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As we go through our day, we are often injured by the words or actions of others. Those injuries leave small (or large) wounds on our psyche.
Recently, I counted on someone to do something for me. It is something they said they would do for months, and then they didn’t follow through. As I am going about my day, I occasionally think of this broken promise. The thought brings the disappointment, confusion, and pain to the surface. I can’t make sense of what this person did to me and the wound is still open.
There was another thing that caused me an injury recently. A stranger stole from me. This situation makes me feel pain on several levels. It makes me feel worse about people in general, it makes me feel less safe and trusting of doing something I previously had no concern about, and even though I don’t know this person, it feels like a personal violation.
Every day I read positive affirmations all over social media. People love to post stuff about thinking positive, changing your attitude, because it will change your life, etc. I think positive little sayings and poems are great, but it is unrealistic to think we will always be positive when we live with and around other people, and those people may be mean, thoughtless, crooks, or just insensitive.
The things that happened to me recently are certainly not life changing situations, and they aren’t traumatic situations. I didn’t receive news that a loved one is dying, and no one I know was beat up in a robbery. I am talking about small injuries here, but even though they are small, if we don’t allow them to have their space in our lives, and we don’t allow ourselves to completely heal from them, the buildup of small injuries left unattended can lead to bitterness, resentment, distrust – they can rob us of feeling true joy.
I would like to say that in a year’s time that I won’t remember these injuries, but I know that I will. I won’t ask the person that broke their promise to me to do anything for me again, and I will never regain the trust I had for people who have small businesses online. So, although these are not huge injuries, they are significant because I lost something in both cases – trust. Trust is a critical component of life. It is particularly essential to people with paranoid schizophrenia. To me, trust is a sacred agreement between people and even some extent the larger society (we agree to follow the laws).
In a month from now, I’m not going to think about these two injuries as much as I think about them now, because they will begin to heal. I will make sure I give them proper attention, space, and time, in order to scab over.
Writing this is an important reminder to me to be kind, gentle and thoughtful when I am dealing with other people. My words and actions are important and can have more power than I know or intend. I don’t want to be the cause of injury, no matter how small those nicks and scrapes may be. So here and now, I offer you a band aid and some ointment to help recover from an injury you may have received recently. I hope your small injuries heal completely without scar tissue because that can be a layer between you and joy.