In the midst of my hormone-guided tour of my emotional landscape, I started to think (read: cry) about how people can hurt the ones they love.
Look, everyone does it sometime, of course. Whether intentional or accidental, we have all acted upon our inherent ability to hurt others. Sometimes it's an overly-harsh word or a complete dismissal of someone and their feelings. Sometimes it's even an overtly vindictive act of physical or emotional retaliation.
Whether or not something is hurtful can depend entirely on your perspective. What may seem detrimental to one person can be protective for the other. Circumstances can dictate whether or not an action needs to be performed at a certain time, and the consequences of that action may create a Win-Lose situation for the involved parties.
There has to be a limit to the amount of self-sacrifice any person is willing or able to make, even if it sometimes means you end up hurting someone you care about. It seems noble (or something) to be willing to give up anything for someone you love, but the reality of life is that it can't really work that way. To relinquish every bit of your own power as a human being in deference to another, no matter how much you love them, is to weaken yourself to the point of exhaustion and ultimate self-destruction—physical, emotional, metaphysical, or any combination thereof.
When you're on the receiving end of the smite, it just feels damaging and cruel. Knowing that you're the one inflicting that damage can also be incredibly painful. It's that ripple of equal and opposite reaction and how the energy of your own actions bounces back toward you.
Given so much of who and what I've lived this year (especially as it trailed the preceding years), it would be easier if I could find some finality, some crux in time, when I could close my heart to certain people and disregard them completely. My head understands the benefit in being able to close a chapter and box it away, making the people who helped to write those pages mean nothing more than the historical compartment they reside in. To have the deep emotions we shared be inconsequential as I move forward seems superficially like it would make managing my future much easier.
To be able to be distant and calculating, allowing me to feel nothing when I inflict hurt on someone else, could indeed be beneficial as I move forward to rebuild my life.
But I honest to God don't understand how anyone could be so wantonly callous with another person by choice. It baffles every fiber of my being that anyone could so easily disregard another person they have cared about, especially on such an intimate level. I both envy and fear that ability to slam up a wall in your heart between yourself and anything that might have been able to reach you, even for a glimmer of a moment. And how that can justify the hurt it inflicts, I truly don't understand.
Everything in me shakes its head in confusion at the thought of living like that for a second, and it makes me hurt to imagine it. It's reprehensible and baffling to me, both because of what it would say about me and about how I attempt to honor what those people meant to me, even when it was in some other time and place. Maybe that's little girl naive of me.
Hot Pocket says I'm not like most people when it comes to this, but it's the only way I know how to be. I will forever give anyone the benefit of the doubt and hope that my expectations are somehow proven wrong. I will likely be forever disappointed and remain just as confused as ever, even and especially when I can logically see the fallacy of what my heart intuits so very clearly. Where this aspect of my heart previously seemed wistful and charming, now sometimes it seems detrimental and foolish.
I make mistakes. I hurt the people I love. I try very hard not to do that intentionally, sometimes taking the full brunt of the pain myself just to keep the people who've mattered to me from feeling it. When I do inflict damage, I try to apologize and learn the lesson to avoid repeating it. I try to make amends when and where I can.
But I can't be like most of the people I know, who can just cut off their emotions and live as if they're inconsequential. To close off a part of my heart will undoubtedly damage other parts of it, as well, and the long-term consequences of that are far more frightening to me than the short-term abating of emotion would be relieving. Numbing it only delays the inevitable and may actually damage everything else that butts up against the numb.
Somewhere maybe there's a middle
ground for me. I'm not a girl who's
happy (or comfortable) in the medium. When
this journey comes to its end, I want to know that I lived this adventure as
fully and completely as I could, no matter the circumstances, even if it means
having to feel the agony just so I can appreciate the ecstasy.