Recently, a friend of mine said she was feeling unfairly treated. It wasn’t just a passing feeling. She was feeling it deep in her gut.
She was also feeling conflicted because everything she read told her that she ought to forgive, she ought to turn the other cheek, she ought to be mindful. She was trying to do all the oughts, but somehow she just couldn’t seem to pull them off without feeling resentment.
My friend is certainly worthy of being treated well. She is a beautiful, charming, intelligent, gracious woman. Yet she felt treated unfairly Why?
Perhaps she is too kind, too intelligent, too gracious, too forgiving, too mindful – of everyone but herself.
Years ago, I was struggling with the same issue. I worked it through by writing a poem.
DOORMATToday … I noticed my anger and pain directed outward blaming … Again … I’d laid myself down like a doormat walked on trampled scuffed. … I didn’t deserve that treatment. …
But who put me there? _____________________
Being treated fairly begins with self. If my friend feels she is not being treated fairly, she does not have to stay in the relationship.
It doesn’t mean she has to storm out in rage and blame. All she has to do is turn around and leave. As soon as she leaves, the unfair treatment will stop because she is no longer there to receive it.
The sense of unfairness my friend is experiencing has nothing to do with the other person. It has everything to do with her. I hope she is listening to the message. “Notice yourself. Take care of yourself. Be as kind to yourself as you are to others.” When my friend understands how to care for herself, she will also understand how to care for others.
Caring for oneself always requires noticing or mindfulness. It certainly requires self-forgiveness for not being perfect. It may or may not require turning the other cheek.
If my friend decides to turn the other cheek, I do hope she understands why she is doing it and makes sure it is because she wants to, not because somebody else told her she should.