Perception. Everything suddenly drops to the basis of perception.
Who has a halo and who has horns becomes a rift in relationships in families, bringing the value of each person down to the perception of others. But why?
There are those who set out to use others, and those who give beyond the value of giving. When the two come together, the user has a ready servant. No other time is slavery acceptable. Blackmail? Not generally even legal, except in the case of the giving family member.
If you’re a giver, boundaries aren’t your issue, because you’ve chosen to be a giver. The problem comes with users realize you’re a giver. They attack relentlessly demanding that you give to them. They wear you down, beat you up emotionally and continue to use you long after you’ve asked them to stop. They keep asking, because they know you won’t say “STOP!”
Is it the giver’s fault or the user’s fault?
Nobody really knows, and it probably isn’t a matter of whose fault it really is, but a matter of values and taking personal responsibility. Fault is a different kind of term that allows one to blame the other. Taking personal responsibility for personal values doesn’t necessarily blame others, but rather assumes the responsibility and acts accordingly, according to ones own values.
Justice doesn’t come with halos or horns, it comes with the realization that we’re not completely responsible for another person. It comes when we realize that people make their own personal choices and accept that those choices were theirs to make, without condemnation or complaint.
An opinion stated doesn’t need to be refuted, battled or belittled. It can simply be accepted as an opinion, worthy of being heard. Sometimes, acknowledgement is all that is required. On those occasions when you disagree, it’s okay to say, “I have a different opinion than that.” And stop. You don’t have to belittle the person whose opinion you disagree with until they change their mind. Chances are they won’t.
Emotionally beating people up for having a different opinion is the same as using them.
The option is to acknowledge differences of opinion and move beyond the topic. It can be done. It’s called letting go…