It hurts to see what I don’t like about myself in others.
When a realization paralyzes me to the point of having to stop for a moment and collect myself, it truly hits a nerve.
The other day, I had an experience that took me back to an earlier time in my life. A single derogatory word was thrown into the atmosphere, intending to make someone else feel inferior. The receiver took it like a champ. I was relieved to see that it didn’t go as far as it very well could have. Throwing words around with intentions of pushing the right buttons (or, wrong buttons) has its consequences. Fortunately, everyone survived. As I observed, I noticed something that I have been working on for quite some time within myself.
I was pissed. It was the extreme the giver of word had gone to in order to make the other person feel like a dummy. That one word triggered something within me that took me back to an earlier time. Years ago, I was a young man with an immature mind and a vulgar vocabulary to match, with a deliberate drive to disrespect anyone whom I believed deserved it. Before I morphed into that guy, I was the one on the receiving end. I was the guy that was insulted with small words, much like the one delivered in my recent experience. I now know why my rebellion and lashing manifested. It was because I surrendered to abuse; to the abuser. In turn, I became the deliverer of abuse.
Observing the situation the other day made me think about the road I have personally traveled, and how it differs from the roads others are currently on. I am probably close to the age of both of the individuals in my recent experience, but the situation painted a picture that looks nothing like mine right now. I can certainly still lose my temper and throw some choice words around, but honestly, the advice I received from a Bible study in recent years has allowed me to taste those words before they leave my mouth….most of the time.
I had to vent to a trusted friend and move forward. Some people just have to learn for themselves. Sometimes, the hard way. The nerve struck within me was a good reminder of how the pace of progress differs from person to person.