I’ve touched on this subject before. You can read about a particular knee-jerk reaction of mine here.
Well, now I’m acutely aware of yet another: my reaction to a perceived lack of appreciation. It’s a topic I’ve touched on before (you can read about my toilet paper conundrums here), but recently I experienced it at a whole ‘nother level.
I won’t go into the details, ‘cuz they’re really not all that important per se. Suffice it to say that I acted in what I knew was a generous way. And I was criticized for that.
I shut down.
I mean I went dead...as in road kill dead. No joy, no warmth, no ability to even speak. I died inside.
And I’ve been pondercating upon that ever since. I wasn’t at all that way as a young man. I could easily laugh off others’ gracelessness. Often did. I could accept human missteps with calm aplomb. After all, when it came to “suavity” I was sporting two left feet myself.
I’ve discovered that I’ve changed. Profoundly.
Lately, I’ve been contemplating all the people I’ve known who’d bristle without much provocation. Believe me, I’ve seen “hair-trigger” tempers. Bore the brunt of some. I’ve watched violence erupt in the wake of...well...a mere twitch.
Today, I understand.
I understand because the one thing that all the souls I knew who would react so violently had in common was this: they had suffered. They had all been beaten, bruised and abused...verbally, physically, mentally, spiritually and every other whichway.
I understand/feel how a lack of appreciation inexorably drove me farther and further from my wife. It was that lack of appreciation that drove me deeper and deeper into an emotional abyss from which there was no escape except to destroy what once had been the love of my life.
And so it came to pass that I recently discovered just how much I’ve come to detest a lack of appreciation. It’s a knee-jerk reaction, I know. It’s an autonomous response.
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