Since he said that in early 2012, not a day has passed that I haven’t thought about it. What an amazing statement. It shook my world – how he was able to verbalize such a strong, succinct message. If it hasn’t hit you yet, please go back and read it over a few times…
I have really been trying to practice tolerance and acceptance of people’s behavior because if you think about it – no matter who you are, you probably get shit on by somebody once a day. My initial, human reaction to this is one of anger – and it’s really unfair. We’ve all heard the saying, “life isn’t fair” and that’s true. However, we don’t have to necessarily react negatively when others do not treat us the way we feel we should be treated. Things go wrong, and people make mistakes. So many of us (all of us if you ask me) carry heavy burdens through our daily lives and these heavy burdens sometimes impede our judgement and we make bad decisions. This doesn’t have to be the case.
My father called me tonight to talk about something that he was feeling deep in his heart. He was worried about me – worried that I was going to get hurt or taken advantage of… It may seem weird – even more weird if you know him, but he calls me once in a while – and in his blunt, loving way, tells me how much he cares about me, how I should really watch my back, watch the angles, and just kind of watch out for everyone…
My dad has been screwed over a lot in his life – and he has made many mistakes like most of us (that’s his backstory in short). All of his experiences – whatever it may be, right or wrong – he has chosen not to be a very trusting man. I can appreciate what he’s been through in his life, but I cannot agree with the way he guards himself and shuts things out – just kills emotion. There was a time in my life when I did that and I have changed my attitude since. Although I don’t necessarily agree with his train of thought, I appreciate these phone calls. They show me how much he really cares about me. They also give me a look at the guarded, Hobbesian outlook that many people have about life after they’ve touched a hot stove.
My intent is not to create some sob story for me or for you about the times we have been screwed over, hurt, or taken advantage of by others – whether it’s been life, love, or business. I have been there… I’ve been to the bottom… the depths… I questioned what was real and what was fake. I questioned the very fabric of this life and questioned if there was any good in this world. I lived like that for too long – I trusted no one. I became very cold for a period of my life.
I’ll venture to say that many of you are experiencing a time in your life right now where you have shut down and shut people out – lost hope and lost belief in our fellow human beings – including, most importantly, those closest to you.
I’ve learned over the past few years that by being cold and shutting down – it inhibited my ability to feel happiness and true connections with people. When you look for, and expect the ugly in people and life, you will without a doubt find it. However, when you let things go – when you accept the fact that people are going to hurt you and they are going to take from you – then and only then – is when you can truly open your heart, be vulnerable, and in turn experience – true love. True love in friends, lovers, and complete strangers. True. Love.
We must allow ourselves to be vulnerable – take risks – TRUST others. Knowing that we’re exposing our hearts. If we do not forgive ourselves, forgive others, and do not TRUST that there is good in everyone – that people do have beautiful hearts – that they are not always out to hurt us, then we will not be able to reach our full potential and ability to love and enjoy life and love and enjoy each other.
I’m willing to be hurt. I’m willing to be stepped on. I’m willing to take a chance. I’m going to TRUST people – trust my friends – even those I don’t know just yet. I challenge each of you to go out today and try and TRUST each other – be willing to get hurt – expose yourself. This sounds crazy while I’m writing it because I have lived so much of my life in a guarded state. Living in a guarded state limits your ability to love and to be loved. The more of us that are willing to take a risk and TRUST each other – TRUST that there is good in this world – TRUST that there are good people in our lives, the more love we will infuse into our circles and ultimately the world.
So open yourself up, be vulnerable, take a chance on LOVE – take a chance on your friends – take them at their word and know that they are not perfect. Understand that you might end up getting hurt and get over it, and above all:
Understand that love and trust is the only road to experiencing true love and peace with yourself and with others in your life.
If someone really wants to hurt you – you CANNOT stop them – they will find a way to hurt you.
However… If someone wants to LOVE you and treat you right – you CAN stop them. You can stop them from loving you – you can stop them by being guarded and not trusting them – not allowing them in…
I TRUST you. I LOVE you. I have to – I have to because if I don’t, yea – maybe I’ll never “allow” myself to be hurt and experience pain… But, I KNOW that if I don’t, I will never experience love.
“I can give you more than you can take from me…”
Think about that for a while…
Love & Peas,