I would love to be able to hold up my hand and say, “I have never hurt anyone.” Truth is, I have. We all have, at some point in our lives.
The reasons why we hurt people – especially those who love us – are plentiful: selfishness, carelessness, the pain within us that requires expression, anger, self-hatred, ad infinitum. We have our dark, sometimes unconscious, reasons for our less-than-perfect actions.
This saying is attributed to Bob Marley, and it gave me food for thought:
Sometimes, you are the one man (or one woman) who makes your loved one suffer. Sometimes, you are the one who gives your beloved 10,000 reasons to leave you, but he/she finds the 1 reason (out of the 10,000) for staying.
And everyday your loved one stays despite the 10,000 reasons to leave you, he/she is teaching you the highest lesson of all:
Lifelong love is about reconciliation, NOT retribution.
Yes, we make mistakes and often unintentionally hurt someone. And it is how those who purportedly “love” you treat you when you fail to be perfect. Is it retribution, hitting you back, punishing you, causing you pain back for the pain you may have caused, or is the one you hurt seeking a new ground to find a way to move forward, to forgive, to work together?
That, for me, is the litmus test for Lifelong Love, this partnership to be our best selves TOGETHER.
PS. Interesting exercise for Self: what do YOU do?
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