Find the People Worth Suffering For
“The truth is, everyone is going to hurt you. You just got to find the ones worth suffering for”
— Bob Marley
I grew up in an environment where we were all supposed to be strong, independent, and unforgiving. If someone hurt us just once, we cut them out of our lives for good. These were the lessons taught to me and to nearly every kid I knew. What I noticed early on in my life was that while this was the advice being given to us, no adult in my life seemed to be any happier for it.*
I saw a lot of adults suffering because they were alone. They were harsh and found any small reason to cut someone from their lives. I found myself frustrated just watching every mistake and misunderstanding lead to fights and the cold shoulder. These people were suffering alone when they should have been looking for people who were worth suffering for.
As an adult, I watch these same kinds of people do the same sorts of things around me. They were taught the same lessons and like the people who taught them to be so ruthless, don’t seem happier for it at all.
No one encouraged them to find a middle ground. No one thought about the middle ground because humans have a hard time seeing that the same mistakes they make are made by everyone else. They can’t understand those other people, like them, have good intentions, but they just fuck it up sometimes. They don’t know that everyone hurts everyone else. Human being are complicated creatures, and sometimes we act in ways that are the opposite of how we wish to.
Yeah, you said the wrong thing. You offered the wrong kind of help. You made things worse. You raised your voice. You said something you didn’t mean. You hurt someone’s feelings. You weren’t there. Your phone was on silent. You forgot to text back. You lost track of time. You forgot their birthday. You didn’t notice the new haircut. You came to the wrong conclusion. You didn’t listen. You got angry over nothing, but you didn’t mean it. You are sorry. Can’t we all move on? Can’t you just forgive me?
When you make mistakes, you expect to be forgiven.
When someone does them to you, you don’t need that in your life?
When we make mistakes that no one will forgive, when we didn’t mean it, and we want to make it up, it can be devastating when we find we will not be forgiven. We are labeled as something people don’t have time for, don’t need, and will not put up with.
What we all have to realize is that we are all very, very flawed, but we are wonderful too. We have to learn to see ourselves in other people, not just for what is good in all of us but also for what is bad.
When you hurt the people you love, you don’t mean it. You are usually either just angry and have lost temporary control of yourself, or you have perceived the situation wrong and acted from a distorted or false reality. You are not a bad person. You just messed up. The people in your life, for the most part, are the same too. They screwed up, and they could use a little understanding and forgiveness.
This week I just want you to recognize the people in your life who may mess up from time to time but who you know are really there for you, care about you, and want the best for you.
Your friend may have forgotten to call you, but she might have been there for you through some of you worst times. Your mom may have said the wrong thing when you needed her to be there for you, but she may not have meant it quite the way she said it — mothers are famous for this.
Your girlfriend/boyfriend left their socks out, again, they didn’t wash the dishes, again, and they forgot to pick up the milk on the way home, again. They mess it up, time and time again, but there may be some good they do too. They rub your back after a stressful day. They buy you your favorite candy to cheer you up. The text you sweet nothings and kissy face emojis all day from work.
People are going to hurt you, but there are surely people worth hurting for. They have good intentions, they care, they love you and want you to do all the things you want to in this life.
Keep those people, forgive those people, and pray they do the same for you.
*There are, of course, times when a person is not worth fighting for. There is a difference between mistakes and misunderstandings and outright abuse. If you are questioning the difference or under which category your relationship falls I encourage you to seek help.
I started a weekly-ish newsletter on life, love, and suffering. You can sign up here: tinyletter.com/zenandpi (:
Featured image via Unsplash