I want to write a poem
in honour of
The courage that it takes
to come up to a fellow human being and admit:
Especially when this is the person
who has hurt you.
It is much easier to yell, to hurt them back, or to just storm off into the night, telling yourself how awful it was and how there was no point talking, they’d never understand.
It takes a huge amount of courage to face them and to say: I was hurt by what you said.
I know I don’t always have the courage to do that. Often I don’t, often I tell myself that they won’t get it anyway and there’s no point. And it’s probably true sometimes, but if I don’t take the risk, I’ll never know.
Dear reader, when you see someone taking that risk, making themselves vulnerable by saying “I’m hurt by what you said”, you have a choice. You can stand up tall and say: I had every right to say that, if you’re hurt that’s your problem. Or you can listen. It’s your choice. You can bask in being right, and stuff the other person’s feelings. Or… make yourself vulnerable too. Listen to the other person’s hurt. Find out why. Open your ears and your heart and take the risk that you will hear things that may make you feel uncomfortable, maybe even painful things. Take the road less worn by the stomping feet of those who are confident in being right and who can’t be bothered to listen.
Who knows, you may learn something valuable.
You may even gain a friend.
One definite bonus: knowing that you did the loving thing and that you at least tried to be less hurtful towards a fellow human being.
No, I don’t always live up to this. I’ve been known to do self-righteous stomping and ranting at times. My knee jerks just like anyone else’s. But now and again I take these risks and wow, they are so worth it.
P.S. Sometimes it’s not as straightforward as that – sometimes people don’t actually say “I’m hurt by what you said”, instead they react in a way that may seem aggressive. May God give me the wisdom to see that, and the grace to respond with love.