Monday, August 27, 2007

Judging me, judging you

Over on a message board I frequent there is a battle raging about infidelity. As in, "would you, could you" work through such a thing if it happened to you. I really don't want to get into a similiar discussion here, as in REALLY don't, but one of the responses really struck a chord with me:

I used to think I knew the answer to this.

I don't know a thing, that is the answer.

This has been on my mind in a big way the last few years. The "knowing" thing. The "having all the answers" thing. Turns out I don't really know much about anything. My careful observations of behavior and relationships and motivations and consequences have lead me to believe that all the caveats and deal breakers and hard and fast rules in the world go swiftly out the window when you are presented with real situations involving actual living, breathing people. Maybe it's too many movies where every one dimensional thing works out just as it should and every character reacts the way they are supposed to and says exactly what they mean, and you start to believe there are equations in life that will get you the things you want.

As it turns out, I can't seem to figure out any of those equations. A + B just so rarely seems to equal the C I was hoping for. And people don't always react how you want them to and sometimes their mouths say one thing and their heart means exactly the opposite. Sometimes people who love you hurt your feelings or disappoint you and you have to learn to stop thinking of relationships in terms of baseball strikes. You figure out that there is no peace in being a victim even if it feels justified. It sinks in that forgiving always feels better than carrying baggage around, and that in the end, you only have control over your own behaviour. You can't control your boss or your friends or you family. Just yourself. And if you can let go of unreasonable expectations of everyone and everything around you, it frees you up to notice that most people are a lot more good than they are bad. Most of them are really trying.

Anyway, I want to give more people more chances. I ask God for lots and lots of them and I guess I feel like I owe it to everyone around me to do the same.


ThomCarter said...

Forgiveness is hard to give and hard to seek. I applaud your desire and I hope to learn from your example.

f*bomb. said...

Hurt me once, shame on you.
Hurt me twice, shame on me.
Hurt me three times and that is officially a dysfunctional relationship.

Disappointment is one thing, but behavior that evidences someone has no respect for you (or themselves) equals a relationship that will never be what you want it to be.

k8 said...

although i understand what you are saying Farrah, my experience with people is that most of them react well to being trusted and loved. sure, you need to edit out those that consistently disrespect you, but in my life there have been only a small handful of people that I cut out entirely. People make mistakes, the fall down, they say and do insensitive things. I'm unwilling to sever ties with people because they aren't doing exactly what I might want them to do. I'm not really even talking about romantic relationships here anyway, just human interaction.

I stand by my last line, I want to give more people more chances. In general, I find more often than not people respond positively to that.

Damian said...

I have decided to change my mind, I actually know like 5 or 6 things, but that's it.

jennyd said...

like how you knew to tell hooner about bacon.

AP said...

I really needed to read that today. Thanks.

Miss Hass said...

Me too. Thanks Katie.

Damian said...

I also invented this thing called bacon butter (it's butter, but with bacon in it). So in addition to knowing things, I am also an innovator.

sorry for the derail

a little bit.

k8 said...

sorry? or proud?

Damian said...

okay, I am proud of it. So I am also a little sorry that I am proud* of it.

*which thing is sin

Tannerama said...

What a great post.

It's like that article by Elder Oaks, about timing. About how you can set dates all the live long day. You can set goals like "I want to be married by this time two years from now." But when it comes to dealing with actual people. All that planning and junk doesn't amount to a hill o' beans.

By the way, I have a feeling/premonition that my wife will one day cheat on me. I've accepted it. But, I'm pretty sure it is inevitable.

Vanilla Vice said...

Infidelity has always been a debate in my head = how many other women does it take? Are you in love with her? Did you admit it to me or did I catch you? All these are factors in the forgiveness equation. But maybe he won't even want forgiveness.

What it comes down with is you're the only one who can make YOU happy. And you do it through faith in the Lord and knowing he'll do what he said he'll do. Trust in him. People do change, but we can't know the desires of their heart. Trust your instincts and trust the Lord.