Unless you “allow” someone to hurt you emotionally, you will never suffer.
Facebook reminded me yesterday, December 29th, that it was the fourth anniversary of a very painful incident in my Life. In the wee hours of that morning, after several rounds of drinks at a school reunion, I had prevented my chaddi-buddy from riding his two-wheeler back in a drunken state. Besides Vaani, I had a driver with me, so we offered to drop my friend home. He refused to take our advice and rode away. However, at the kerbside outside the club, where we had met, he was stopped by the cops. I saw him trying to deal with the cops. So I got down from the car and implored the cops not to allow him to drive back home in that state. The cops seized his vehicle. My friend slapped me in a rage of fury. And grumpily took an auto-rickshaw home. Later that day, without naming him, I posted on Facebook that people of my generation, with teenaged and young adult children, must avoid drinking and driving; we must set an example. Some of my class fellows took objection to my post as a. it washing school group linen in public and b. I was interfering with the personal Life and choice of my school buddy. I tried explaining my point in the school group. But I was shouted down. It was this post that Facebook threw up yesterday as a memory!
My friend, whose vehicle had been impounded, pinged me the next day saying that he had spent Rs.3500/- on getting it released. He said my ‘over-zealousness’ had, apart from causing him emotional hurt, apart from intruding on his privacy, also cost him a princely sum. There was not much money I had, we were struggling as much then as we are today, but I reached him Rs.3500/- to compensate for his financial loss.
That was the last I interacted with my friend. We did meet here and there; he would barely acknowledge my presence or disapprovingly look away. He also unfriended me on Facebook.
When I looked back at the incident after I re-read my old Facebook post, I smiled to myself. What a powerful lesson this painful episode had taught me! Which is to move on, to emotionally free myself from an incident and its fallout. This is how I have remained without suffering although the pain from it all sometimes comes back trying to stir my emotions – as it happened when the Facebook post resurfaced yesterday!
My experience with my friend may appear unique. But it is not.
People often do things to us because of how they see Life. We see Life differently so we don’t quite appreciate or agree with what they are saying or doing. The best way to deal with such situations and people is to simply move on. It may not always be possible for us to forget whatever has happened, but we can surely forgive ourselves and others for what happened. The more you cling on to a hurt, an insult, an abuse, a betrayal, the longer you will suffer. Interestingly, unless you “allow” someone to hurt you emotionally, you will never suffer. If you treat people with the view that everyone is entitled to their opinions and behaviors, you will never be emotionally disturbed no matter what people do to you. I am sure my friend had reasons for the way he saw the episode and my involvement in it. And I have my reasons. Through this experience I have learnt that, no matter what a context is, you must never “wish” you were treated better. It is this wishing that causes your suffering. And never really the person or the event that has upset you.
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