I set a goal to complete step four, of the Narcotics Anonymous step-work programme, and there are few hours left in the year in which to do it. It goes something like this:
Column 1: List all the people you fear or resent, for whatever reason, no matter how big or small, as far back as you can remember.
Column 2: Explain what happened and why you fear or resent them. What did they do to you?
Column 3: Describe how it affected you, limited you, oppressed you, held you back etc.
Column 4: What was your role in all this?
I have been battling to complete this for a number of months now, but the deadline is a few hours away. I don’t want to rush it, but I have been dragging my feet.
A call to my sponsor… “So, about the fourth column…”
A few weeks back, I’d said to her that I was having difficulty with the fourth column because it is hard to accept how I empowered all these people to affect me in one way or another, negatively. She had some wise words, which I filed at the back of my mind, until the call today. I wanted her to clarify it for me again.
“Nobody’s perfect. You are not complicit in every act that has hurt or damaged you. Some people are just…”
No need to complete that sentence, though the desire is to say that some people are just assholes. I can’t really say that, in all fairness. Some people are callous. Some people are inconsiderate. Some people are just…yes…the list goes on. I guess the only thing you can take from this, and keep on a positive bent, is to know that some people (or all people, really) are just human, with a myriad of their own issues and daily dramas playing out, and sometimes, they strike out, whether knowingly or unknowingly, and hurt you. Some even do it intentionally. You just have to man up about it – pick yourself up, brush yourself off and deal with it. Sometimes people do bad things because they are bad people, not because you are a bad person.
I think I first took comfort in my own revelation that I was complicit in each act because that meant I had control: they didn’t hurt me until I let them hurt me. I can control that; I can handle a universe where bad things happen to me because of what I have said or done. But that’s not really a reflection of the truth, is it?
Sometimes, you really are just an unwitting bystander when something shit comes along and ruins your day.
Trick is not to let it ruin your life.
© Dave Luis 2012. All Rights Reserved.