Because of you; A counselor was sitting across Stella, watching her sob wretchedly, overwhelmed by self-pity and self-loathe. She had just narrated to her how she had accidentally hurt her ten-year-old nephew badly during her bouts of rage. Clearly she really felt terrible. about it.
“What makes you do the things that you do?” the counselor inquired.
After a long moment of silence, Stella inhaled deeply and said, “I often feel that if I were raised a bit differently I would’ve been a better person. If only my parents had shown me a little bit of love. My step father used to beat me up mercilessly and my mother did nothing to protect me. She just used to watch him hurt me,” She sobbed bitterly. “Sometimes I still feel so bitter…” She further narrated her whole childhood experience and how it had affected her as a wife, a mother and a guardian; how she could not even connect with her husband effectively because her stepfather had ruined her perception of men.
Because of you
This story is a familiar a sad reality; many are the people out there who turn out to be a bad certain way because of certain individuals that crossed their lives at some point.
Way back when I was a young adult, still lost and uncertain of my purpose in life; I found solace in blaming my childhood experiences for my failure to fit into most social settings and consequent failure to achieve certain personal development goals. Well, while background plays a big role in molding one’s character, one should strive to rise above what the past might have turned them into.
I remember loving one particle song titled Because of You by this talented female artist, I loved it so much because it spoke my life. But in so many ways than one, the song sent me deeper into self-pity. Each time I listened to it, I hurt more and told myself that I wouldn’t be such a mess if only things could have been different. Sounds familiar? Guess what, I read somewhere that the singer had actually forgiven the person to whom the lyrics were directed to and she had found peace with both the intrinsic and extrinsic elements of her life, amazing right?
A bitter ripple effect
Stella had been hurt by that her step father, leaving bitter marks in her life that she had chosen to nurture and live with. Her father was no longer part of her life as she was a grown up woman, married in her own home. He had tried to control her life through violence and abuse when she lived in his house. Unfortunately, Stella had carried him to her husbands house with her. She had allowed him to continue controlling her life with violence through her memories of him.
The sad part is that it will be a reign of one bitter generation to another. Her bitter step father turned her into a bitter woman and now she is turning her Nephew into a bitter man, who may someday turn someone into a bitter something… it’s a horrific ripple effect and someone has to cut the chain. Stella could decide to make a difference by treating others better so that they are not hurt the way she was hurt.
The blame game
It’s very easy and somehow relieving to blame someone for our own insufficiency or problems; sometimes it takes a whole load off one’s back just to say, “I’m like this because of him or her.” This blame game is as ancient as mankind itself. Right at the beginning with the first man. Adam blamed the woman for his actions, and the woman blamed the snake. In most documentaries, we see a serial killer or a criminal blaming his/her upbringing or the way he/she had been treated at some point in life for his/her passion for crime. Some may say I was bullied through out and now, mankind should pay for my pain; it doesn’t have to be that way.
Your life is still yours to write
Some childhoods are harsh, rough and truly horrific; childhoods that would make one bitter for the rest of his/her life. But really, we all still have a choice.; and living your life based on someone’s actions is like allowing them to write your future. Or should I say you have allowed that person to write out your whole life. In essence, we write our own lives. We may lie to ourselves that our lives were destroyed by Jim or Jack but in the real sense, we destroy our own lives by choosing to sit and watch someone walk all over it. Of cause most often, you can’t control what others do to you but you can control how their actions will affect your life. You have the key to your life and as such, you are your own determinant of your future.
Certain people are agents of the devil, they are used by the devil to ruin innocent lives without them actually knowing that they are being used. You see when the devil sees that you’re meant for greatness, he will do whatever he can and use who ever he can to destroy you. Unfortunate are the times that he uses your very loved ones. Now it’s up to you to give the devil power over you by playing along and saying because of that person I’m this and that, I can’t do this or that; or you can leave the past behind and make the most of what is left of your life.
Vulnerable temperament? The key is still in your hands
I have been exposed to a family in which the children were all exposed to the same childhood experience. One of them made it big in life, dripping with purpose and success, while the other one still blames his failures on his past. Yes we are made differently and we react differently to life situations obviously because of diversity in temperament, but that doesn’t mean that you should give people power over your happiness or your ultimate future.
I mentioned earlier that you are your own determinant of your future; so where does God come in? God has given us free will. You can choose to succumb to the will of God and turn to him to guide you through your life. Because God has great plans for our future, he says, “For I know the plans I have for you, plans to give you a future and a hope,” Jeremiah 29:11. Other versions say, “plans to bring about the future you hope for.”
But he won’t hold you by the throat and force you to receive what he has in store for you; you have to seek him; “Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart”, Jeremiah 29:12.
Now the Bible says before you go and pray to God, you have to go and forgive your brother so that the Lord forgives you too, (Matthews 5:23, 6:14-15).
Trash “Because of you”
You have to end the thought “because of you” today by choosing to forgive whoever offended you in ways that may have changed the course of your life. As Jesus said, “forgive them father for they do not know what they are doing”, Luke 23:34. Pray that God may forgive them. They definitely were under unholy influences in making life bitter for you. Perhaps you have even contemplated revenge but the Bible says vengeance is for God, Romans 12:19-21.
Trust me you won’t get any peace from revenge. You may say the bitterness is all you have; its the only thing keeping you alive. When you let it all go you will definitely remain feeling empty. And that’s a good thing because you would have actually made room for Jesus to come in. The anger and the bitterness is what keeps your heart too full to accommodate anything or anyone else.
Take a step towards freedom
You don’t have to cry or hurt anymore about the past, take it as it is; the past. Some situations are a bit complex, suppose you were hurt by a close relative or you are still in that situation, stuck with no sign of redemption. Turn to God. Turn to him and give him all your pain, your tears, all your fears; he cares for you.
The Bible tells us that God cannot give you more than you can handle, he cannot allow you to be in a situation that you are not likely to survive, 1st Corinthians 10:13. What you have to do is to flip the coin and think outside the box, think what you can learn from your situation and grow. No matter your situation God will never leave you.
If you are the one that needs forgiveness, pray to God to help the person you have hurt to forgive you and approach that person seeking forgiveness. You see, this life is a short mystery for all of us and just to have someone ruin a part of it is often detrimental.