I myself am made entirely of flaws, stitched together with good intentions.” ~Augusten Burroughs
I must admit to a certain fondness for this quote, because it reminds me of… well, me. I am unperfect* and will readily admit so. I was reminded recently of a couple of those flaws and thought they might make good fodder for a post here. The reminder came when I did my usual seasonal clean-up of my altar. On it, there are charms and candles that have been there for awhile, long-term workings for the health, protection, and happiness of people I know. I believe in sending out good energy to those I care about as often as I can and I can be very tenacious about keeping these charms going.
While tenacity can be a good thing under the right circumstances, here it becomes a flaw. I realized when I picked up a certain charm that the recipient has not been an active participant in my life for some time. I hate to speak unkindly, but this individual has treated me as an unperson for long enough that it’s obvious that my presence in their life is unwelcome, unwarranted, and unwanted. Still, I’ve been putting energy out there for them, sending good will in spite of the situation.
Yet, as I looked at the charm I dedicated to them, one of my other personality flaws reared its head – unadulterated anger and disgust. My feelings were directed mostly at myself because I’d continue to pour energy into this person, even after it became unflinchingly obvious that the goodwill was unrequited. Next flaw please… I tend to give a wide leeway to people I care about for very long periods of time, but there is a point of no return when I am pushed too far. And I realized then that I’d been pushed too far and too long by this particular person to places of unhappiness.
This leads us to the next flaw (forgive me, I’ve lost count already) – When I get mad, when I’ve had enough of someone else’s bad behavior, I want to get even. Vengeance is mine saith a pissed-off witch. Oh the curses I could curse, the hexes I could hex. Yet, I held back long enough to think about it. After all, the person isn’t actively doing me any harm that I’m aware of. The only harm that is coming from the situation is my own reaction of anger. I took a deep breath at that point, put the charm in a non-sacred space until I could make a decision, and continued on my day.
When I finally sat down to consider what to do with my anger and frustration, my own inner voices had something to say on the matter: “Don’t bother wasting your energy. Nothing you can throw at them, no vengeance you could attempt, no curse you could utter, not a single thing that you’re capable of doing could screw this person over any worse than they’ve already done to themselves.”
*pauses for a moment of reflection*
Well, what do you know? Sometimes the inner voices do have something intelligent and sensible to say. In this case, they were making the truest statement I’d ever heard in reference to this person. The sad reality is that this person has managed to make a mess of their own life and done so with blatant disregard for anyone who would be willing to assist them. There is no pity to be had for this person, as this individual created their own monsters, feed and nurtured them until they’d grown uncontrollable, and then unleashed those monsters on everyone who tried to help.
The moment those thoughts crossed my mind, I underwent a bit of a catharsis. My anger is gone now, as is my desire to help any further. This week, I undid the charm that I created for the person, letting the last of the energy drain away. I suppose it’s a bit unfair and perhaps unmerciful to withdraw support without warning, but it would be more unforgivable to continue to bleed away my own energy in support of someone undeserving of it. I’m uncertain that I’ve taken the high road here, but I’m going to leave it to the universe figure out what to do with this person. I’m washing my hands of them… starting right now.
Until next time!
*I realize that imperfect is the preferred and standard English word used to mean “not perfect”. However, this is a “U” post for the Pagan Blog Project. If that doesn’t explain it, just chalk it up as another of my unperfections.