I came to a really interesting conclusion the other day – it seems I can only focus angst on one person at a time. Post-‘Facebook ridiculousness’, I had to go to an event where the petty acquaintance would be present (let’s call him Tom). And just to make it really interesting, the one other person I try to avoid like the plague was also to be there. I was faced with an interesting prospect – if it came down to it, would I prefer to have to hang around ‘Tom’ or the long standing individual of avoidance? It occurred to me that I could tolerate and perhaps even find some enjoyment in the presence of the latter individual if it meant steering clear of the new object of my displeasure. Which was actually a huge revelation to me, seeing as the long term annoyance was quite possibly the major trigger for my most severe period of depression.
Now I agree with you if you happen to be thinking this is a bit bizarre, and perhaps juvenile. But at the same time it was reassuring. ‘Tom’ in his mission to alert me that I was living my life wrong, made me question myself on a much deeper level than he intended. I questioned my beliefs, he made me question whether I should voice my opinion or censor myself altogether. I questioned whether I was actually a good person, or whether I’ve moulded myself to be someone I don’t want to be. But the fact that I can’t really stew or be angry at more than one person at a time even despite having had such strong aversions to another person.. Well I feel like it says that there is only so much room in my heart for these feelings. That I know myself to be a loving person, but in feeling bitterness it does not consume me. ‘Tom’ tried to tell me I was judgmental, that I clearly hate the world and people (because he’s seen me post dozens of negative FB status’ recently… Of which he could name 2 in the last several months). I’ll concede that I am passionate which presents as strong emotion be it happiness or anger, but I am not hateful. I am not judgmental. My compassion reaches far beyond the times when I am hateful or angry, but those feelings are not all of me.
And as a snide aside, I would never be so petty or cruel as to make huge personal judgments on someone I am merely acquainted with, and have the nerve to inform them of how terrible they are and how they ought to change.