I know someone – maybe it’s me – who doesn’t know how to have a relationship. This person thinks it’s okay to expect the other party to initiate all the interaction, all the contact, take all the risks, and yet still consider that being in a relationship. That’s, well, lame. But I can see a certain genius behind it. See, if you never take a risk, never initiate contact, never put yourself out there, you can never get hurt. To someone so afraid of rejection it’s terminally painful to consider opening yourself up to such potential pain this is unacceptable. On the flip side, if the one doing all the work does something you don’t like, you can sit back and point out the mistake.
It’s a great way to avoid ever being wrong (and having to apologize for it), while still fooling yourself to think that you’re in a relationship. Very clever. And a very sad, lonely way to live. If you live this way, you’re probably wondering why your relationships always fail. “I haven’t done anything wrong,” you say. “I was completely honest about everything,” you say. That may be true, but you aren’t capable of true intimacy. And you’ll never be able to truly have a partner. Just a string of relationships that fizzle out. The other person constantly wondering why you don’t meet their needs, and you wondering why every relationship you get into ends with a whimper.
You just don’t get it. Or maybe I’m talking about me. You decide. Oh, wait. That would involve you actually doing something.
The only thing more difficult than apologizing for something I’ve done wrong is to make that apology to a self-righteous jerk. You know, one of those kind of apologies where there is equal blame, but where the SRJ stands across from you – arms folded – and says, “It’s so nice that you can admit when you’re wrong.”
It’s a leveling of pride I’m not fond of, but what a learning experience. I want to thank this person for the opportunity to practice humility. Now I’m free. And they have to be THEM for the rest of their lives. Who’s coming out ahead here? 🙂
Okay, this may sound strange, but the lying, disgusting weasels in our lives are actually good for us. Having said it, I realize it sounds REALLY strange, but it’s true. People like them (and we all have them in our lives) help us to practice being good people.
I don’t know about you, but I get complacent. Things start going well, I get lazy and then, BOOM, I’m a lying, disgusting weasel. Well, maybe it’s been a while since I’ve slid THAT far down, but my point is that it (backsliding) happens. So, when these hideous reprobates get mixed in with our lives, it allows us to practice NOT RESPONDING IN KIND to their disgusting-weaselness.
And I don’t mean we let these useless sacks of s*** step on us. What I mean is that their presence in our lives allows us to practice principles to become better people. For example, if I am trying to become more patient, I’m not suddenly struck patient one day! Rather, I’m given the chance to be patient: in traffic, with my children, or even, you know, in dealing with a disgusting weasel.
So, if all the disgusting weasels in my life suddenly moved to, I dunno, say, Alaska, I’d no longer be able to practice being a good person (and no, being good and kind to other good and kind people doesn’t count…). Then I might revert to being one myself. And you might be writing about me.
I’m in the world to play the role He assigns: facing each moment with calm awareness and clarity of thought, divorcing my thoughts (and hence my actions) from selfishness, self-pity and feelings of guilt and remorse, I can be effective in carrying out His will.
My life changes each moment as awareness of my role and its place in the world help me see what it is I’m really here to do.
Selfishness and anger play no part in a true spiritual life.