by Shawnette Nielson
I must apologize for getting this entry out so late. I am actually typing this in the car coming home from a short weekend trip. Family is an interesting phenomenon. Without going into specifics, this weekend was spend with a group of people who are related one way or the other … let me first preface this blog by acknowledging the absolute importance of family. They are all important, especially in the grand scheme of life. They offer support, guidance, love, and a sense of security that is indispensable. They are there often when no one else is, and there is a certain amount of inconvenience that can be expected, both to be felt, and dealt during certain times in our lives. In a way, they have to be there, and you have to be there for them. All this is true. My question to the big world is, when do you draw the line. When do you say, “Okay, I’ve been hurt enough, and I am not going to put myself in a position to be hurt more.” I don’t know the answer and I am not saying my opinion is the best solution, but I will share what conclusion, in a nutshell, I have come to.
Can you truly love someone if you are always worried about getting hurt by them? I don’t think so. If someone, family or no, has a real tendency to hurt you, and it continues to happen, then I do believe that, family or no, it is your responsibility to step back and protect yourself. What do I mean by that? I mean that you don’t make yourself vulnerable to that person anymore. You can still love them, in fact, I believe that by protecting yourself from them, you are able to love them more. I’m sure that you can think of examples for yourself, but here are a few to whet your mind with: a relative that leaves whenever things get tough; one who takes from you (money, time, love, etc.), but never gives back; or one who ultimately will choose self over anything or anyone else, no matter what. It is true that none of us is perfect, but I am convinced that if we acknowledge the hurt that someone tends to give us, and protect ourselves from it, then we will be able to eventually love them more because we won’t always be hurt by them. If it means stepping away from a close relative, then I believe that you should. So ladies, what are your thoughts???