How to Deal with Cruelty

I’ve been encountering a lot of cruel people lately.

Not physically cruel, that’s a whole other conversation with a whole other set of rules, but emotionally cruel people, out to hurt for hurtings sake.

And my impulse is to retaliate. To protect myself and my family and my community from this cruel behavior.

And it’s my right to do so, in fact my whole life, I’ve thought it’s my duty.

But I’m tired. Of the fight.

Fighting someone else’s pain and demons takes a lot out of a person. It’s like two snakes in battle, and only the one with the most stamina wins.

And if you can believe it, at almost 40 years old, it has finally hit me. I can’t change them. I can’t teach them or convince them or shame them into being kind and making a more compassionate choice.

All I can do is focus on myself. So for the first time I stopped the fight.

I gave in, even though it was unfair and it hurt people who didn’t deserve to be hurt. I let these cruel people have what they wanted.

I breathed. I cried. I had a panic attack. It felt very strange to surrender to the fact that I have absolutely no control and all I can do is lie down and feel sad, that someone was cruel.

I also went to my friends’ house and let her nine-year-old daughter give me a make-over. That helped a lot too.


The conversation below is a good example of two people with slightly opposing opinions having a loving, thoughtful conversation and yet still sticking to our guns. I’m proud of it so I thought I’d share it with you.

It must be hard to be cruel. To be you. You must be hurting a lot.

And for some reason now I feel free.

With love and kindness and compassion to you all,