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Thursday, May 21, 2015

The Common Beauty in Friends and ‘Enemies’ Alike


PEOPLE are who they are; with us and with others.
Although people can change slowly over time — though not everyone does — nobody can change, between people, how they interact. What this means is people who offend us interact with others in similar ways, yet others haven’t always taken it the way we have. Likewise, those we have no problem with may rub others up the wrong way; we may wonder what they are complaining about. This explains the phenomenon of hurt in the sensitive person, as we are all sensitive people.
Of course, those likely to be propagators of hurt — who decry the sensitive person — are probably the hardened; the narcissists, who lack empathy, exploit others as sport, and feel entitled to do so. But even this latter person, who has no qualms in collateral damage, is encountered in similar ways by different persons. They do not single people out for ‘special’ treatment unique to their capacities. Their capacities are underlying. Their capacities have similar effects as they play out.
When Hurts Are Less Than Personal
Hurts absorbed and taken within — those that cause us internal stress — can feel as if they are an attack construed against our very person. It’s like they saw us coming and thought, “Here’s something I prepared earlier, for you!”
We are best informed not to think that the attacks against us are personal.
Given another person in a similar position, the attack may be similarly deployed. It’s much less than personal, though it does feel personal.
The attack on our person is the blight of life. Such a thing takes us quickly into a pathology of thinking for feelings we want just to run away from. Life has become hellish.
But to think that we are not so personally in the firing line gives us strength; the attack is not as malicious as we thought. This helps us recoil in ways, hopefully, of poise, and neither of counterattack nor complicity.
What helps most of all — as we take the opportunity of reflection — is the person who has attacked us has their own problems. We are not nearly the centre of their world — for hate and scorn — that we think we might be.
The opportunity extant of this knowledge is our mind will imagine many dark things that never existed. And in our mind of minds we have the opportunity to see the rationale — we have a fresh opportunity to grace ourselves with a liberating truth:
God made us free in our minds; who would we be to imprison ourselves to fear?
People are people, capable of virtue and vice, won to darkness and light, able to change at any point, but are usually unchanging.
© 2015 Steve Wickham.

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