The beautiful letdown
I asked James earlier, “Why is it, that when someone says something nasty, it hurts so much more when it’s someone you care about than if it’s someone you don’t even know?”
He said, quite simply, “Because you feel more let down.”
So then, why did I question it?
I didn’t want to feel let down. I didn’t want to be hurt. It wasn’t supposed to hurt. You think friends are there for you always. Always by your side. Holding your hand. Pulling you up. Letting you hang onto them.
Imagine a rope. You’re hanging from the other end. You need your friend to pull you up. You trusted them, always, to pull you up, whenever you were about to fall. And every single time, they always do, and it always works, and you’re back up in the tree again, instead of on the ground.
Except one time.
When someone you love, or care so deeply about, says something that upsets you, that one time… you can’t help it. You get angry. There is a small fire inside of you. You were hanging on the end of that rope for a long time. You were shouting at them. They were shouting at you. It didn’t hurt. The bullets bounced off you. It was harmless. It was just another one of those days.
Until they said something, and it hurt. It hit you.
You didn’t want to admit it. You kept holding on. Because you knew they’d pull you up anyway, no matter what.
But you were attached. You held onto that remark. You held onto that thing, that one thing, that they said, that hurt you. You either shouted back at them, in exactly the same way, or you said nothing. Like you wanted to tell them that it hurt, but you didn’t even want to admit it.
Think of that moment. You wanted them to know. You wanted them to be wrong. You wanted them to say sorry. You expected them to realise their mistake. You expected them to turn right around and set things straight.
It’s selfish, but why?
Because you knew you would forgive them instantly.
But you kept hanging onto that rope. You kept on arguing. You let the shouting keep going, and you let it drag on and on. But you come across a moment when you remember, again. What they said. It hurt. And everything they keep on saying, hurts even more, because you built it up on that one thing that they said. Your blood is boiling.
Then you let go of the rope.
You hit the ground, with a thud.
Sometimes you have to put an end to it. You did not want to keep arguing. You don’t call it admitting defeat. You don’t say, “Okay, you hurt me”. You don’t call it “having the last word”. You don’t brag about the fact that you finished it. Nobody won. It wasn’t an argument in the first place. You made it one. You made it one, because you let that one thing get to you.
Let go of the rope when you want. When you feel that thud, it’s a jolt of pain out of relief.
Because you know they’ll climb right back down the tree and ask you if you’re alright.