Ugh– every now and then even the best intentioned person can be a graceless asshole. Sometimes it’s ordering the wrong food when someone told you they were allergic and you misheard. (Been there.) Sometimes it’s insisting on a movie that’s a trigger and you were blind to that possibility. (Done that.) Sometimes it’s using a turn of phrase that seems innocent enough when seen one way, but is heinous and unforgivable to a lot of people when seen another. (Seriously–I still have the scars on the back of my arms from dealing personally with that one.)
And the best you can do–besides apologize of course (and I do my best)– is to forgive people for the small slights that they give you, and hope that karma is an active living creature, and changes form to fit a person’s intentions versus their impact.
I spent my teenage years and my twenties as an awkward ball of awkwardness who couldn’t open my mouth without nibbling on my toenails. I got better–but God. I get all those Twitter posts when people talk about the worst things they’ve ever done and how those things come back to haunt them.
My “Fuck me!” list is long and nefarious and to look it in the eye is to court madness.
Human beings were not gifted with telepathy. We don’t have a Vulcan mind meld. And sometimes when we should know better, we just fucking don’t, and the irony is that admitting it to ourselves hurts in myriad insane ways, denying it to ourselves means we’ll do it again, and there is no sure fire cure to fix it.
That scene from Emma when Mr. Knightly tells Emma what she said was “Badly done!” and Emma keeps her back to him and cries hits home to me. Who has not been guilty of injuring their brethren of the heart with words–spoken in anger, spoken in jest, or sometimes just spoken with that innate self-involvement all humans possess and have to fight to overcome.
God, I wish there was a cure. I think the best we can do is remember that we’ve all taken our turn being that person, and we never know if the person we’re dealing with at the moment has recovered yet from what someone else has done to them. Be sensitive and be kind–and forgive others who do wrong to you as you hope those you’ve wronged can do as well.
I know it sounds sort of biblical– and you all know that’s not my favorite thing. But Jesus and Muhammed really did have some awesome teachings in their list of greatest hits– it’s just a shame those are the things people overlook when they claim to be religious.
But “Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive others who trespass against us” really does have a powerful message outside the church.
It’s one of the few things I learned there that I really try to embrace–and sometimes, it’s the only thing that can clear my “fuck me!” list and let me get to sleep.