I have such trouble figuring out people who can make mean comments.
People who write or speak from their anger, their frustration, their fighting spirit.
People who use their tongue or pen to maim, injure, destroy.
I usual react the opposite, knowing how fragile our spirits can be. The human being often needs careful loving, gentle handling. Some people call that “coddling the ego”, but I think kindness goes further to reconcile us than knives and guns and negative tongues.
We’re all perfect the way we are–AND we need to change a little. That’s one of the paradoxes of life. We are magnificent personalities exploring this existence on a blue and green spinning planet–and we are also egos attempting to create something new, something different. We’re both embracing life and pushing it away.
We’re sometimes as vulnerable as we are self-confident. We’re sometimes as weak as we are strong. We have many sides to us, sometimes conflicting sides. Some of us try to work on and change the sides we don’t like; others of us try to embrace ourselves as the contradictions we are–multi-faceted human being shining with light and dappled with shadow.
Who among us is perfect? Only in the sense of our imperfect perfection do we attempt to share, to love, to sing, to dance, to write, to wash dishes, to walk to the mailbox.
We usually know our weaknesses. If we’ve sat gently with them for days or years or decades, we sometimes also know the strengths which balance the weaknesses. We know why the weakness birthed, and sometimes we can even see how to resolve it–although that may take years and years to resolve–although, Grace willing, sometimes a weakness can be illuminated and resolved by the end of a long paragraph.
An angry person arrived at my doorstep sometime during last night’s slumber and vented. Told me what was wrong with me and this blog, in no uncertain terms. Told me what I supposed to be, how I was supposed to write. Wanted me to be better, different, less, more, something other than what was appearing.
“I don’t want to be mean,” the comment ended, but by then my heart lay broken in two pieces and tears threatened the edges of this world. The person refused to dignify the comment with a name, a face, someone personal with which to respond, a real email, a chance for dialogue and reconciliation.
I had a funny blog prepared about Madame Katrinka’s Fabulous Healthy Granola–or something utterly silly–which created peals of laughter yesterday when creating it–but now I felt small and inadequate and insecure (all confidence drained away, so quickly, by a single angry reader!) and I methodically ditched anything humorous, anything crazy, anything zany, anything silly, and wrote a serious cooking post which could have been written by any anonymous lover of apple concentrate granola.
In other words–I was shamed and silenced by this anger, this mean-spirited diatribe.
No wonder people contain themselves into small lifeless receptacles, attempting to be other than their wild & precious multi-faceted selves. No wonder why we become civilized, cultured, attempting to fit in. So many of us fear that by standing up to our uniqueness we’ll be ridiculed, despised, detoured, decimated.
We also fear that the mean-hearted has seen our secret scars, our inadequacies, and we’re afraid that he or she might be right, that we are somehow less than, wrong, mistaken.
I am brushing off the two broken pieces of this red heart and glueing them back together with some gentle murmurings of love, some soft palms, a lot of hugs.
“Do not be hurt by the world, oh heart,” I whisper. “Or, rather, do not fear being broken again and again and again. Because love repairs all wounds and harsh words. Love builds endlessly. Bless the mean-spirited person, bless his or her own broken heart, may he or she find the loving salve needed to build up instead of destroy, to create peace rather than war.”