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Monday, June 27, 2016

Writing When People Disappoint You

People can easily break your heart because they don’t live to meet your expectations of them. People don’t live toeing the line that you call “standards”. People do not take actions based on how it may affect you or your feelings.

People do as they feel they must – sometimes to their own detriment – and the consequences are so far down the line of things to consider that they are almost non-existent.

This is why most people get a look that screams, “Mistaken identity!” when you proclaim they have broken your heart. They have no idea how anything concerned with them and them alone could possibly affect you.

It’s not that you don’t matter; it’s that they never even considered it.

Of course, it’s easier to believe that the offender is an unfeeling bastard, an ass, or a sociopath. But every story has more than one side… Remember the old adage that for every story there is your side, their side, and the truth.

Because you ascribe great things to a person, based on the potential you see in them, does not in any way motivate their actions nor guide their conscience. Your hopes and aspirations for others do not fuel their morality or their sense of being.

The next time your heart is broken, remember this. Remember that you were barely a consideration in the outcome. It won’t hurt any less. The disappointment will not lessen. In fact, it will isolate you in your grieving…

Why remind you of this then?

People will disappoint you. Cry if you must. Feel it, but move on. You have very little to do with it, and are likely to have very little to affect a rehabilitation.

When, and if, you become a determining factor in that other person’s decision to live ethically; then be prepared to accept or decline your role (there will be expectations of you). Otherwise, it’s every man for himself.

I know it sounds stone cold bitchy! It is not. The reality is that we as a people are a community only as long as we need each other, but we live and die deep within our own skins. Giving and freely sharing of ourselves takes extraordinary efforts and most people are not willing to sacrifice their “individuality” in the pursuit of sparing hurting your feelings.  

The writer in me needs to say that one of you disappointed me. Deeply. When I write about it, it will be raw and broken and unforgiving—but it will likely be honest and heartbreaking (those two often go hand-in-hand).

Writers quilt the broken pieces of life and put together art that comforts or confronts. The love--bruises and tears and all--remains but does not affect the storytelling. The story just is.

And so, history simply repeats itself: people will disappoint you, and writers write.