Have you ever experienced before when you approach someone to address a discomfort within you, or to resolve a situation and what you get in return is a whole bucket of evidences and facts thrown at your face of how you were the one who had done and said all things wrong without you even knowing it, making it impossible to state your case of dissatisfaction?
Well, I was one of them, as in one who collected evidence either in paper or in memories, bringing them out in the open without hesitation always 110% all the time surely to win a confrontation or a battle coming forth to me.
I recalled many incidents where close friends and I are at a dispute and due to my reliable memory bank then to bring out incidents where I was ill or unfairly treated always made them stunned for a while as if making them realized that they were the perpetrator and I was the victim and the innocent one being wronged. At the end of any confrontation, they usually conclude that I was so good at arguing that they could never win me, or that there is no point in arguing with me because I was always right. Darn right I was! I had all the evidences and facts even in form of papers and emails and sms-es! It was the same exact case how I succeeded to have my ex-superior suspended from a bank from my skillful accumulation of evidences to the Human Resources Department proving how she would victimize and verbally and emotionally abuse her staff which included me. Yes, that happened, and it is not something that I am very proud of today when I recall the whole experience of it. There was also once where I was in a foul exchange with one of my friends through email some years back, I printed out the email and read it over and over many many times, as if to remember this incident and to keep this email so that I could throw it back at her face if she ever comes forward to confront me about it. That was how treacherous I was in protecting my sense of righteousness.
I never really knew how the other parties felt because as long as I was right, I won. And I could never be wrong since I am the one with all the collected information with proof. It didn’t really matter to me how they might have felt as long as I was in a ‘superior’ position bearing the torch of righteousness. And being in that space, it made it easier for me to ‘forgive’ them and approach them to tell them, “aww… let bygones be bygones, my dear friend… I love you and our friendship means more than just a fight.” Makes me feel right now how I was like a tiger hiding beneath a sheep skin. After a while, I was told that some of them were afraid of me, which I never got to understood why. As long as I got what I wanted, that is, to remain right, I was alright and didn’t really care. Thankful though to good friends who reminded me to ‘let it go’ and soon, I found myself throwing all the evidences into the rubbish bin as to keep all these in the mind was somewhat a burden.
Yesterday’s encounter with a loved one brought me to the other end of the pendulum where I was the one ‘wronged’. Although I am sure that her intentions was not that but to bring clarity to the situation, but it reminded me of my past behavior of how I used to treat my friends, even my ex-superior. Although I cannot deny that at the level of the world, what I held (or in this case, what the loved one held in her space) was only the truth of the situation, but I could not deny too that there was guilt in holding up to whatever evidences that I had in memory or in paper, which in truth was actually upholding my sense of righteousness – so that I can never be made wronged or attacked. For that, I realized that I must have hurt my beloved friends and also my ex-superior although my ex-superior was not someone I fancied very much at that time. Never mind about whether I am actually fond of anyone of them or not, but the mere fact of my act of keeping evidences and records as if collecting bullets secretly was already a sign of getting ready to fight. Like a soldier waiting for war to happen and armoring himself with more than sufficient ambushes before the war actually breaks out, failing to recognize that I was already at war with others in a very subtle sense. And of course, by setting that very intent itself, war becomes true in my space. Reminds me of this saying that still water runs deep. How true.
I am indeed humbled by this experience which allowed me to be in the shoes of another albeit in a different storyline. It allowed me to see my past error; that I needn’t be right all the time and it doesn’t mean that anyone is wrong either. It brings me back to a more humane level where natural compassion arises for myself, others and also of the situation; to truly listen to cries of others and myself rather than to defend myself so quickly without even giving a chance to each other to authentically express what is truly in each other’s space.
I’ve come to see that it is not the right and wrong of a situation or even in the context of a person since there is no really such a thing anyway. I’ve come to realize that what is truly dear is the cherished space of all our own inner cries, truth and innocence emerging through others and this too, applies to those in our space.
This is an error that I have finally come to recognize, and am thankful for the blessed opportunity to realize it.