Breathe

Why, oh why, are there always those who seem to make it their life’s purpose to assume the worst of other people? The sheer haughtiness, the self-righteousness and the quick ability to snap to their own unviolated defence at the expense of innocent commentators infuriate me to no end. Do they live in their own little impenetrable bubble of spite and the gleeful abandonment of kindness? Do they take pleasure in stabbing their sarcastic, hurtful remarks into what would otherwise be pleasant conversation around the dinner table? In an atmosphere of cheerful banter or at the very least, an unassumingly neutral tone of conversation, I don’t quite understand how one would think that belligerence would be called for. Although, it probably went something along the evil lines of: hmm, I smell too much harmony in the air (insert flickering snake tongue here). The time has come for chaos to triumph! Or some other equally hackneyed, villainous montage.

I understand that, of course, there are times when one can’t help but lash out at others. I’ve gone through the shits myself, to put it eloquently. There are days when you feel so cut up about something that happened earlier which just completely ruined your day and I totally understand that you want to make all other human beings pay because life is miserable! But. I feel like there is a second category reserved especially for those gorgeous little angels we call bitches. Perhaps it is an inherent instinct for them to feel like in order to live a balanced and fulfilled life, they must also drag others to the deepest depths of hell with them? Who knows, really.

I admit that it’s hard to understand what they themselves are going through- and this is an important factor to consider which may mitigate the harshness of the judgments I bestow on them. I will never have the ability to delve into their minds to examine why exactly they act the way they do. So, of course, we can never definitively demarcate people into any sort of categories since we are all undoubtedly complex beings. Our lives are roughly constructed of a myriad of minuscule social, cultural and emotional variants.

I don’t want to paint myself as a saint in vilifying such people because lord knows, I’ve been guilty of being a horrible human being myself. Who hasn’t? I know I can be unsympathetic and cold. I push away people far too often. I sometimes hurt them in ways which bely my true intentions of just not wanting myself to get hurt. I’m thinking that perhaps these feelings, the darker side of myself, allow me to understand why unkind people act the way they do. Maybe they’re simply looking out for themselves because they’ve been hurt one too many times and they’ve long passed the point where hope for better treatment could still be mustered.

But hurt is inevitable. One cannot go through life without rejection or the occasional lump in your throat and behind your chest that grows when you get angry, sad or frustrated. Everyone has walls built high inside of them that only few are worthy enough to scale. The people around you can be just as damaged as you are.

So, please. Be kind. Don’t be afraid to show your love to others. Say your ‘please’s and ‘thank you’s because nothing warms the heart like gratitude given and received. Be patient with others because you don’t know what they’re going through even while you yourself are also not in a good place. Smile.

I’ve made a pledge to myself to stick to these tenets, because I know that I don’t want to live a life of isolation from my family and friends. I don’t want to be scared of showing my feelings to others anymore because how else will I be able to really connect and grow? I want to be able to engage more fully with other people. I want to embrace love and laughter in both myself and in others. I want to be more open and free to be my true self. I know that I have the capacity to give so much more and receive more in return; and it was only my fear that others wouldn’t like what they saw in me which kept me from doing just that. I know I can give so much more if only I just start to love myself and let myself love others without all this crippling fear of judgment stifling me.

So, just breathe. Stay a while. Then let it all go.