I would like to share with you a story. When I was about 17 I did something stupid and my Dad found out about it very quickly. I was scared of what his reaction would be and, that I will be punished severely. On that evening, after he came back from work, I was already in bed. He came to my bed and kneeled down beside me and talked to me with a very soft voice but one full of pain. There was no anger, there was no talk about how bad my behavior was, there was no talk about how bad I was nor about the fact that I was 17 years old and should never do such a thing.
What he said was that he is very disappointed that I, his Son, did it, and that it hurt him very much. Near the ne of his talk with me, with tears in his eyes he said, “My Son, please don’t ever do it again”. After that he stood up and left the room.
There was no screaming, no yelling, no explanation of my stupidity…only tears in his eyes and my father’s heart broken, because his son had done something so stupid.
That night I badly wanted to jump out of my bed and run after my dad to say “I’m Sorry” to him… to promise that I wouldn’t do it again… but mostly I wanted to ease the pain in my own heart after seeing the undeniable suffering of my dad.
Of all the many times in my life, where I did something stupid, I recall this one the most, because of how it was handle by my dad: it really helped me to change. I am sure that if his reaction would have been his “standard” one, it wouldn’t have stopped me from doing it again.
As I think now, about people who hurt us constantly, mostly they are those who are very close to us, such as our family, our relatives, sometimes even coworkers. The insight I would share now is that we can change situations in a big way by letting people know how much we suffer because of their behavior.
I believe in the goodness of people. For the most part, people don’t want hurt us, but most often they are not aware of how painful their deeds and words are for us.
It is difficult to say “I’m very hurt about what you did. I’m hurt because you will do it tomorrow too. I want let you know that I’m not mad at you (or maybe I am mad). But more than that, I’m hurt. I am more hurt about what you did… what you, my son, my daughter, my spouse, or my friend did to me”.
I think that making others aware that we are hurting may help a great deal. It may help those with whom we struggle, to be more careful and really do their best in changing their lives for good.