While the feeling of the New Year is still upon us I have been spending my time looking back on last year with much concern for this year. As mentioned in my September post Having It All Together vs Staying Afloat In Life (삶에 다 모두를 함께 vs 살아 남보라) I made some uprooting changes in my life in order to reclaim a life I so loved and enjoyed at one time. However, as life is unpredictable so are the actions that people take from to time. But, sometimes in all the noise of rapid planning and changes we often may forget about those closest to us that may be hurt in the process.
One person who was hurt in the uncertainties of on-going changes taking place last year was me. Looking back at the year the person who hurt me did not consider the pains that they could inflict. What seemed quite obvious to one person was not to the other. This is what I call being misunderstood. Throughout most of 2017 there were so many misunderstandings to count, so many feelings not expressed, so many doubts not shared, so many silent moments apart. The question I asked myself over and over in my head was “Why?,” but later throughout the year I realized that why was the wrong question. I should have thought “How?”
How could simple, small, and often discrete actions lead to hurting the ones closest to us? We ask ourselves this when the damage is already one, when those who were once a major part of our lives are gone, when we finally take time to look back at our own actions and decisions. But, by this time we remain misunderstood. While our reasons, decisions, and choices are fleeting the pains we have already inflicted remain. Like scars they lace around our bodies. Some pay heed to them. Some don’t. Some work on fixing them. Some don’t.
Misunderstandings only grow when doubt, fear, and worry only grows. Sometimes even those who are hurt by misunderstandings create misunderstandings themselves, by remaining silent, by not expressing themselves, by not confronting their fears. Maybe lack of confidence, courage, and strength play a part in the misunderstandings loved ones make, best-friends make, couples make, families make, etc. But, that should not stop us from wanting to better understand our errors or wanting to prevent hurting someone.
This New Year I have much concern, however, I also have much courage to try to better understand misunderstandings created by those I loved and love. I want to better understand and evade possible pains I may inflict on others and pay heed to the misunderstandings others create. While I can not vouch that more misunderstandings will not be made this New Year I can promise myself that all scars received will guide me to prevent myself from being hurt and give me courage to early- on express myself.