“Instead of being presented with stereotypes by age, sex, color, class, or religion, children must have the opportunity to learn that within each range, some people are loathsome and some are delightful.” ― Margaret Mead
For the longest time I’ve written and mused about the betrayal of friends and lovers until TD Jakes said something that altered my view from here on out, “They never betrayed you because they were never your friends”. My mistake is that I put people who were never my friends in a place of trust and honor and shared with them secrets and insights from my deepest thoughts, which things were turned against me in due time and used to degrade, insult, and hurt me. But the mistake wasn’t theirs, it was mine for misunderstanding that there are different kinds of people that need to be categorized into different kinds of relationships. I’ll use the animal kingdom for an example. A wolf may kill a buzzard without a thought, therefore the buzzard treats the wolf with caution and flees, they don’t “hang out” together. This doesn’t make the wolf irrelevant because the wolf will create opportunities and lead the buzzard to food. As long as the buzzard realizes the limits of the relationship and stays within those confines, it’ll be safe, but if it mistakes this provision of food for proof of safety from the wolf, he will die one day and that quite suddenly. The lesson is this: Firstly, I must filter people into the correct category. Secondly, I must keep them there and never change the arrangement because of my feelings.
Why did I make this mistake to begin with? Because loneliness, low self-esteem, and a myriad of other psychological crap that’s followed me from my childhood makes me hungry for approval and friendship, and when I’m hungry, I’ll eat anything. People I know are bad for me have crept in by familiarity and the whip of loneliness has driven me to them for company and comfort. Another reason for my mistake is my spirituality. Being of tender heart and convinced I must do good for others, I’ve put myself in close proximity to dangerous and unpredictable people and mistook my desire to show them the love of God as accepting them and showing them I trust them, allowing them to access to my soul’s secrets and confidence. Everyone’s seen a video where a guy jumps a fence or reaches through it to pet a wild animal. The results are usually catastrophic and the thought comes to mind immediately, “What the hell were they thinking?”. There are no fences in life unless we put them there and no signs warning us unless we write them. I’m upset at myself for having gone this long without understanding this principal, however it’s never to late to learn, so here’s a mighty shove to push everyone away from me while I reevaluate the relationship we share.
First published in Opinions Of Eye