There is an age old saying that was introduced in the bible that I’m sure everyone is aware of, “An eye for an eye…” and while it might seem at first thought that, yes, this is completely logical; when put into practice, I believe it falls apart. Or maybe that’s just wishful thinking. Maybe it would be completely effective and we would have less criminals in the world. I don’t know, and that’s not the debate I want to have on my blog.
I was thinking of it in terms of relationships. You know how you have that thought, “well if he’s not going to call, then I’m not going to call either,” or “he hurt me, so I’m going to hurt him back.” Those are simplified versions of things I’ve thought myself in a relationship, but I believe this is the worst way to handle a relationship or being hurt in a relationship. I think it leads to the end quicker than anything else. It erodes foundations and builds a flimsy tower of resentment and pain that eventually leads to a fatal fall.
What is it in us that makes us want to lash out? To hurt as we’ve been hurt? I think sometimes, it doesn’t come as a rational thought; it’s more of a gut reaction to pain. I think that’s why I started to move towards philosophies that teach awareness because the more you are aware of your thoughts and feelings and what causes them, the easier you can move to the place of thinking before speaking and not immediately lashing out when something painful happens.
It brings to mind a book a therapist recommended to me many years ago called The Solo Partner: Repairing Your Relationship on Your Own by Phil Deluca. At this point, I can’t even tell you if I read the entire book all the way through, but it has resonated with me lately. I think the book introduces ways in which to heal a relationship on your own, but there were things it asked me to do that I wasn’t ready to embrace. One of them was silence. No matter how much pain you feel or what your partner is doing or saying, you react with silence. Anyone who knows me will tell you that’s not something that comes easily for me. In fact, I had a few people in my life tell me I should be a lawyer because when I believe something, I will debate it to death; until me and the other party are bleeding on the altar of our own stances, firm in what we are saying.
In a relationship, this leads to a dark path that doesn’t always, if ever, end well.
I’m not even sure I’m thinking of the book correctly because it’s been so many years, but I believe it teaches personal power. Instead of chasing a fight or chasing someone to give you their love, you take a step back, shut the hell up and let them come to you. It didn’t work in the relationship it was recommended for, but I think it’s a powerful message. It takes two people to fight and if you walk away or are completely nice in the face of anger and pain, the anger on the other side doesn’t have anywhere to go. Or, at least, that’s the idea.
I think what happens is we get defensive. Someone hurts us or says something hurtful and our immediate reaction is to defend, lash out or hurt. What would happen if we sat in silence, without reaction and said “I love you” or something equally as startling in that scenario but no less kind. I’m not sure it always works, but I think it’s worth looking into. It takes two people to fight and if one person in a relationship refuses to, what happens then? That’s not to say you don’t talk about how much what they said hurt you, but in the heat of the moment when you’re facing a fight or flight moment, why fight? Why not stand there and remind the other person of your love and support.
After all, isn’t that what we’re all looking for? Isn’t that where a lot of the anger comes from? That feeling of wanting love and not finding it for whatever reason?
I’m not sure if any of this makes sense or if I’m just blabbering at this point. It could be I have a rose-colored view of the world (it’s something I’ve been accused of), but I would rather have hope and love in my heart than wallow in bitterness, anger, pain and rage. So, I will continue to see the good and look for ways in which to improve my relationships.
This post is part of Stream of Consciousness Saturday hosted by Linda G Hill. Our prompt today is I/eye/aye. Feel free to click the link and join in the fun.