Golden Rule

25 05 2010

I can’t tolerate having people in my life who don’t treat me with love and respect. I can’t tolerate having people who lie or who won’t take responsibility for their actions and mistakes – particularly when those mistakes effect me. I can’t tolerate people who hurt me without making amends.

I don’t expect people to be perfect. I simply ask that if they screw up, they afford me the respect of apologizing and then learning from their mistake and not repeating it.

This is how I try to treat people, and how I expect to be treated in return.

Unfortunately, this means I lose a lot of people. Especially family.

I admire this respect that I have for myself – that I insist my loved ones treat me well, that I am willing to forgive when apologized to, that I am willing to apologize when I am wrong (even though it’s often very hard for me to admit I’m wrong).

And, yet, I find myself with less and less family. And I wonder what’s wrong with me that I can’t let bygones be bygones like most people I know. I don’t feel I hold grudges – all I ask is that people make amends with me when they’ve hurt me. I usually open up completely when they’ve healed me with the kindness and love that a simple apology gives. But I’m incapable of letting go of hurt when there hasn’t been closure or healing to it. I am incapable of faking it, of pretending everything is OK when it is not. Again, a quality I admire in myself – honesty – but when I look around at others, I just feel broken. Everyone else I see can find a way to love despite hurt, and without apology. I don’t know if this is more right than the way I work, but it certainly is the expected way to handle things in society.

I told this to a close friend the other day and she told me it’s a quality she admires in me and she wishes she had the strength for.

But I still feel broken.




2 responses

25 05 2010
bethany actually

Bonnie, it’s NOT brokenness. It’s self-preservation. So many, many people who grew up in similar situations to yours never manage to learn that self-preservation and they spend their whole lives re-enacting the dramas of their childhoods, and perpetrating those dramas and traumas on their own children and spouses and friends. You have managed to find the strength to protect yourself and your loved ones, and that is a wonderful blessing. Your life is not over, you are still on the journey and learning how to live every day. You may well get to the point someday where you can look past the hurts and find a way to love without getting apologies, but you (and your loved ones, those who have hurt you and those who are totally innocent in all this) will be better off for the fact that you spent all these years learning how to protect yourself first. Truly.


25 05 2010

Well, a couple of things without getting my own damn blog:

Bethany is right of course. You are not broken. Cracked maybe, yeah, for sure cracked. Beautifully cracked and patched and healing.

Broken to me is the “typical” way, the “common” way. I don’t see a lot of love in that, actually. Occasionally I do in the Very Enlightened. I see a lot of stuffing full of crap to hole up that place that the hurt made, a lot of self-deceit, a lot of self-abuse. That’s what I mostly see when I see the person that supposedly forgives and moves on without amends being made. Jesus is so often held up as this “turn the other cheek” example but the context of that entire preaching is so often left out. He said (roughly, he was better with words than I am) If you are hurt, then REBUKE and if there is no remorse, then move on BUT if there is remorse than forgive and turn the other cheek. He was saying that we SHOULD rebuke, and certainly by his example he did. And he was saying that in order to forgive, you should expect an apology. Using this example because it is so commonly misused and held up as the gold standard.

I just don’t think that is really a foundation for any kind of relationship other than superficial when there is not that kind of give and take. When people are screaming in their head at each other and praising themselves for not saying shit out loud when they have a mouthful of it, that’s the killer, and literally.

I know I always am shoving this book down your throat, but really, Women Who Run With the Wolves really, really helped me with this.
Would much rather you have a few really good, solid, real, healthy relationships than a bunch of superficial for show familial ones.
(Did it anyway with the Get My Own Damn Blog post)

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