A little something I posted a year ago today but I thought we could all use a reminder. Sometimes I surprise myself with the life lessons I have
learned- please allow me share one of these with you.
There is an old adage that I'm sure we have all heard dozens of times that says "Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me!" Now with
today officially being April Fools' Day most of us are prepared for a bit of trickery, and most of it is all in fun- but what about the rest of the
All of us at one time or another have had someone in our lives who is a liar and/or a user, someone who takes advantage of our kindness or screws us
over to get ahead. That person can be a friend, an acquaintance,a co-worker, a relative, a loved one or sometimes even a stranger. When it happens we
tend to get angry for the most part and have an underlying feeling of hurt, the combination of which makes us feel foolish and somehow "less". A lot
of times we learn the hard lesson that as much as we want to have an open heart and trust in the goodness of people there will always be those who do
not follow the basic rules of morality and for our own protection we have to be on guard for those sorts of people. We move forward a little less
naive and a little more guarded. We still try to give people the benefit of the doubt, but now those benefits have limits.
It is especially hurtful when the person who is lying to/using you is someone close, and it becomes a little more complicated. With an acquaintance or
a stranger it is easy to just cut the offender out of your life, but when it is someone close we tend to forgive the offense as we understand that no
one is perfect- and that is completely understandable. Our love for certain people sometimes comes with rose colored glasses because we want to
believe the best of them and that though a mistake was made that they would never intentionally hurt us on purpose. Most of the time this is true....
until it isn't.
An interesting example of this is something I witnessed many years ago. Someone I was once very close to had a very dear friend. The two were what I
would call "thick as thieves". They worked together and partied together. If they had looked a bit more alike anyone would have mistaken them for
brothers, and they referred to each other as such. I was witness to their relationship for many years and there were warning signs that I as an
outsider saw plainly that the person I was close to either couldn't or wouldn't see. Many times his "brother" lied to him, used him, etc. I would
point these things out but he would rationalize his friend's behavior by saying that "he's a good guy" or that "everyone makes mistakes". This went on
for several years with the lies and using becoming more and more frequent and severe- like deserting him in another state a few times "severe". When
the straw that broke the camel's back was added to the load he snapped and was waiting for his "friend" to come pick up some of his tools, ready to
beat him down. Another friend and I moved toward the wall to get out of the way as the "friend" entered the house. A loud argument began as we
watched, waiting for the fists to start flying. During the yelling the person I was close to said "Man, I'm sick of you *effing* me over!" to which
the former friend replied "You're the one that LET ME!" Something clicked in all of us at that moment.
When someone does us wrong they are the one who is at fault, but when someone does us wrong over and over again who is really at fault? People only do
to us what we ALLOW them to continue to do. We teach them how to treat us by what we do and do not let them do to us. Sure people make mistakes and
can learn from those mistakes, but when the same behavior is repeated over and over what they have learned is that we will tolerate it. When we
continue to tolerate this behavior we must accept that WE are every bit as much at fault as they are. When there are no consequences to their actions
and they get away with ill treatment over and over again you have shown them that this is acceptable to you and ultimately you only have yourself to
Many of us have forgiving hearts and that is a wonderful thing. I personally have been used, abused, lied to, cheated on and made to feel crazy for
questioning any of it. I have to admit that I allowed this. I taught someone that I would tolerate that sort of behavior. I told myself that when you
love someone you should look past their faults and forgive- and I still believe that is true to an extent. The difference between then and now is that
while I still believe in love and forgiveness I have learned that I have to love myself MORE. Loving someone does not mean you should tolerate bad
behavior. You have to love yourself first and foremost. You must take responsibility for how you allow people to treat you. Would you allow someone to
treat your child in such a manner? No? Love yourself just like you them!
Teach people to treat you with respect. Do not tolerate the behavior of lying, treachery or abuse. Love yourself. Forgive people who do you wrong if
you can but if a pattern starts to emerge do not be afraid to forgive yourself for saying farewell and putting yourself first. Remember that if
someone does you wrong the first time the shame is on them, but if you continue to allow them to repeat the behavior the fault lies with you for not
putting a stop to it.
edit on 1-4-2020 by GeauxHomeYoureDrunk because: Made a boo boo!