Saturday, 21 February 2015

On respect and deserving

Sometimes I hear or read about how one should not tolerate 'disrespectful behavior', and to only have relationships (any kind -- personal, professional, romantic) with people who 'respect' and 'deserve' us. Yes, ideally we should not stay in situations that are less than optimal for our well-being, where we are physically harmed or emotionally and mentally drained. However, more often than not, when spoken, these words have a tinge of bitterness behind them, do they not? Instead of insisting that 'they should respect us', and being angry when that 'requirement' is not met, why not accept that people can only give in a way that they are capable of? When they act rudely or selfishly, they are really only acting for their own protection, acting from their own pain, though they may not be aware of it. Nothing anyone does to you is truly personal. Everyone gives in their own capacity. Therefore, only YOU have the choice to be hurt by the difference between how you expect to be treated (which is what many people perceive 'respect' to be), and how you have actually been treated. When you encounter a situation where you are hurt, can you instead show compassion for yourself and the other person? Firstly, compassion for yourself for feeling hurt and expecting more from the other person than they can give you. Secondly, compassion for the other person that they may be hurt in a way that limits their capacity to love and give. Thirdly, forgiveness to both of you, and acceptance that what you are looking for cannot be provided for by the person, without any blame involved. With that acceptance, you have the power of choice to accept all that they can give right now with that understanding, or seek elsewhere for what you want (that's what you think you deserve). The latter option asks that you walk away with goodwill and without drama.

Another way to look at this is, are you seeking something from someone else that you think you 'need' from that person? In other words, does what you think you deserve come from a place of lack, or a place of true self-love that prioritizes your well-being as a complete human being? Are you sure you cannot provide that need for yourself (love, validation, entertainment)? Are you sure you're not asking for perfection from someone else, perfection that is not logically attainable anyway? Are you seeking unconditional acceptance from others (when you cannot extend that to them either), or expecting that others fulfill your needs in the exact way that you want? 

Finally, if you hold any negative feelings about the situation, and want to confront or hurt the other person for 'doing you wrong' to 'put them in their place', please ask yourself this: Does it really matter if the other person knows or feels sorry for hurting you? Why this tit-for-tat? Why does it matter so much to you that your 'needs' and 'feelings' are known? Does it make sense to sour the relationship? Does it make sense to hold on to these feelings of anger, righteousness, disappointment, or whatever you are feeling? 

The only questions that remain are, Are YOU willing to move on and forgive? Are YOU willing to bring love in instead? If it had touched a sore part within your heart that makes you feel hurt (which may not have anything to do with this person's actions directly, ie. Are you making him/her pay for someone else's past mistake), are you willing to be thankful for this experience which had brought this hurt to awareness for your healing? 

"Forgive them, even if they are not sorry. Because holding on to anger only hurts you, not them. And why would you want to hurt anyone anyway? It would only turn you into the very thing you don't want to be. Forgive and move on!"
~Timber Hawkeye
I am so glad I came across this quote today, it helped me put my thoughts about this topic into words.

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