I have recently been questioning one of my deepest held beliefs. Not that I would ever doubt spirits existence, or that we are eternal souls, no, I have no problems with that. What I have been doubting is the almost universal belief that somehow, love conquers all. It seems to me that everywhere I look, either on Facebook or within spiritual internet sites, the over-riding message is that love is all you need, love will overcome anything, love is the key to happiness. I have been struggling with this the past few years. Yes, I believe that if we all based our decisions on love, our actions on love and our thoughts on love, the world would be a better place, but unfortunately not everyone does!
Maybe it is true in the universal sense, and maybe it is also true in a soul sense, when you take many lives and average it all out, but I’m talking about this one particular physical life we are living right now. In my experience, and that of some of my closest friends, no matter how much you love someone, they can still use you, betray you and abuse you. Recently a very dear friend of mine had been blatantly used and deeply hurt by someone she considered a life-long friend, a woman she had always tried to help and support in any way she could. She can find no rhyme or reason for her friend’s behaviour and is extremely upset. I feel powerless as all I can do is listen but I can’t take away her pain. Finally, after many weeks of emotional hurt she came to the decision to end their friendship. Whilst that may well help her to avoid any further mistreatment by her friend, she is left still reeling from recent events. I wonder what lessons are being taught when someone who so obviously cares about another is mistreated by them.
My own personal experiences have been difficult to contend with at times. I used to firmly believe that if you showed someone love and compassion that they would treat you well, but often through my life I have found the absolute opposite to be true. I have puzzled over this many times and had thought that it must be a certain kind of lesson that needed learning. I have even tried to feel grateful for the role that someone must have agreed to play to assist me in walking my spiritual path.
Logically it makes sense to me that kindness should help people to overcome their difficulties. This is something I have pondered for such a long time and have asked my spiritual guides for some guidance on this but so far have not received any answers.
When you make the decision to help someone, in whichever way you feel they may benefit, whether it is just a gentle hug, a time to listen to them, or assistance in a more physical sense, why do they then turn around and be rude or malicious towards you?
It has happened in my life so many times that I can see a pattern of events. What I am hoping is that one day I will have a ‘light-bulb’ moment and suddenly the reason behind this will fall into place. My husband, Simon, tells me that he thinks I am too gentle, too soft and too forgiving. I have so often wished I could toughen up as I think my life may be so much easier, but the problem with that is that I wouldn’t be me anymore.
My brother always used to laugh at my tolerance and lack of temper. Considering the parents I had, who honestly could have won the olympics if there had been an arguing event, you’d have thought I would have a quick temper, but this isn’t true at all.
I still remember my Mum’s look of amazement when she saw me lose my temper for the very first time when I was fourteen. We had been to visit Dad in hospital where he had just undergone life saving surgery and he was on full life support, so to say we were concerned and stressed was an understatement. Mum was driving our large estate car, and I have to say she wasn’t the most confident of drivers at the best of times, but with the worry of Dad obviously on her mind, she had become distracted and taken a wrong turn. We ended up in a very narrow dead-end street with cars parked each side. At the very end there was little space to turn around. It was only just after 9pm, so not what you would call very late. Mum had to try to turn the car around which meant going backwards and forwards many many times. She was, I admit, revving the engine a little whilst trying to navigate safely and gently between the cars, but the noise wasn’t that bad. Well this chap came out of his house and started really shouting abuse at Mum. Without a thought I jumped out of the car and walked right up to him and gave him such a ticking off. I was livid that he had upset my Mum and certainly let him know it. I told him where we’d been and what was happening to my Dad. Much to my surprise the man became very apologetic and offered to help Mum with the reversing. What a turn-around!
I have always found it easier to fight other people’s battles rather than my own. My brother used to say that I was like the worm that turned, and by that he meant you could push me so far and then that was that. How right he was. I have to admit that I can take an awful lot but finally there is the straw that breaks the camels back, and funnily enough it is often a very little straw!
I have had to break ties with people I have truly loved because they have behaved so badly towards me, and it comes to a point when you realise that all the love in the world cannot change their behaviour, and so very sadly and reluctantly, there really is no choice but to walk away. Sometimes the hurt of staying in a relationship becomes so deep that your physical body cannot cope with the pain, and sometimes, and possibly even more importantly, you have to learn to value and respect yourself, which I have found the toughest lesson to learn.
I saw this too with my own Mum. She tried so very hard to have a good relationship with her Step-Mother and did everything she could to try to make it work. When we were a young family we would all travel up to London to see my Nan. We would make this journey at least once a month. Mum and Dad would have to save hard to pay for the petrol and would always be praying that the car wouldn’t break down because it was pretty old and extremely unreliable. At the time there were no such things as baby seats in cars and Mum would have to spend two hours sitting in the back of the car with my twin, Tina, and I in her arms. She laughed when she told us by the time they got there her arms couldn’t move! As Tina and I became older we both suffered from dreadful car sickness. How Mum and Dad coped with this I just don’t know, it must have been a nightmare for them. I know that Mum would always keep a couple of spare outfits for us and on many occasions as soon as we arrived at Nan’s house we would have to nip upstairs and change into fresh clothes. Thankfully our older brother Ray was not car sick, that would have been unbearable!
When Tina and I were eleven we went to stay with Nan for the week before we started at senior school. Mum and Dad took us up there and we spent a wonderful time with her. We went to see shows in London and enjoyed meeting all of her friends and generally having fun. When the week was up Mum and Dad came and collected us and strangely the mood in the car on the way home was decidedly frosty. Sadly for us, that was the last time we ever saw our Nan. A week or so after our holiday Mum made the decision to break all ties with her. I was devastated. I had adored Nan and couldn’t understand how Mum could be so cruel.
As a young child, what I hadn’t known was that my Nan could actually drive and had a very nice car. She would tell Mum of all the trips she took to see her various relatives all over the country and yet she had only ever made the journey to visit us once in the eighteen years since Mum had married. Nan was very comfortably off and would help all her relatives, and yet she never once offered any help to Mum at all. Mum told me years later that she had spent so much time broken-hearted at the way Nan treated her that finally she couldn’t take the hurt anymore. I know now it was not an easy decision for Mum to make and I know that she remained extremely upset about it for the rest of her life. She had lost her Dad when she was in her early twenties, and having been told that her natural Mother had abandoned her as a baby, she had desperately wanted to have a loving relationship with Nan.
It took me a very long time to realise that what I and others had perceived as weakness, was in fact an enormous act of strength on my Mum’s part. I can’t imagine the courage she must have mustered to be able to walk away under those circumstances, but she did, and I am sure that in the following years she certainly didn’t miss the heartache that she had endured for so much of her life. One day, when I am once again in spirit and I have my life review, I feel certain that all will become clear …… but in the meantime I must admit I really find this all so very hard to understand.