by Linda-Ann Stewart
Over several years, as I grew spiritually, I discovered that letting others hurt me, and excusing them, hurt them as well. My intentions were to make them feel better about themselves. I was trying to reflect the Divinity within me by loving unconditionally.
When my friends would snap at me, I’d tell myself they didn’t mean it, that they were simply unhappy. Returning anger and hatred with love and compassion, I let my friends treat me like dirt because I knew they were wounded.
I wanted them to heal, and thought my loving them unconditionally would initiate the healing. It never did. It just encouraged them to remain wounded and lashing out at me.
In co-dependency terms, this is called “enabling.” Some time back, when I was told that it wasn’t my role to be their whipping boy, I countered with “But, we’re supposed to turn the other cheek. Give the shirt off our backs. Love unconditionally. Be nonjudgmental.”
As time went on, I finally realized that I wasn’t helping them by letting them hurt me. I was enabling them to remain the same, and continue treating me with disrespect because they knew they could.
I wasn’t creating any urgency for them to heal. And sooner or later, they were going to get a cosmic two-by-four up side the head to force them to begin the healing process. The longer they continued their behavior, the worse their eventual crisis would be.
I was actually contributing to their woundedness by not setting any limits. I needed to value myself enough to stop them devaluing me. As I began to cherish my well being, and counter their humiliations, my life began to improve overall.
Copyright 2000, 2011 Linda Ann Stewart
All Rights Reserved