From the time I was a little girl, I pretty much took the blows that life throws our way and I tried to learn from them. That process, as tough as it was, taught me how to understand that we are all wounded warriors. Everyone has battle scars, some are more visible than others, but we all have them. Those blows taught me about empathy.
It’s because of this that I grew up always trying to see the good in people. I often found myself thinking you can look for the good or you can find the bad. The choice would always be mine to make. I usually opted to find the good which made it easier to deal with most people and situations. It wasn’t that I didn’t see the bad actions of a person, trust me I did. I even did mental judgement calls on their behavior in hopes of learning from it. Many times the negativity I saw in their actions mirrored right back to me. I used it as an opportunity for me to change something that might be lurking in my own whirlpool of emotions. I wasn’t always successful in changing all that I needed to change but at least I kept on trying. Isn’t that the right thing to do? Judge not, lest we be judged. Change for the better so we don’t wallow in the worst?
Try as I might, I would attempt to do the right thing by not “judging the book by its’ cover”. (Maybe in saying this, I was already judging by trying not to judge). What would Freud say about that? I tried to see inside of people to get a better understanding of their actions. Whatever I thought of a persons behavior, I didn’t want it to affect the way I treated them. After all, that behavior more than likely, came from an unhealed wound. Sure, I got caught more times then I care to admit, in letting my frustration with people’s actions get the best of me. Still I kept trying to understand. That always seemed the right thing to do.
Trust me, I’m not looking for sainthood, (okay, maybe a little part of me is) I’ve plotted many unkind scenarios in my brain. There were plenty of times when I wanted to tell people to “f” off but I contained myself and restrained from throwing a deadly punch. Why? Because I always felt it was the right thing to do. Despite whatever pain I may have felt, I never wanted to be the cause of someone else’s pain. Believe me when I say, on the few occasions that I tried to punch back it hurt me to my very core. It’s the intent behind the punch that hurts the most. That intent is meant to do harm which hurts deeper than the initial blow. That type of retaliation goes against my character, against the very core of my being. That’s why I take the blows rather then give them.
When I feel an injustice is being played toward me I swing into action. I get angry inwardly, then I try to reason. If I’m in danger of loosing empathy for others, I listened to my inner voice. As hard as it is to prevent myself from doing or saying something I can’t take back, I shut my mouth. I try to keep it together for my benefit. The only person that ever feels my wrath is my husband. I let him know exactly what I’m feeling. He can tell you a thing or two about why it’s best that I keep my mouth shut. My retaliation is not always pretty.
In moments when I do have to speak up for myself to others, I turn to God and ask Him to speak His words through me to those I confront. His words are rational, firm and understanding. They can be harsh but not lethal. Gods words are truth which is why I rely on them. I feel confident when I turn to God because I know what I say is coming from a good place . Whether those words are heard by who they’re being spoken to or not I know that in turning to God to speak for me, I did the right thing.
If I wrongfully say or do something that doesn’t sit right with me I have to either apologize or fix the emotion that led me to that point in the first place. Best I see the error in my way before I take it out on others. I think that’s a noble gesture. It seems right. I don’t want to fight to win. I want to win by having self respect that comes from me respecting who I am as a person.
I don’t see the good in confronting others when we are not able to reason with our self first. That doesn’t give me peace of mind. It certainly doesn’t make me happy. If fighting with others just to win and be justified were that simple, then why are there so many frustrated, unhappy people walking around today? Maybe their approach is not the right way.
Is it possible that we are being taught the wrong technique to survival? Throwing the wrong punch damages us more than it does our opponent. Much like a gun, if we don’t learn how to use the weapon at hand, the force of it can ricochet right back at us and cause us greater pain than the intended target. Plenty of people seem to load up without thinking about the damage that might occur. Current local, nationwide and world occurrences indicate that we’re fighting a loosing battle. We’re attacking the wrong enemy. We’re fighting one another without knowing what each other is about. We’re making enemies out of possible allies. Our enemy is not necessarily the person in front of us. Our real enemy is the one that conveniently cowers within. The one who plays the role of a double agent. Pitting us first against our self with it’s manipulated logic, then against those we feel justified in attacking. Is that the right thing to do? No. wonder we’re all confused. Right and wrong have become twisted in each other.
For me, what’s right is following my heart by having empathy not only for those who I relate to but also for those I can’t relate to. I want to continue on the path that has taken me this far, the one that teaches me through the actions of others and myself, how to curtail or grow from the right choices that I make. The ones that leave no wounds to either myself or those that are misguided by their own wounds. That is what is the right thing for me to do. To hold myself accountable for what will bring peace of mind to me and peace of heart to others.
I’m not on this earth to do what’s right because people think I should do it their way. I was given life so that I could learn how to do things Gods way. That’s what will benefit me and whomever I encounter.
You may have a different perspective on this subject and I respect it. Respect for one another is an integral part of life. Respect for God is the key to discovering right from wrong. That’s what’s right for me.
Married 44 years to my hubby whose purpose in life is to prevent me from getting through the “Pearly Gates”. Mother of two, Nanna of four loving granddaughters and retired secretary aka administrative assistant. I went to the University of Hard Knocks where I received my Doctorate. My thesis is titled: How To Survive Life’s Trials Without Killing Yourself or Someone Else. I live by the belief that when life throws you a curve, learn from it rather than use it against yourself. Faith and humor are my survival kit. Appreciate the simple things for they are the true treasures of life.