“One morning, after he had finished his meditation, the old man opened his eyes and saw a scorpion floating helplessly in the water. As the scorpion was washed closer to the tree, the old man quickly stretched himself out on one of the long roots that branched out into the river and reached out to rescue the drowning creature. As soon as he touched it, the scorpion stung him. Instinctively the man withdrew his hand. A minute later, after he had regained his balance, he stretched himself out again on the roots to save the scorpion. This time the scorpion stung him so badly with its poisonous tail that his hand became swollen and bloody and his face contorted with pain.
At that moment, a passerby saw the old man stretched out on the roots struggling with the scorpion and shouted: “Hey, stupid old man, what’s wrong with you? Only a fool would risk his life for the sake of an ugly, evil creature. Don’t you know you could kill yourself trying to save that ungrateful scorpion?” The old man turned his head. Looking into the stranger’s eyes he said calmly, “My friend, just because it is the scorpion’s nature to sting, that does not change my nature to save.”
I read this on Facebook & it was just what I needed to read, because it helped prompt me to tell the story of how I found myself again.
My nature has always been to give. To care when there is no reason to, to protect those who wouldn’t protect me, etc. Many times, I get hurt, but I get up & keep on caring, until I spent six months nursing a wound & letting the rest of my life bog me down. Everyone around me got sick of me being sad & I don’t blame them. I also lost the part of me that was good. I built up walls, wouldn’t talk to anyone about anything, I would care about my friends, but I got frustrated easily. I threw myself into my work, my education, pretending I was fine & when my magazine folded, I broke down because I had to face life, the wounds, & the fact that those around me were sick of watching me destroy myself. There was no MHC anymore, just a pitiful thing I didn’t like. One April morning, I decided to turn it around. It was another one of those “worst days ever” & I wasn’t going to let it consume me. Instead, I wrote a password protected blog. Once I got the words out, I started to feel better. I admitted my kid was struggling with anger & I didn’t know how to make it better. I picked myself up. I stopped chasing people & embraced that sometimes I just don’t want certain people in my life right now or ever again (or that they don’t want me), instead of begging them to care. I just care about them & expect nothing back (just because I appear apathetic does not mean the feelings of love or friendship have changed, it just means I’m not going to beg someone to be in my life). I focused on making me feel better again, by tearing down the walls, opening myself up on my blog & finally addressing what broke me. The anger went away & I was suddenly myself. I was the girl that loves too much & expects little to nothing in return, the girl who will boldly stand in front of people with a proverbial loaded gun & let them shoot me because I believe they won’t hurt me & stands by her convictions & right or wrong, chooses to see only good in those she loves…& for the first time in months, I was really happy.
I let life take my nature from me & I can’t let that happen. My nature is to love, protect & nurture the scorpions in & around my life, no matter how many times I get stung. No matter how much I get hurt in the process, my nature is to roll with the punches without anger. I won’t let that change. I’ll forgive the scorpions for the things that they do, as I would want done for me & love them @ their worst. I don’t have to like you every second, but I can still love you, forgive you, & reach my hand out to get stung.
That’s the person I’ve always been & the person I want to be. So, much like the old man, I’ll keep my nature to be kind, even to jerks as my 3yo says & others may retain theirs. I like being nice & yes, I may get cut down to the core every once in awhile, but it’s still better than being angry & holding grudges. I know people who are still angry about a minor slight from ten years ago! I never want to be that person, which is why I refuse to allow anger into my life. It only gives the person who made you angry control of you & I prefer to be in control of my life thank you very much. So, feel free to be a douchebag, because I’ll never respond in kind. I’ll see your side, forgive you, love you as much as I always have & offer you a loving hand when you want it…
…even if it means getting stung again & again.