On Restraint

I am currently dealing with two situations that require me to restrain myself from reacting the way I would like to react.  I am finding this an arduous task due to the depth of emotions I am now experiencing.  The urge to “lash out” is great.  The urge to hurt the perpetrators of the actions is also great.  I admit to being a highly emotional person.  I feel things very deeply.  I also seem to have a need to express my feelings…I usually do not hold back.  In both situations I am involved in now, there is the potential to “do harm” to people I once cared about so very much.  And as much as I sometimes feel that I would like them to feel the hurt and anger I am feeling, I cannot do anything that would cause this.  I have asked myself why this is so.  Here is what I have come up with thus far.

I am not a person who angers easily.  Nor am I a person who holds a grudge.  I am usually not a person who looks on the negative side of things.  In some of the most distressing situations I have encountered in my life I remained positive, always believing that things would work out as they should.  I cannot think of a time in my life where this was not the case.  I am also someone who does not blame others for what happens to me because I fully believe that we create our lives by the choices we make and by our decisions to react in certain ways to our experiences.

It would have been so easy to hurt back, to try to ease the pain by transferring all the blame for what has happened to the other people involved.  Yet I never did that nor will I do that now.  I have watched others deflect blame and cause hurt to the people who have hurt them.  I have seen that this never takes away their hurt.  It never resolves the situation.  It just obscures the cause and prolongs the time it takes to heal.  Holding on to anger and negativity only hurts the person who is angry and negative.

In both situations that are making my head spin and my heart hurt right now, I trusted the people involved completely.  I honestly felt that they were wonderful, kind, intelligent people who would never intentionally cause anyone pain.  I am usually such a great judge of character…not always, but usually.  With these two, not so much.  I wonder why this is so.  I did not make my mind up impulsively.  I got to know these people…really know them.  I trusted them completely.  Yet they turned out to be so different than who I believed them to be.  I blame myself…for not seeing through the deception…for ignoring the signs that were, indeed, there all along…for believing in the authenticity of their personas.

In all the readings I have done in my life on personalities and the development of character and ethical behaviours, I have learned that there are people who can wear their “masks” in such a way that it is almost impossible to see that they are wearing them at all.  Not all of them are “bad” people.  Most of them, actually, are doing this to protect themselves from the scars of their pasts…they are acting in the only way they can in order not to continue feeling their own pain.  So how can anyone judge them harshly?

It is inevitable that all of us will experience hurt caused by people we love or trust.  It is also inevitable that we will have the urge to hurt back…to cause them pain as well.  But we must restrain ourselves.  We must focus on the positive people and things in our lives.  We must not be angry at ourselves for trusting and loving those people we believed to be wonderful.  We must take the “high road” for it is the only road that will lead us to where we need to be.

2 thoughts on “On Restraint

  1. Marilyn says:

    My dear friend Ellen. ❤️How I wish I was able to express myself as well as you do. You are speaking from my heart as I am unable to do. ❤️

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