I made a recent post on Twitter that seemed to resonate with so many people and it got me to thinking. My meme simply stated, “Don’t become who hurt you.”
The first thing that struck me is that all of those people must be able to relate to feeling hurt by someone. I think it goes without saying that for all of us, hurt will come in some form or fashion via betrayal, deception, malice or abuse of some sort, and usually at the hand of another human being. A human being unkind, thoughtless, selfish or cruel.
And therein lies our test, how do we react or cope with the pain? Do we embody those emotions, the feelings that the one that harmed us most surely felt as well as they lashed out? Do we become and own what has been thrown into the boxing ring?
It can be so very hard not to take a swing, at anyone really, for the punch we took. It’s often easier and swifter to pass along what has been dished out to us, but that is when we then lose ourselves. And we know it. And we grapple to heal, let go and accept.
That is exactly where I found myself as I sought healing and understanding for the violent and abusive acts I endured as a child, acts that began to turn me into someone I didn’t want, or know, myself to be. Below is an excerpt where I share just that:
Vengeance Is Not Mine
This book isn’t an act of revenge; it’s always been about healing and freeing myself from my past, releasing the vice grip of my parents. I was desperate to no longer carry them and their burdens in every cell of my being, everywhere I traveled. No matter where I turned, it felt as if their actions and misdeeds were some gelatinous parasite that had fused itself to my being.
If I was motivated by revenge, then I would never have sought a way out. I would simply have acted and continued to act from my place of rage, the place that wanted to fight back and hurt in turn. I would not have been the seeker of understanding, processing, and compassion. I would have lashed out again and again, never satisfied with the level of chaos and pain I inflicted, always wanting to make them squirm in agony as they had done to me so many times before.
Let’s be realistic: I had fantasies of just that. It would have been so easy to go with what had become the norm, the stormy waters, but easy was never my way. Instead, I learned to surf the emotional rogue wave. I refused to allow it to completely pull me under, drown my spirit, or wreak a lifetime of havoc and emotional torture to anyone that got in my way. I was taught by a master, but remotely I knew that I am not him, nor am I what he taught me.
I caught that wave again and again until it carried me to the mystical land of forgiveness, for myself and them, where I finally released the anchor that bound me to the hope that the past could have been different. So far it’s taken me more than twenty-five years to unlearn what I was schooled in as a student. For me, this book is about remembering and re-learning who and what is my truth and having the courage to share that with the world, often feeling emotionally stripped and naked. I said he was a master, but what he didn’t realize was that I am as well. But unlike him, I chose not to master others, only myself.
And that is the challenge that is offered to us all as we make this way through this existence. There is no right way or deadline to meet. All that is asked is that we try, because trying is one step closer to our truth, not the truth of the one that hurt us. If you haven’t done so already, perhaps today is where it can begin for you too.
Be well and happy.
My Memoir: http//tinyurl.com/relentlessbyspringer