"Not many things can cost you more in this life than the price
you could pay for being misunderstood" - Cedric Crawford
It hasn't been an easy week. Echoes of the past rise up to taunt me. Familiar pain stabs at my heart. Misunderstood... yet again. Perhaps it is the nature of the human condition to be misunderstood, to have our thoughts, words, and actions misinterpreted and judged unfairly; most certainly it has been the rule rather than the exception in my life. In trying to communicate, I often complicate.
Sharing my feelings, my own wants and needs, I am condemned. In standing up for myself, I am told that I am inflexible. Yet it seems to me that I am the only one
asked expected to bend. I think perhaps that to be misunderstood in life is one of the most painful things of all. If I am ridiculed, corrected, or rejected because of something that I know deep down is true, I can live with it. I stand by what I am, but to be accused of being what I am not wounds deeply. Yet it is a waste of words to attempt to untangle the misconceptions, people hear what they want to hear, and believe what they want to believe.
I am told that I set my standards too high, so I set myself up to be disappointed. Perhaps that is true, I hold myself to those same high standards, and I often disappoint myself as well, but that does not alter my belief in their goodness or in the kind of person I try to be. I do not lower the bar so that I can reach it easily, instead I stand on tiptoe, or search for a step stool to help bring it within my grasp. Part of me wonders if their rejection of my "too high standards" is their fear of me or that I might just be right, and they have sold themselves short.
For too many years I sat silent while the abuse of others was heaped upon me. I am no longer a doormat for other people's issues. I stand up, I speak out, I say "No, you will not treat me that way, it is wrong." But I am told that I am the one who is inflexible. In that sense perhaps they are right, I will not bend under their taking advantage, I will not be the one who is taken for granted or ignored. I will do what is required of me, I will do more than that if I can, but I will not sit silently while I am treated as if I do not matter. I do matter, and right is right and wrong is wrong, regardless of how they try to twist the story to make me the one in error. I am familiar with this game... offense is the best defense, or so they think.
They may label me as they like, perhaps it is not that they are unable to understand, but rather that they choose not to understand. To understand would mean that change is required, and it is so much easier not to change. I can live with that, but I will never accept it; you can beat me down with your critique, you can silence me temporarily by intimidation, but in the end I will have my day. You cannot steal my soul.