The other day I received a comment on an old blog post that started with, “You’re full of crap,” and ended with, “…how can people like you help us anyway.”
However, in the same batch of recent comments, I received another email from a “new” follower of my Blog, who thanked me profusely… for writing about topics that many think about, but are uncomfortable mentioning. They ironically wanted to know if I ever received “negative comments” or were they always compliments from my readers. Hmmm.
I told them that sometimes, I do receive negative emails, but there were so many more that are constructive, uplifting conversations rather than negative, hurtful ones… that I tried to not dwell on them.
This kind of thing is to be expected when you write about emotionally charged topics. People in need of an answer to their own issue(s) often search for self-help articles when they’re looking for answers. Sometimes, we are looking to forget the answer we already know that pain is unavoidable and sometimes we simply need to go through it.
With this in mind, I responded privately to my negative reader, “I get the impression you’re really hurting right now. Is there some way I can help?”
Right then I thought about all the times I lashed out at people when I was suffering in the past. I thought about how justified I felt in hurting others, especially when they’d hurt me first or failed to really help me. Thankfully, this was when I was much younger.
These are not things I am proud to admit and they’re not things I condone. Actually, in recent years I have coined these negative memories, MEMROIDs. Pretty accurate, right? We all have a responsibility to learn healthy ways to cope when we are hurting. But I suspect if we’re honest with ourselves, most of us can identify moments when we acted thoughtlessly, from a place of sorrow or anger.
Over the years, I have learned that we have a right to set boundaries and communicate when something is not okay. However, the world is a better place when we choose to do that from a place of love and compassion instead of righteousness and judgment.
We all act thoughtlessly at times. Most often we don’t mean to hurt each other. We just don’t recognize or remember how we are also hurting ourselves. We remember our own negative actions/ words long after the recipient has forgotten them.