they fall so easily. disturbing, and more so when i wonder if it’s appropriate.

I get more of an inkling, now, as to why it can be hard to forgive.  I keep hearing and reading that forgiving others is forgiving yourself, but…I don’t know.  I’m finding it hard to see the wrongs and rights; and seeing some of the wrongs and rights, I don’t know what I should help to fix. The rights and wrongs of my world aren’t the same as those of the ones I observe, and more often than not their wrongs are not wrong to them. It is indeed easier to see others’ shortcomings as compared to one’s own shortcomings, and I suppose the first challenge is to understand one’s own shortcomings and fix them, and keep improving; but then, what else? How far is one obligated to go to help others? What if these others persist in their ways even though their paths are harmful?

You know–…well, you usually don’t, I think, nor do you care enough to do anything real about it. So this is more for me than you I suppose. Regardless, here are a few thoughts:

I don’t fully understand why it’s necessary for you. Part of it is undoubtedly a legacy from your own problematic childhood; I do wonder when your demons first took root. I can forgive you, or at least find it easier to consider the idea of forgiveness, if I choose to believe that you truly mean well and that part if not all of your anger is really misdirected anger at yourself, stemming from your shame and frustration over your own inability and your reluctance to deal with the world. I believe you fear different things than I, and worse, that your fear had long ago gotten the better of you and now you wallow in place while life moves on around you. In that way you provide me with the greatest negative example–of the dangers of stagnation, ignorance, anger, close-mindedness, and hypocrisy, to say the least. I’m thankful that the lessons I learn from you are so important because they serve as the groundwork for some of my most basic convictions, but in the back of my heart I wish it didn’t have to be so. I am grateful–you believe not enough, which…I’m not sure what to think–for time invested, and lessons taught, I suppose, even though I disagreed and still disagree with your methods. But I suppose one can teach in a variety of ways, and perhaps without your example I would not be the kind of teacher I am. I wish it didn’t have to be the kind of teacher you weren’t.

I must wonder what you want out of me. Part of this answer might normally be something from yourself to show that I’ve learned, but you don’t particularly seem to care much about what I do. I believe you just expect success and that would be enough for you. Would success be enough for you to justify what you’ve let and continue to let happen to yourself? I personally doubt it and I wonder if you’ll ever realize that. Wondering when to hold or release my tongue is one of the tougher things I do.

You don’t understand how close I come sometimes to taking action of your sort and changing things, though ultimately there’d be no point I suppose. I think it kind of ridiculous that sometimes I just feel pity when you speak, because with every word you draw further from your professed cause. How much good must one do to make up for bad actions? Is this “atonement” possible? And does it matter?

Taking a moment away from this writing lets more processing occur, and I realize that your negativity served and serves as the kind of adversity I’ve needed to grow. I do believe that adversity in various forms is necessary for us to grow and strengthen, and in that light, I’ve been given more than just examples–I’ve also been fortunate enough to have to deal with adversity, and in that process is always growth. You’re not the only source of adversity, but I believe you may be one of the most demanding ones. I will integrate this and I will become better, for my sake if not for yours. In the end, I understand why you can’t forgive others, because you can’t forgive yourself.

And I think that’s ultimately one of the other lessons I must take away every time. Writing here and now satisfies and channels my thoughts and emotions, but I hardly think this is enough for next time. I will have to keep trying, doing, and improving, and when I can listen to you and not bat an eye, I will know that I am all that I can be and that your empty words and the misguided intentions behind them are no longer needed to push me forward.

I may never reach that point, but I will strive to avoid stagnation. As long as I can find something to improve about myself, as long as I can be dissatisfied with my own performance, I can keep moving (preferably forward) and keep living.

gotta hand it to you, life. you throw wicked curveballs. thanks, i guess, for the opportunities to improve, because i get stuck sometimes and these pushes help.

let me learn.

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