“You love someone, you open yourself up to suffering – that’s the sad truth. Maybe they’ll break your heart, or maybe you’ll break their heart and never be able to look at yourself in the same way. Those are the risks. You see two people and you think, “they belong together,” but nothing happens. The thought of losing so much control over personal happiness is unbearable. That’s the burden. Like wings, they have weight. We feel that weight on our backs but they are a burden that lifts us. A burden that allows us to fly.”
That is one of my favorite quotes (from one of my favorite shows…Bones). I have always admired the writers who are able to come up with such poignant ways to sum up the truths of life. For anyone who knows me and knows me well they know I hate “change.” When I have a routine and pattern it really takes a lot in me to divert from that. It isn’t until I get blindsided by something does it really make me stop and reevaluate the situation to see how I can improve. Over the last few years though the hard lesson that I have come to learn is no matter how much you might want someone to change, how much you plead, or beg that if they aren’t willing to do it for themselves they certainly won’t do it for you. I had a guy I worked with who used to say “change a man against his will and he is of the same opinion still.” When you really stop and think about what that quote is saying you realize how true it is. Just like telling a child to not touch a stove. To them they don’t know it’s hot because they haven’t experienced the pain of being burned. I am an “experience” learner though. I have a very hard time relying on the wisdom of others instead of trying things out on my own. The problem with that though is the more I am experiencing the more I am withdrawing into myself because I am too afraid to be “burned” again. I feel myself like that child who has been burned by the stove, but instead of just not touching the burner again I avoid the “kitchen”. Why walk into a possible hurtful situation when I could just avoid it all together? The problem with this logic is that by avoiding everything I am gaining nothing. There are parts of my life that I have become too scared to share with others. I assume that if I don’t become vulnerable to others then I won’t open myself to hurt. It’s a flawed logic. By not opening yourself up to the ones you love they run the possibility of hurting you unintentionally.
It’s always baffling to me how the ones you love the most are also the ones who can hurt you the most. Rarely the average person doesn’t think too much if an acquaintance or stranger does anything that might offend or hurt them. It’s the ones you love that hurt the most. They are your “blind side.” I tend to become so comfortable in the notion that the people who I have opened myself up to will always protect and have my best interest at heart. Then that little thing called reality rears its ugly head up and reminds me the ones I love are human. As humans we are all flawed to make mistakes, and make no mistake in thinking I am above that. Lord knows that I have made some terrible mistakes in my life. Mistakes that will never be shared. Mistakes that I have buried so far down and refuse to let them plague me again. I absolutely loathe that adage that says “ignorance is not bliss.” The only thing ignorance gets you is looking like a fool in the end. Knowing the truth might hurt like hell, but at least you can try to recover and move on. Sometimes you can and sometimes you can’t. At least by knowing the truth you are given the opportunity to try. The one thing that gets me (and I have done it also) is the “intentional” hurting. Doing something knowing that if the other person was to find out they would be devastated. Why do we do it then? Thrill of the chase, boredom, or just plain stupidity. I’m still trying to figure that one out.
One thing that I have taken from the hurt of others is the courage to stand up for myself more. To know that I am someone of value and that my happiness matters.
“Courage is a hard thing to figure. You can have courage based on a dumb idea or mistake, but you’re not supposed to question adults, or your coach or your teacher, because they make the rules. Maybe they know best, but maybe they don’t. It all depends on who you are, where you come from. Didn’t at least one of the six hundred guys think about giving up, and joining with the other side? I mean, valley of death that’s pretty salty stuff. That’s why courage it’s tricky. Should you always do what others tell you to do? Sometimes you might not even know why you’re doing something. I mean any fool can have courage. But honor, that’s the real reason for you either do something or you don’t. It’s who you are and maybe who you want to be. If you die trying for something important, then you have both honor and courage, and that’s pretty good. I think that’s what the writer was saying, that you should hope for courage and try for honor. And maybe even pray that the people telling you what to do have some, too.” –The Blind Side