it’s all just a little bit of history repeating

“A person isn’t who they are during the last conversation you had with them – they’re who they’ve been throughout your whole relationship.”

Rainer Maria Rilke

when i read this quote i thought it should probably be tattooed on the forehead of humanity.  i actually only have a couple of things to say about it, then i’m going put y’all in a zip lock bag with this and let you marinate.

this quote represents two sides of the same coin.

1.  if the person you’re with says something hurtful, but historically it is not in his or her nature to do so, extend some grace and do not hang too much time and emotion on it.  people are innately fallible and will make the occasional mistake.  base your reaction, not on the moment, but on the whole of what you know to be true about them.

2.  the flip side of this is that if the person you’re with is telling you how magical the future is going to be, but has brought you more pain and heartache than joy in the past, you can not pin all your hope on the most current thing that person says/promises/begs.  you can not continue to wait and believe when the truth is, you are being taken advantage of/disrespected/abused.

look at the whole picture and respond based on the historical truth of who that person has proven to be.  for someone who has always been kind and loving, extend forgiveness before it’s even asked for.  for someone who continually expects you to look the other way when it comes to hurtful behavior, you are under no obligation to believe it will be any different in the future just because they say so.

that is all.

thoughts?

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10 comments on “it’s all just a little bit of history repeating

  1. It’s crazy. We sometimes have the expectation he or she will change eventually and become a better person. But the character of a person will always shine through the facade.

    I love what you had to say about the other side of the coin; for the ones that make uncharacteristic jabs. It is so important to see the big picture and react accordingly. Of course, it is also hard to do in the heat of the moment–when the wound is the freshest.

  2. asoulwalker says:

    I love Rilke. I think I have read “Letters to a Young Poet” twenty times.

  3. riggs says:

    this is what has been missing in the mindset of the last couple women i’ve dated (i think). but i’m the nice guy that gives all from the beginning until the end. i was broken up with recently because i got insecure one night (and had a couple adult beverages more than normal) at her sister’s wedding and called her out on not showing me attention… Okay, looking back, i was wrong. a) i shouldn’t have been insecure. b) i should have waited to talk until after all the family wedding craziness was over c) drinking when i’m feeling like that was not wise.
    BUT she totally forgot about how much love and self-sacrifice I gave her all the way through up until that point. She ended it right then and there and made me leave the reception. Then finally a text from her couple days later wishing me all the best and that she didn’t want us to talk again. wow. but hey, i am relieved because i need someone who shows more grace and gives like i do.

    thanks for letting me vent that publicly. it feels good. sharideth, thanks for consistently making me laugh with your witty writing and challenging my douche bag behavior as a dude who doesn’t have a clue.

  4. FullOfSMyLES says:

    Great words of wisdom

  5. […] It’s all just a little bit of History Repeating […]

  6. ShamPoo says:

    this sounds so hopeless.. does this account for relationships or people in general also? If its the latter.. well.. it would mean there’s no hope people could ever improve. I can’t even count on myself that i’ll change.. Evolution, anyone?

    • i don’t believe that’s the point at all, but people have to demonstrate an active will to change, not just continue to insist it’s going to happen. people can and do change, but if you’re with someone who only talks about change and makes no effort to actually move forward or only enough to appease you for a short time, you are under no obligation to be the one to wait for them to become a better person.

      the hope is in breaking the cycle of stagnation or abuse at that point.

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