But as a parent I became to know that intimately, not that I beat my children, I didn’t, but I did follow through on discipline, even as I remembered that cowering child afraid of my ever violent mother, meeting out the promised punishment when my boys exceeded the stated bounds. I hated asking them to forfeit their toys or spend time in their rooms or foregoing an outing to the zoo. It did hurt me more than them.
Now it comes with a different more twisted meaning, maybe not twisted, but sideways. When I hurt a friend through some sleight or transgression, the hurt I impose, after I realize I was the cause, is great, and though I know my insensitive action caused pain or suffering, I feel that it caused me as much being the source.
I know that’s of little solace to my friend who I’ve wronged, being on the I’m sorry side way too often, but it’s true.
When I realized I was wrong the guilt and self reproach are instant and unremorseful, the weigh heavy and constant.
For my one friend I like to remind her of the concept of Ahimsa, self forgiveness, when she says that she hates herself for some transgression. Quick to offer this advice, I’m slow to take it myself, instead needing to feel at least the pain I caused in equal measure. I suppose that’s human.
But I know that for me, it should hurt me worse than you.
Take a breath, say I’m sorry, feel the pain then, Ahimsa.
© The autobiography of Mr. perfect, 2017.