Not so long ago, I decided to dump my guts to all of you.
It was positive, being able to look fear in the eye and come to terms with the source of all my fears. I am hoping that all of you learned something from my story, and that it will bring about change for the better.
But just facing your fears and understanding them isn’t enough. Just understanding yourself and learning to trust isn’t enough.
When I was living in a distorted, negative reality, I didn’t believe that what I did had any effect on others. The opposite of love is not hate, but indifference. And that’s how I believed that others regarded me. I did not believe I could hurt (or help!) anyone, so I often acted selfish and cruel. I would push people away, then feel sorry for myself, not really understanding.
With the walls coming down and the distortions of negativity removed, I was overwhelmed to see the results of my actions. A co-worker was angry when I didn’t do something when I said I would do it. It wasn’t because she didn’t like me or was unreasonably hard on me, it was because she had been let down by someone she was depending on. I saw the results of neglecting my family, fighting back in arguments, and taking friendships for granted.
I’ve told you that it matters. I told you that, because I wanted you to believe that, if you chose, you could do great things.
But, what I didn’t realize, is that everything we do matters. People are effected, emotionally, by the choices we make. Each one of us–no matter how insignificant we THINK that we are–is unbelievably powerful. We have the power to make someone’s day with a smile or a kind word. We have the power to gradually change the world, through the smallest of our actions.
But we also have the power to divide and destroy. We have a responsibility to break out of ourselves, our struggles, our reality. We have a tremendous responsibility to realize that we are loved–because when people love us, they make themselves vulnerable to us. We are responsible for understanding our connectedness, and for using it to build and not to destroy.
We need to move beyond mere survival. We need to stop worrying about ourselves: who is going to hurt us, who is angry at us, are we going to be abandoned. Instead, we need to wonder, who are we hurting, and who could we be helping.
To truly heal, to truly be human, even, we have to move beyond ourselves. There is a danger in not realizing that we matter.