“Only people who are not happy with themselves are mean to others” ~ unknown
She stood there with her head in her hands and cried. She couldn’t understand why he had to use words that cut her to the core. He used her darkest corners of her heart against her. Everything she told him, somehow he used to cut her down, to make her feel small. His mean spirit broke her. She promised herself she would never let that happen again, nobody was going to get into her heart again.
Four years later she let someone else into her heart. It was a slow process. He used his kindness, his naivety and what she thought was a gentle and generous spirit. He made her feel great about herself. There were times when she wondered if this was what she had been waiting for her entire life. He became her best friend. She could count on him to be there for her, as a sounding board for work, as a confidante for life. He led her to believe that she was important to him. He talked about a future, once he had everything from his divorce ironed out. He talked about a future, once they no longer worked together. He talked about a future.
Then it stopped. Not suddenly, it was again a slow process. Daily talks and texts became less frequent. Call backs took much longer. He no longer treated her the same. It took five months for them to see each other, he always had an excuse. That conversation was supposed to be a reset, it ended up being the beginning of the end. The conversations and texts became even less frequent. He walked away. He didn’t explain why, other than his normal excuse of being busy, of being pulled in a million directions, of being drained and needed his quiet time.
His meanness was different. He did’t use words to cut her down and make her feel small. He used avoidance and gave her the feeling that she was a bother. That talking to her would only drain him more instead of fill him up as it once did. His meanness was in not telling her what had changed. His meanness was in his lies. His meanness was no better and no worse than the other one’s.
As she tried to put her heart back together again, she really worked to understand and continue to heal herself. She knew that she was attracting broken because she was still broken. She knew she didn’t want to attract anyone who was not whole again, and that meant she had to be whole. She knew that these men were mean to her because they were not happy with themselves, whether they knew that didn’t matter to her. She also knew that at times she was also mean in response, because she was not happy with herself.
Her journey to wholeness continued. It was time to get beyond the dark edges and shine a light on all of her. By doing so, she saw that all the love she had inside was bursting to come out. She found that she wanted to do everything from a place of love, a place of compassion for others, and herself. She found that she didn’t want to judge herself anymore, she didn’t want to falsely judge others to make herself feel better. She found by doing so, that the meanness that sometimes came out was squelched. That was the moment, it all made sense to her.
Her meanness was because she wasn’t happy, from the inside. Happiness is an inside job; nobody, no job, nothing is going to make you truly happy. Once she got happy, she saw the meanness in others as just what it was, someone who was broken in some way and not happy. She thought back to the two men who had hurt her so much and realized how unhappy they were as people. The first one looked to her and their relationship to make him happy. When she no longer could because of her own broken pieces, he was mean. He did mean things and said even meaner things. The second one took longer for her to truly figure out. His meanness was different so she had to truly spend time, with all that she knew about him to understand that he wasn’t happy. He tried to be. He used his religion, his sociability and his charm to make you think he was happy. But then, in one of the last texts she received from him, he said, “Maybe I am just at wore with my own mind.” Boom. That was it. That was the moment she knew he was not a happy person. He used a lot of excuses and complained about how his kids took advantage of him, his ex-wife took advantage of him. But at the core of all of it, he was not a happy person. He was as miserable as the first one. Neither of them knew it, but she now did.
And as she walked away from the texting and decided to stop trying to engage, she realized that they both did her a favor. They helped her get to wholeness and happiness and they both showed their true colors.
Only people who are not happy with themselves are mean.