Why is it so easy to hurt the ones we love the most?
Seriously! It is too easy.
Think about it: If you wrote a list of those whom you considered closest to you in life, and then wrote a list of those that take the brunt of your mood swings and frustrations, how different would they really be?
For me, the titles on these lists might as well be interchangeable. This is not something I am particularly proud of, but it's the truth.
Why do I choose to wrongfully punish the ones I hold close? Because I consider their love unconditional. So, I challenge those conditions—a lot.
Have you ever been in the middle of a bitch fit (I'm soooo frrrreakin' pissed!) when you turn to find someone you love with that why-are-you-yelling-me-what-did-I-do-to-you look on their face?
Yeah, me too.
Mostly, I like to blame these moments on Mother Nature (Sorry, babe!), but there are moments when there is no one to blame but myself.
There are too many times that I have found myself irritated with someone—or a situation—and, instead of addressing it head-on, I choose to pass the bitchy buck to an undeserving loved one. What's worse is that there are times I can recognize when I am doing this and still continue. I do it because, well, I know they love me.
I might have my logic backward, ya think?
Recently, I discovered a new & improved way to release my frustrations on someone close to me. In fact, it was the person that I am closer to more than anyone else on this planet: Myself!
I was a part of a group conversation and it was headed toward becoming uncomfortable for everyone involved, so, I decided it was my responsibility to stop that from happening. What better way than to remind everyone of something embarrassing that I did in the past and let them all take a few jabs at me for it? Sounds fun, right??
I can handle the embarrassment. I won't let it turn to shame. This way I can keep everyone else comfortable. So what if it doesn't feel awesome? No one else will be hurt.
At least I wasn't taking it out on someone else, right? That was how I chose to justify it, but I couldn't have been more wrong.
We hurt ourselves often, unfortunately, but most of it is unintentional or because we are blinded by love or sorrow or another emotion. I was well aware of what I was doing, it just took me awhile to understand why I was doing it.
I've discussed in the past the fact that I am a classic "fixer"—a recovering one, but also a repeat offender. I've found that my favorite tool for "fixing" an uncomfortable situation is by highlighting my own faults and shameful moments. And, let me tell you, it is the shittiest tool in the box.
In fact, that tool has GOT to go.
Choosing to hurt ourselves is not a fair trade for the comfort of someone else.
Doing this makes me the reverse narcissist that I am working on leaving behind. I choose to take on the hurt because I think I can handle hurting better than anyone else can. (There's your textbook example of reverse narcissism.)
Guess what? That's not my decision to make! (Oh, my old therapist would be so proud!)
Maybe that person needs to feel the sting. Maybe it is what they need to change or grow as a person. It might be something they need to feel or hear in order to finally remove a negative source from their life.
Who am I to prevent that from happening? Especially at my own expense!
We tend to hurt those we keep close the most. It is a fact, but it can be made fiction.
If we choose to confront the proper source of our disappointments and stop transferring our frustrations, we can start giving those we love more of the love they have earned and deserve—including ourselves.
So, next time you have a bad day at work or someone says something that bruises your ego, stop and think about where you want to direct that resentment. Decide how much of the rest of your day you are allowing to let it affect. If you really feel the need to grieve it, then designate a time—not a person.
Even if when you are 90% done writing a blog and your crap computer deletes it for no particular reason, without saving it, don't punish yourself by crawling into bed to pout. Do not swear off writing for the rest of the day. Do NOT take a sledgehammer to your laptop. (Even though you really, really want to. And, yes, this did all just happen about an hour ago.) Choose to love yourself through it instead. Take a deep breath and write anyway.
If any of this hits home for you, whether it is toward yourself or others, then join me in making a commitment. Let's try our best to ensure that the ones who do the most for us, no longer receive the least of our love.