I’ve been seeing a lot of posts on FB lately – you know the kind:
Actually, it isn’t just lately. Many FBers like to post inspirational stuff. But occasionally I worry about some of the sentiments expressed, if taken to their logical conclusion. For instance, I have to wonder if making a concerted effort to keep only those people in our lives who have something to offer and purging everyone who exhibits negativity, is always the best course of action. I’m not suggesting that anyone bath in the perpetually gray waters of haters, or put up with anyone whose chief joy in life comes from deliberately causing pain.
I’m just saying that you will never meet a human who is perfect. We stumble and falter and when we do, we often tag someone on the way down and pull them with us. Usually that’s the person closest to us because they are the ones we hope will keep us upright. We hope our friends will help us stand, and the pain we inflict in trying to keep our balance is accidental.
Of course, you might point out that wounds aren’t always inflicted inadvertently. And you would be right, but as R.E.M told us so poignantly, “everybody hurts, sometimes.” When humans hurt, they have a tendency to strike out at others. Even friends. Hurting someone you love solely because you are yourself in pain isn’t excusable; it can only be made forgiveable by active choice on the part of the injured. That’s why forgiveness requires grace. A friend doesn’t walk away over a momentary, pain driven lapse. They stick, because… well, Mr. Marley said it better than I can.
People aren’t disposable. So choose carefully, that moment when you walk away. Be wise. Sometimes it is necessary to leave a relationship behind, but if you take that step too often, too lightly, you may end up walking alone on the day that you are the everybody who cries.
(Author’s note: these thoughts are not, in any way, shape or form, meant to endorse anyone staying in any form of abusive relationship. A person in such a relationship has every right, and yes, perhaps a duty, to walk away because no one has the right to abuse another person. Ever.)