It is funny. I have been thinking a lot about where I was five years ago when I moved here. Comparing it to where I am now.
Five years ago I was a timid woman who had a great family, but was in the midst of a few abusive friendships. Problem was, like with all abusive relationships, I did not recognize the abuse. It was subtle and it came from the places that I should have felt safest (well aside from my husband, who for the record is amazing).
The abuse came from the sisterhood of friendship. And it hurt more than I knew, even at the time. It left me questioning everything that I did or even said, because the simple things were open to criticism, even days later. I have slowly been finding new support. And it has freed me to find myself and to help others in new ways. It has been both an emotionally ragged five years and a five years of powerful personal healing and growth.
I have been thinking about this a great deal lately, because I have been watching my friends (the supportive, non abusive ones) go through some terrible troubles. Some are leaving abusive romantic relationships, some are dealing with terrible work relationships (that can be abusive as well) and some are experiencing betrayal from family members. And I wonder when I sit and listen to the terrible things that they are going through, when did humanity get so selfish that we treat our loved ones so badly, just so we feel better about ourselves? When did it become okay to always put yourself first, even at the expense of children, or siblings, or friends? I understand that the need to lower others to feel good stems from personal problems that one may be to terrified to look at. It saddens me that so many people are too afraid to do the work that helps them grow.
At the beginning of this holiday season, I ask all of you to step back a moment and think outside yourself. Because my true wish is not so much world peace, but individual peace.