Something has happened to this world. I think we can all agree on that. And it’s not necessarily for the better, though it could be.
There was an incident over the weekend that culminated in two sides pointing fingers at the other. Tension has been simmering for a while and this incident may have been the straw that broke the camel’s back. I learned a couple of things from it.
Before I share what I learned, I have to put it in some kind of context.
I have come to believe that no matter what, you stand up and defend your family members (and friends) against the outside world. Even if they turn out to be in the wrong. Somewhere inside them, they have to know that they will be supported and loved and made to face the consequences (if any) while still being supported and loved. I choose to be that kind of friend and mother. I think my daughters now trust that they can be wrong and I will still love them. It has made them stronger and I hope more empowered to stand up for what they believe in. Which is pretty scary if what you believe in, is very different from everyone else out there.
I believe that there aren’t always two sides to everything. Sometimes, things are just plain wrong and someone got hurt.
So when I stood up for my friend over the weekend, I stood up for what happened to her at that point in time. I also pointed my finger at the perpetrator who had caused her hurt and anguish. This is called being human. I preferred to express my outrage and defend her rather than give the benefit of the doubt to the person who was so obviously in the wrong. I was not going to wait to “see” what the other side had to say. That would invalidate the feelings I had at that moment in time. I have supported the “other side” when I felt the need to. I try to play fair.
The other part to this is that I feel by NOT allowing people their outrage and space to vent, we go back into that uncertain world of wondering whether we are right or wrong, should we speak up or not, will I be the only one. WHAT WOULD PEOPLE THINK? Nothing changes if we all back down. Sometimes things get really bad before they get better. It’s called a Healing Crisis. But we tend to keep stopping it before it gets to this point. We can’t handle the discomfort, the hurt feelings.
Yes, I hesitated before I wrote my post in defense of my friend. I knew what kind of backlash I would get. But I don’t come from a family of activists for nothing. I had to put my fear of being “wrong” aside and stood up for my friend regardless of what the EVENTUAL outcome would be.
When people are hurt, they lash out but if you allow this venting in a safe space, everything calms down. Only then can you begin to talk with reason and calm. But to always put a lid on things only serves to keep it simmering. It never really comes to a head, it needs to bursts open allowing the toxins to escape before morphing into something else.