We’re familiar with the fact that we can control the outcome to most situations.* Even if we’re not in direct control, we have the choice to react how we want. These reactions, in turn, create new outcomes. While it would be completely exhausting and tiring to analyze every single event in our life, breaking it down, and deciding how to respond, if we want to reach a desired outcome we have to give it attention. We have to give it thought.
So often in the world around us, people act without thinking. They speak or take action with little, or no, thought about its affect on other people. Many reason ‘well they can take it however they like.’ However, what sort of attitude is that?
If you are on a new course of enlightenment, of self-discovery, your aim will never be guided by malicious or selfish intention. You appreciate how precious life is and how every person is due a level of respect. We are, after all, sentient beings not to be labeled by transitory terms of description.
There are, however, times when we find ourselves in a situation which is the outcome of something we’ve created in our past. This may not even be an action or something we said on purpose. Maybe it was never intended to hurt this other person but they have built the ‘event’ in their minds and are so wounded by it that they lash out at us. This creates new pain for us. How can we can deal with this?
One, remember that you are not perfect. (Yes, I know I’m going against all modern philosophy on this matter.) But no one is in control of their thoughts, their words, their actions 100% of the time. It would be impossible. There are times we in the heat of a moment and respond birthed from emotion. We’re not thinking logically in these moments. When our guard slips, this is when we can hurt others unintentionally.
However, the times when we are under pressure is when we need to focus. These moments, the ones where we’re affected the most emotionally, are the times we need to analyze the outcome.
Words have the ability to strike the heart and deflate ambitions, cause depression, and in extreme cases bullying with words (and/or action) have led some to commit suicide. Needless to say we would never want to be a contributing factor to someone taking their life!
What if you find out you hurt someone by your words or actions? Approach them with the goal of peacefully resolving the issue that spurned the response. Apologize.
What if you think you hurt someone? What does it hurt to approach them? Reach out to them. Show interest in them. In fact, I’m going to put this out there in a media forum and apologize to any that I have hurt in my life as this was never my intention.
What if you’ve been hurt by someone? Remember we are all imperfect. You can be certain that you’ve hurt someone along the way. Focus on the positive aspects of your life, giving gratitude for these things. Another useful tool might be to consider the person’s mind frame when they responded. Also put yourself back before the hurt, remember the good this person brought to your life, maybe they helped you with something or through a situation.
If you are working through a healing journey, you will find that the positive things take longer to come to you. You might even give precedence to the negative. You may even start believing things about yourself that are outright lies, but I’ll talk more about this in next Thursday’s post: You Have Blue Hair.
*See the post E+R=O