By: Nathan Fugate
We have all experienced mistreatment, whether it is from those we hardly know, those clos- est to us or even our own selves, at some point in our lives. The real question is what do we do about it when it happens to us?
Some of us take the more passive approach and let them continue, while others choose the aggressive approach and lash back out at them. But have you ever stopped to ask yourself: “Why are they mistreating me?”
Most, if not all, of us have heard the phrase “Put yourself in their shoes,” and rightly so.
I remember years ago hearing a great quote, “Hurt people hurt people.”
I think this is such a good quote, because I have always wondered how suffering and mistreatment can coexist with mercy, forgiveness and justice.
Over the years, I have found that people are not perfect and will eventually hurt you.
We must ask ourselves if we should retaliate in anger, withdraw from them, let them continue, or talk to them about it.
I have found that when I retaliate, it will only makes the situation worse. However, when I withdraw, I find that the issue still bothers me.
If I choose to “forgive them” but do not hold a clear boundary, they will continue, and I will get much angrier.
I have had the best results when I choose to talk to the person, forgive him or her, and realize I am not perfect; I do stupid things as well.
Boundaries are a good way for us to show mercy and remain strong. They give us a means to protect ourselves from mistreatment, but also give people an outlet to be friends with us as long as they honor our boundaries.
As we approach the halfway point of this semester, I challenge all of you to choose forgiveness in the face of mistreatment.
Mistreatment is going to happen to us no matter what, so why hold a grudge? Hurt people will hurt people.
So don’t sweat it, that is unless the mistreatment is dangerous. Then, of course, seek help.
Maintain good boundaries and show mercy.
I even challenge you to ask yourself,“What are my boundaries and how do I uphold them?”