A friend on Twitter shared a link today to her blog article "Letting go", about needing to let go of unhelpful, toxic people and relationships. I urge you to read it, it is powerfully written.
Her words brought me face to face with the realisation that there have been many times in my life when, for one reason or another, someone has needed to let go of me. It's not an easy thing to admit to oneself, but I don't have to look too far, or too far back, to find examples.
We're each responsible for how we handle, or attempt to handle, the situations in which we find ourselves, but that doesn't release us from responsibility for how we behave towards, relate to and interract with others. We may not know their histories, their pain, their needs, their triggers, and it is okay to get it honestly wrong sometimes, but we need always to be aware that our lives impinge on others and that good intentions don't give us the right to wade in, unannounced or heedless of our impact on those around us.
I've never intended to hurt or maim anyone, yet there are those who choose to remain distanced from me, and who would reject any attempt I might make at reconnecting. I must respect their need to do what they need to do, and to accept responsibility for my role in what has happened.
It's not easy to do that, but really all it needs is a little awareness. A little respect. Or, as Fran posted on Facebook earlier today:
be addicted to kindness..
in both the giving and receiving..
change the world..