It is not because the truth is too difficult to see that we make mistakes… we make mistakes because the easiest and most comfortable course for us is to seek insight where it accords with our emotions – especially selfish ones.
– Alexander Solzhenitsyn
How do we navigate our relationships fighting the natural inclination to be self-centered? When we feel hurt… our instinct is to say that someone has hurt us. We become so involved in our own perceptions that our expectations for other people are inseparable from those. We take great care in pointing out the ways that people who commit offenses against us should have known better, but is this fair if we never explicitly express ourselves prior to the offense? Why is it so difficult (I’m speaking to myself, not meaning to point blame) to look outside the realm of the individual psyche and consider the feelings or experiences of someone else?
Anyway, I guess that was just a long winded mea culpa. I’m a big bitchy birthday brat. I took down the last two entries I posted because I realized how ridiculous I sounded. There are a lot worse things than a respiratory infection or cold weather. And there are more important things going on in my life and the lives of those I care about than a few parties at insignificant clubs. Now that the antibiotics are taking effect and my sanity is creeping back in, I am grateful to my wonderful friends who make every day of my life more meaningful with their presence, that one weekend is obsolete in comparison.
I admit that I’ve been resentful lately. But I realized yesterday, in being confronted with an unexpected kindness that I did not deserve, that not only do I not have a right to complain about circumstance, I really really need to let go of the past. My sharp memory makes forgetting impossible, and forgiving that much more difficult. But what I managed to forget was that there is goodness in others despite what grievances I feel they have committed. And that, in focusing on what I perceive they have done to me, I forget what they may have needed to do for themselves, for their own happiness irrespective of mine.
In instances where we feel betrayed or slighted by friends (to a higher degree because they are friends), it is naturally easier to play the victim. But the tricky part is, that because they are your friend, sometimes that fact has to take precedence over any temporary hurt you may feel. I like to think that I’ve been the bigger person, but I really haven’t… at least not in my thoughts. And that needs to change.
I’m sorry for a lot of things this week, month, year… to a lot of people who I have hurt indirectly (or otherwise) in being so consumed by my own selfish and relatively insignificant pain. My birthday wish, for my “special” day, is to remember in the course of the next year and so on, that I’m really only as special as the sum of amazing people who enrich my life.