Magnificent is the strength of a soul who knows what it wants and goes toward its goal. There is no doubt, no fear, no withdrawal. Just a radiant desire filled with certainty and movement to action. Even if the action fails and the wish remains unfulfilled, the sense of being truly alive fuels the soul. This is me! My choice! My fight! My defeat! My victory!
Certain things grow in darkness – babies, dreams, roots…
Real love happens when soul in the body meets soul in the body.
Not in that disembodied world of spirit where we want to be perfect,
But in life, where we are changing the diapers of one we love who is dying,
Swabbing the lips, doing things we never thought we could do.
Stripped of all pride, of everything unreal, we have no false modesty.
You build with love,
Mold with your fingertips,
Only to destroy your creation in the end,
Because it is not meant to last,
But merely to participate in a unique fusion,
Sparkling and fleeting,
And then to be taken apart
So it can be recycled into a new form of life.
As social beings, we unavoidably influence other people and get influenced by them. We hurt and get hurt. Acting from what we consider right, we mostly do not exactly know how do our deeds really touch the other party. There is no manual, no defined path how to do things. There is this vague rule not to “do unto others what you would not have done unto you.” In order to hold it, we need a great deal of empathy, but even if we manage to step into other people`s shoes, it is not guaranteed that our perception of desirable behavior is really what the other party wants or needs.
A while ago I discovered a peculiarity about the way I relate to people I know: I am obsessed with doing the right thing. I am never being late (literally never). I am never disrespectful. I am never turning my back on people. I am always putting a great deal of effort to discuss things and make them clear. Of course, I try not to let people use me and I am capable of retreating from a relationship/situation if my well-being is at stake, but still always with “doing it right” and “not being hurtful/mean/disrespectful” on my mind.
Sounds good, but there is a consequence to this approach: If I expect as much from myself, I also expect as much from others in my life, and since most of the people are not able to live up to these standards, I am more likely to be disappointed and hurt. “Why did he/she do this, I would never do such a thing to him/her?” Looking at the world solely from my perspective, I miss the opportunity to understand what motivates others and to sincerely empathize with them.
Besides, me trying to do the right thing, even if this was possible in every situation, does not mean me actually succeeding in it. I do hurt people. My right can be wrong for you.
Recently I confronted a friend about the way she hurt me, and she replied simply “Well, I am not an angel”. This sentence stuck in my mind. Indeed, she is not an angel. Nor am I. Or anyone I know so far, at that. 🙂
I strongly believe that most of us do the best we can, considering our background and our unique situation. And doing our best should be enough.
The Serbian poet Mika Antić puts it beautifully:
Look kindly on everything that is strange to you. For even your reason, even your action, to someone is violence and pain.
Often we don‘t know what it is we want. We have abilities, talents, the potential to go long distances, but until somebody sees us, recognises our secret selves, we will go the short distance and remain the safe, unexplored person.