don’t know her friend.
I understand feeling hurt. And it is those we love the most who can hurt us the most. The people who know us, who we let in, know where the tender spots are. They know where the weak spots are. They know how we are vulnerable.
And always relationships are a dance.
One of my dearest friends and I have had to dance without each other at different times. We hurt each other, though we never really wanted to hurt each other.
Before I knew her well we were walking and I told her people can be replaced. What I meant was the functions people serve in our lives can be replaced, outside of parents, but I did not say that.
I might as well have taken a knife and sliced into her heart.
Because no one can ever really be replaced.
People do come and go. I lost two friends in the last year. But I don’t stop thinking of them.
I eloped. I told no one in my family and none of my friends. I told two people I was not close to because it was safe or necessary.
One woman I spoke to back then had lost her husband early in her marriage to an accident and she gave me words of advice: Beware what you say when angry. You cannot take back your words.
I want to say we don’t intend to hurt those we love but sometimes we do. But when we hurt those we love it is our hurt finding a voice for a reason we may or may not understand and it may or may not have anything to do with the one we hurt.
As I tell a good friend these days: Life is not fair.
Most of us are doing our best most of the time.
Sadly, sometimes the best causes hearts to break. But as I said before, our hearts grow stronger and stronger as they mend and heal.
And it is forgiveness that heals what keeps us whole.
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Ed: Brianna Bemel