It is in the shelter of each other that people live.

Peig Sayers

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The world is a contentious place.  We encounter many people, even within our families, who are selfish, injurious, hurtful – who reject us, discount us, ignore us – seek only for themselves.  Indeed, we encounter parents who seek only for themselves, who care first for their needs.

What might one do in such circumstances?

Seek the shelter of those who love you, care for you, accept you and treat you with dignity and kindness, who are honest with you – speak plainly and listen to and receive your story.  They provide a safe haven, give your life a balance that reassures and offers a welcome that is not contingent and does not fade.

Make no mistake.  Life is tough many times.  We do not live among perfection. We live among people and they are, as we know, imperfect.  They can disappoint.

Do not expect too much.  Do not be surprised by what you see or what might happen.  Once on notice that X or Y is selfish, unfair, nasty, etc. – create distance (especially emotional distance) between you and them and by all means lower your expectations as to them.

Seek the good people. They are indispensable.  You will be healthier and happier for it.

There is no need to stay among those who hurt you, or offer yourself endlessly to their misbehavior.  You are worth more, and not a punching bag.

Shalom.

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