There was this one time a complete stranger did some really shitty stuff that affected me and my children in life-changing and permanent ways. This person behaved in the most cruel, self-centered, classless way a person can behave and seemed to take great pleasure in doing so. To protect my family, I asked this person to stop said shitty behavior multiple times, and I was met with (see it coming?) more shitty behavior.
For the longest time, I could not understand how someone could behave in such a despicable way. I questioned it every day, and worked through it in my head a gazillion times, trying to make sense of it. As I watched this person knowingly hurt me and my family, I was dismayed that someone could be so cruel.
And then I realized that some people are just shitty human beings who do shitty things with absolutely zero regard for others. I also realized that someone who could do such shitty things must feel pretty shitty about herself.
Eventually, I stopped trying to figure it out. People like this don’t care who they hurt as long as they get what they want. Engaging with them in any way just adds to your own pain and frustration. I chose instead to focus on myself and my family and how best to shield us from further pain. That was the best decision to make under the circumstances because that was what I could control.
Choosing to withdraw from such a drama-filled situation was empowering and liberating. It helped me re-adjust my focus and priorities. It showed me that setting a good example for my kids is of utmost importance. It reminded me to look for the good despite the bad. It taught me that, regardless of anyone else’s behavior, I have a CHOICE every day in how I’m going to live my life. It was the world’s most painful way to grow, I can tell you that.
The gift in it, though, was that shitty person’s behavior re-ignited a fire in me to treat myself, my children, my family, and my friends with great love and compassion. Maybe someday, when I’m super-evolved and my chakras are all aligned, I’ll even feel those things for the shitty person herself.
That’s a long shot though.