Recently, I have really been struggling with accepting things I cannot change. I try so hard to wrap my mind around certain concepts to try to understand WHY people do some of the things they do, and it drives me crazy when I can’t figure it out. Even though I know it isn’t my job to know the inner workings of people’s mind, I feel like I fail when I can’t help them or understand them so I can forgive them. I guess that’s my biggest struggle right now; forgiveness.
I’ve always been quick to forgive people. Broken people tend to love harder and forgive easily. I am not ashamed of being made of broken pieces. Almost everyone is broken in some way or another, that’s the beauty in the chaos of being a human. But there are some people who aren’t beautiful. Who are cruel, vindictive, selfish, unhappy with their own lives, jealous…that they can’t just let you be happy. They want to hurt you. And those are the people I just don’t think I will ever be able to understand. How a human who knows hurt and struggles, can be so cruel…it just baffles me. I stay up sometimes late a night trying to come up with excuses for those people. Like, “maybe they just had a bad day” or “maybe they are really hurting right now”. And sometimes I convince myself that it’s true. But other nights, I stay up and my heart gets really heavy thinking about how some people can just be a lost cause.
I don’t know if I have a sign around my back or on my forehead that says “hurt me” but I have been hurt so many times in my life, and it doesn’t help that I am a very emotional person (little side note: being emotional is NOT a bad thing, please get over that stigma that feelings shouldn’t be talked about). But, I do get hurt more than a lot of people I know because I am very sensitive. My main issue is letting people hurt me or talk bad about me and then easily forgiving them because I don’t want to believe that they are that rude. So I forgive, and they do it again and again and again because I allow it. A counselor I went to back in high school when I really needed some guidance told me I have a “boundaries issue”. I do not set boundaries with people so they just bulldoze all over me. I would argue and say that I have no control over what people do to me, that I can’t make someone not test boundaries I will put up. And she said “but you can keep them out of your life if they continue to do so” or “you have control over YOUR emotions when people do test your boundaries.” And I guess that’s what I keep going back to. I ALLOW some of the stupidest comments people make or stupidest things people do to me to severely affect MY day. One rude/cruel comment could make me feel like hiding in my sheets and just staying there for the rest of the day, simply because humanity sometimes just makes me SO sad. WHY do people enjoy hurting others or causing problems? WHY do people feel so unhappy that they don’t want others to be happy? WHY do cruel people kill, steal, harm, or abuse others? And I have no answers. And I like answers. Which is why this struggle will be something that takes me awhile to get a hold of. Because for the life of me, I could never hurt someone intentionally. I never go out of my way to make others feel worthless or alone. It’s quite the opposite. I bust my butt to make sure people know they have a friend in me, that they can count on me, that they can talk to me about anything because I am the last person who could sit there and judge you. I have a past. One that despite all the struggles and mistakes, I am not ashamed of. Because look at where I am today… I am proud of my struggles. I will never cower behind or hide who I used to be. I have never cried perfectionism. And I will never allow someone to hold my past against me. Because a year ago, I wasn’t who I am today. So imagine how much I have changed in my 22 years of life. What some people don’t understand or think about is– what if the person who you talked so much crap about or thought so poorly of, really just had a tough time? What if they had a terrible family life? What if they lost someone and you had no idea? What if they are suffering so quietly that you had no idea they were hurting while you were helping them suffer more by being cruel? Doesn’t that make you uncomfortable? How many people do you think you’ve been rude to that really could have used a nice/kind compliment or talk? Probably several. Now, I’m not saying I have never been rude. That would be a terrible lie. I was a teenager once, and I don’t always practice self control when people hurt the people I love but these thoughts have been circling around in my head and heart for quite awhile. It makes me second guess how to approach certain people, it makes me think before I speak (which is great because sometimes I have verbal diarrhea, gross I know). Instead of me thinking “God, what an awful human being” about hurtful people, I think “I wonder what they must be going through to feel the need to hurt me”. And in some ways it’s helped me come to terms with a lot of things I can’t change. Like, people not liking me because of their preconceived ideas of who they THINK I am or that I can’t control how another person acts. I can only control and focus on myself. And I want to forgive people. That’s who I am. I don’t want to have ill will with anyone. I don’t want to think that every time I turn around someone is out to get me or hurt me or talk bad about me. I don’t like the stress of trying to figure out how to approach someone who only wants to tear me down. So I choose instead of becoming more bitter, to let it go. Forgiveness is what makes you human. It is what brings you peace. And I know I deserve peace after everything I have been through in my life. I choose instead, to pass around love. To share myself with others so they don’t feel alone.
This doesn’t mean I will let people continue to hurt me. If I give you a certain amount of chances and you continue to do the things I ask you not to, I will have to let you go. Because if I don’t, that would mean I have no respect for myself. I will be fair though. I will understand if you have a bad day or have some hidden hurt I don’t know about, but you have to be honest with me. Tell me about the hurt. Let me help you. That way you don’t go around feeling like you are alone and wanting to make sure others are as unhappy as you. This also doesn’t mean I won’t stand up for myself when I think you’re being wrong. Because I only go so long before I feel the need to finally tell you how it is. I can be patient and try to wait it out, but sometimes enough is enough. But, for my own sanity, I need to forgive. Because if not, I will become as bitter as the people I just said I didn’t understand. The people that are cruel. And I don’t want that for myself.
I will probably continue to struggle with this. Going back and forth between being sad about how awful some people can be and wanting to fix everyone (one of my main issues as well, haha). Because I am not perfect. But I sure as hell will try my best to overcome this, to better myself. Because you are never done trying to become a better person.
Here are a few quotes about forgiveness and a few others I just really love:
“None of us should be defined by the worst thing we’ve ever done”- Kevin R. Duncan
“When someone is working hard to change, the worst thing you can do is hold them to their past. Forgive them and help them transform.”
“Reminder: Forgiveness is a process. A choice you have to make over and over, every day, until you’re free of hurt.”
“Today I decided to forgive you. Not because you apologized, or because you acknowledged the pain that you caused me, but because my soul deserves peace.”
“The finest souls are those who gulped pain and avoided making others taste it.”
“The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.”
“Until we have seen someone’s darkness, we don’t really know who they are. Until we have forgiven someone’s darkness, we don’t really know what love is.”
“Hurt people hurt people. That’s how pain patterns get passed on, generation after generation after generation. Break the chain today. Meet anger with sympathy, contempt with compassion, cruelty with kindness. Greet grimaces with smiles. Forgive and forget about finding fault. Love is the weapon of the future.” -Yehunda Berg
I hope this helped you not feel so alone if you are struggling with this. And I hope if you are that person hurting, who hurts others, that you realize the pain you cause and decide to forgive the people who have hurt you as well, so you can start to love yourself. And in return, start to love others again instead of being so bitter.