Trying to be kind

Trolling, trawling, googling the interwebz I looked up my niece, found her FB page and in her public photos I saw one she posted in December of 2017, a mere 2 months ago, of her and her grandmother, that would be, my mother. Oh my goodness, I thought, if that picture is current then the woman is 101 years old! And that kinda freaks me out a bit.

If I think of my mother’s life, what I know of it, I think – No wonder she was not a very nice person. No wonder she acted the way she did. I won’t say I sympathize, and I don’t empathize. But perhaps there is a reason she was the way she was. There always has to be a reason, doesn’t there? But then again, maybe she was just born that way.

It doesn’t help me deal with the residual damage of her behavior towards me. But sometimes you just have to be kind. I can’t say my life was so great, but, again from what I know, neither was hers. And she was/is not exactly an introspective person. She did not very nice things because she wanted to. She knew they were wrong but she did them anyway. She said not very nice things because she got some kind of pleasurable return seeing someone else’s pain. When she was caught out, and made her lame excuses, you could see that flash of glee in her eyes – Ah, she got the result she wanted. She hurt someone.

On the other side – she needed to make other people feel small so she could feel big. Because she was hurt, she felt entitled to hurt others; she was unhappy, so should other people be. I’m sure there is some ‘technical’ psychological term for this, I could look it up, perhaps, but I can’t be bothered.

One of the drawbacks to being a Libra is that I have this tendency to see everyone’s point of view; to weigh all the possibilities and outcomes. I do not make snap decisions. (Or maybe that’s just me and has nothing to do with astrology.) All these personality tests I have taken lean to describing me as empathetic – empathy is hard. It can be exhausting. To feel your feelings AND other peoples. Too much.

Needing to understand why someone hurt you – that’s a big one. If you understand does it make it hurt less? No, but there is something about understanding that eases – not sure what to call that which it eases – but it should, and does, maybe.

Most of the time, as long as I don’t dwell on the specifics, I have managed to reach the point of pity. How sad to have been her, lived her life. I still don’t excuse her, forgive her, empathize or sympathize. But I do pity her.

Because no matter how much I have screwed up my life; no matter all the mistakes I’ve made, the wrongs I’ve done – I am not her.

And because I am not her, I have been overwhelmed with love, given and gotten; and joy – so much joy.

I don’t think she ever felt those things – how incredibly, incredibly sad.

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