By Linda Kelly, MSW, RSW, Editor in Chief
I've always noted the concept that like in video games, if you are encountering enemies, you’re going the right way. But it does become exhausting when you are genuinely striving to make the world a better place, and certain people cast you into the role of a villain.
Why? Perhaps it makes them feel like a victim, or like the good guy in the story. Maybe they don’t like change. They will use everything, your actions and lack of actions, to reinforce their view that you are cruel. And you can’t win or even reach an impasse because they are determined to maintain this dynamic.
It’s true that you don’t get to decide whether or not you hurt someone. Feelings aren’t wrong and people aren’t wrong to feel them. But their interpretation of what caused the hurt feelings can often be very wrong. That interpretation is often based on unfair assumptions, hurtful beliefs, and a perspective that leaves a lot of blind spots.
Being on the other side, cast as a villain to some, feels unjust and unnecessary (and confusing) when you spend your life taking care of others, trying to do all the right things, trying to make the right moves. But that’s their view. And you don’t have to share it.
Part of getting older comes with learning to accept, and not fighting, when someone decides that you are the cause of their problems. You can’t change their mind, because they need you to play the role. And there is no solution. Human interactions are complex and complicated, fraught with emotions and traumatic histories and multi-faceted dynamics that only become more complicated with time. And since you can’t fix it, you can only settle into an uncomfortable, tense sort of peace. But it’s still peace, because the story cannot continue.
Acceptance is about acknowledging that which you cannot change, and moving on. So for anyone who has had to make peace with the utterly unacceptable, here’s to us, moving on.
NWO’s source for all things relationships, mental health, wellness, lifestyle, and pandemic support. Kelly Magazine is a mental health outreach initiative created by Kelly Mental Health and supported by Kelly Mental Health Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the community in the area of mental health.
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