The people in our lives that make us cringe.
One of those people happens to be a member of my family.
Somebody with whom I have nothing in common but DNA, and the love of mutual family members.
I am not a person who enjoys creating conflict, or directly confronting a person when I think they've gone too far. I can get pretty cranky sometimes, and puff out my chest now and then, but at the base of things, I'm really just a peace-hungry hippie who just wants us all to be friends. I genuinely don't want to fight with you. Even if I think you're the biggest douche bag on the face of the planet, I truly want to be able to get along with you.
The person in question is not the biggest douche bag on the earth. Not in the least. And I have known my fair share of douche bags.
But dammit. What he said was wrong. What he said was hypocritical. What he said defied everything he claimed to stand for. It was heartless, thoughtless, and it was the personification of everything that's wrong with the world. It lacked compassion. It lacked empathy. It lacked any sense of decent humanity...
And it had nothing to do with me.
It was really and truly, none of my goddamned business.
Whether this person chooses to fart rainbows and hug the world, or whether this person chooses to drag around a dark cloud of gloom wherever he goes, that's his choice to make. It is his right to decide how to live his life, as it is the right of all of us.
I reacted in anger and confrontation toward what I viewed as "wrong" behavior. I threw down the gauntlet and flashed my fighting teeth. I called this person on all his bullshit. I felt morally superior. I told and retold the story to my husband, seeking confirmation of my supreme rightness...
And then I felt guilty.
How on earth do I expect to spread love in the world, when I am capable of reacting with such nastiness? If I greet negativity with more negativity, how am I not simply compounding the problem? How does a string of hateful words change anything?
I know in the end that this person didn't pause to reflect on what I said for one second, because he was probably busy being furious and upset by the things I'd said. Even if I believe I did have a point, it was completely lost amid the flurry of antagonistic and mean words. And name-calling. *cringe*
|Eeeh...did I do that?|
I suppose a person can choose to wallow in the present, or to learn the lessons that life seeks to teach us. I don't want to wallow, and I don't want to be the kind of person who can never admit to mistakes or misjudgments. I don't want to be the kind of person incapable of apologies or flexibility. I'm the kind of person who wants to learn, and who wants to grow, and who wants to be an example of the world I'd like to live in. And that can't happen until I admit when I step in it.
And I stepped in it.
Truth be told, the person in question is not someone I want in my life. But that will never be a good enough excuse for my reaction. I am genuinely regretful of the way I lost my cool, and lashed out at another person making their way down their own path. I am sorry.
I want us all to find our way. And we won't, if we keep acting like I did.
Spread the love, people.