I’m finding myself in rooms and conversations that center around people who have been broken down by life, or more accurately, by other people. And what I find fascinating is that I have yet to speak with someone who claims to be the antagonist. No one says, Boy, did I ever hurt so-and-so…and I still am! I’m such a jerk.
Nope. What I hear over and over again is how people are blindsided by schmucky behavior. We are on the receiving end. We are not the instigators.
And yet…really? In every relationship, healthy or dying, there are two parties. And unless one of the people is literally no longer breathing, both are active participants in getting from point A to point B.
Yes, there are definitely certain behaviors that can derail a relationship more substantively and more quickly, and there are definitely times when there is more of a clear cut bad guy and clear cut good guy, but typically, both are to blame and both therefore responsible.
So, this brings me to one simple, but not-so-easy, thought. Am I safe? Am I my daughter’s safe place? Am I my son’s safe place? Am I safe for my mom? Am I safe for my friends? Can I be trusted? Do I keep secrets? Am I loyal? Will I fight for you and not against you? Can you call me in the middle of the night and know that I’d come running, or at least that I’ll listen on the other end of the line while you cry? Do you know that when you hand me your pain I will hold it and you and pray over you and tell you it’s going to okay? Does anyone cringe when they hear my name? Does anyone hope they don’t run into me at the store? Do I make your life better or do I make it worse?
Because I’m realizing, after forty years of walking on this earth, that it’s not just you. It’s me too.
Lord, help me to be the safest person I can be to those I love…