ruthless compassion (aroraborealis) wrote,
ruthless compassion

I'm wrong; you're wrong; we're all wrong together.

Most people seem to have relationships in their past that they can look at and say, if not, "Wow, that's my crazy ex, all right!" at least, "Huh. That relationship damaged me in some ways, and here's how," or "There was a lot of good in that relationship, but some bad, too, and I still have some of it with me." Of course, no relationship is perfect, and when you leave it or it leaves you, the things that didn't work stand out more clearly.

I've been thinking a lot lately, though, about turning that equation on its head and wondering what unhealthy patterns and habits I've left in my wake after relationships. As far as I know, I'm not anyone's crazy ex, though that may merely be a matter of numbers; there are really only four or five people who even could call me an ex at all, and only two who I think of in those terms, which cuts down my odds at least!

It's easy to look at habits I formed in this relationship or that one (and not always romantic, for that matter!) and say, "Yeah, that was bad. I wish that interaction didn't cause me to develop this pattern!" And that's good and useful, and an important part of growing.

But it's really hard to look at the things I do and the harmful patterns they engender in others. It's both uncomfortable, and it requires a lot of twisting my head around to try to get perspective. But it's also really interesting, and obviously an important part of getting out of my own crap to be better, both for myself and for the people I love.

How do you get perspective? Do you? And what do you do with it once you have it? On the one hand, I don't want to put myself in the position of seeing it as a matter of always needing to change what I'm doing, but I sure as hell also don't want never to do that, because, hi, that's way fucked up. What do you do to strike that balance and see the ways that you're wrong?
Tags: introspection, thinky

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