As I am about to attempt to set right harm I have caused others I came across the name of someone I spent a good amount of time with before things got really, really bad.
She was someone who I knew had strong feelings for me. I think I was vaguely aware of what my motivation was at the time but self was so strong that I was only seeking for what I needed and thought very little about how I was affecting her. She was a coworker and even though I knew it probably wasn’t a good idea to cross that boundary, I did it anyway.
Now I can see that I spent time with her because she thought I was so wonderful. I didn’t want to be alone. It felt really good. Even though I knew I just didn’t feel the same, I hoped the feelings would develop.
Wouldn’t it be perfect if I fell for someone who thought I was so amazing for once?
We hung out all the time and had a lot of fun. She would tell me about how her vision boards changed her life and how focus on putting positivity into the world came back to her. She was a huge light in the darkness I had lived in.
The problems came when the feelings didn’t follow. I think I knew somewhere inside they never would. So the longer we hung out the worse it got because she wanted something from me that I couldn’t give. I pushed away from her, using excuses that it was what she had done or not done.
I didn’t stop to think that she could feel and experience that I didn’t feel the same. She wasn’t going to walk away though. It caused her to suffer.
It turned out to eventually end in a painful way for her. I walked away with a huge resentment. Ironically, she took my job after I was let go.
What I could’ve done if I wasn’t so afraid and self centred was to be truthful with her when I knew I was never going to be in a place where I would feel the same. I could’ve freed her and allowed her to find what she was looking for.
Was I really doing her a favour by not speaking my truth? Was I really trying not to hurt her or was it all about me and what I needed?
I know now it was about me and what I needed, nothing to do with her. I caused her much more pain by not telling her the truth the moment I knew. She deserved the truth and to continue her journey without me. And what she must have been feeling knowing the truth but still waiting for me to just say it must have been awful.
It is the subtle ways I caused harm that can go unnoticed if I am not thorough.
The hope in this is that now that I am conscious of my behaviour, I can’t change the past but I can work on how I affect others, starting now.