I recently had to confront a very painful past, a past that I thought was so buried safe under layers of self-preservation and sanity, a past that I had chosen to let go, or so I thought! Somehow this person had found a shovel and had begun to dig so deep until exposing the layers and revealing what I thought was a healed wound. Immediately the scab was removed, it left a wound so raw that it felt like it had been bursting to come up in the open for a long time. ‘How dare she?’ like a wounded lion I roared!
You see some things just hurt beyond measure, a pain so deep you feel like you are falling into a bottomless pit. The worst of it all is when you thought you have managed to climb out of the hole then someone takes the liberty to shove you right back in. Human beings are incredibly capable of deep emotions and feelings of empathy, love for one another, courage, peace etc. The emotions that have sustained us for generations and made us evolve into one of the most intelligent species there is. However this capacity has also revealed ability to hurt, to hate, to destroy. Experiencing this dark side of human capacity recently left me completely drained, confused, angry. I was confronted with the questions I had laboured for years throughout my university studies in psychology and behaviour management to answer; Why do people behave the way they do?
You may say to me, being hurt is part of life. But does that mean it is something we have to inflict on others or absorb submissively when it is maliciously directed our way? Something we need to tolerate? I don’t think so. Who gives anyone the right to take away the joyous feelings and peace of another? One thing that was certain about this terrible experience was that it reminded me of my capacity to let the wounds heal and the incredible ability to forgive the hurt of the past. Those who know me well would have heard me using the phrase ‘Turning Wounds into Wisdom’. There is nothing powerful than using the experience of the past and deciding to change your today and your tomorrow. Some things happen to us when we least expect them, it is how we choose to deal with them that determines our character.
The advent of social media has forever changed our lives and the way we engage with others and whilst so many positives have come from this revolution, it has also brought out the very worst in some of us. Gossip and bullying has to an extent always been part of a dark undercurrent of society but nowadays, faceless trolls spew poisonous vitriol to complete strangers and yes sometimes ‘friends’ and colleagues also. All under the cover of anonymity - a sign they have become oblivious it seems to the hurt they cause or perhaps even worse, that they have become ‘disconnected’ from real society and have lost the very essence of humanity – compassion, empathy, friendship, nurturing and supporting.
So today my friends, I ask you this question, are you a character builder or a character destroyer?