A paragraph from a most excellent blog post from Svasti has stuck with me:
"For example, I was eventually able to see how some angry guy using me as a punching bag was not in any way personal. It just so happened that I was there and he was reacting to his own experience of reality and chose to get violent. Actually, it had nothing to do with me at all!"
At first I noticed that I kept thinking about it, and telling myself that I should post a comment on the post. Generally, I had thought that I understood the concept that when someone acts out towards someone else it is usually about something going on with the person acting out, and actually has little to do with the person acted upon.
Then, over the next few days the concept weaved its way through my apparatus of understanding, and into my heart, I think, because I found myself really seeing this in someone in my life who has "hurt me". I have been hurt by this person, this is true. What is in question is whether this person was doing something with the purpose of hurting me. Probably not.
That's the thing about intimate relationships: they go deep. Whether it is a romantic, parent-child, or close friendship we can look to these connections to fuel ourselves and help our self esteem in ways that are often not conscious. So when the one we are depending on looses control and lashes out with abuse, verbal or physical, it cuts deep.
So over the last few days I have really seen how an important relationship affected me, and what was going on. I was deeply hurt. So much that we are not in relationship now. And I was so hurt that I couldn't see it clearly.
It might sound too clean, or too cliche, but I am able to see into this situation, and see that this person was truly working within their own framework when they where saying and doing the things that hurt me. They weren't seeing me at all! Which seems nuts when it is assumed that when people have a bond that they are close, or know each other. That is too much of an assumption.
To try to stay in relationship with this person, I told myself some hurtful things. And ignored some bad behaviors. I did all of this because I wanted to be loved.
I feel empowered by this understanding because it means that I don't have to lie to myself any more. I can build myself from where I am. I am not dependent on the approval of someone who is incapable of seeing me.
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