Love Enough To Let Others Heal
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Over the last few years, as I've grown spiritually, I've 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.
I know I'm not alone in the struggle between loving
others unconditionally and loving myself. Many of the people I meet, and
my clients, struggle with this, too. How can we balance our spirituality
with insisting someone treat us with honor? With God as a loving Presence,
God accepts all that we do without judgement. As we try to emulate that
aspect of God, we forget that God doesn't protect us from the consequences of our actions.
If we step on a rake, we get to experience the
rake hitting us in the face. We learn from that to be careful around
rakes. God doesn't stop the rake from hitting us, but if we ask for help
in healing our bruised face, God is there to heal us. That is why there is
cause and effect. For every action there is an equal and opposite
reaction. This is to help us learn from our mistakes.
The core of this is, God doesn't enable. The Universe is constantly growing and
expanding. Unless we do the same, we get prodded along. Cosmic
two-by-fours whack us. When you allow people to put you down, humiliate
you, belittle you, then you are contributing to making their inevitable
consequences harder for them. Universal laws will eventually pull them up
short, and the more they've run roughshod over peoples' lives, the harder
their lesson is going to be.
By setting boundaries, you are growing in love. Love of self, and loving the other person enough to put a
stop to their breaking Universal Laws of compassion. Love them enough to
allow them to experience the consequences of their actions. That's the
only way any of us learn. In that way, you are emulating high spiritual
qualities and reflecting the unconditionally loving Divine Presence within you.
© Linda-Ann Stewart