Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Dating Ecology: Breaking The Wheel Of Pain

I found this picture on this website (click on the picture to get a better look). I call it the Wheel of Pain. I‘ve seen a lot of people crushed by it.

If you’ve been on the dating scene for any length of time, it’s not hard to see the Wheel and it’s effects. It’s hard not to be affected by it. There are times it feels inescapable, and that the only way to protect yourself is to become part of the cycle.

But the Wheel of Pain is not inevitable. Moreover, YOU can do something about it.

Look at it again. Notice that “fucks over” and “turns into” account for four parts of the cycle and two of them--the ones corresponding to your particular gender--are under your direct control.

These are the weak links in the chain. One involves taking responsibility for your behavior. The other involves refusing to be shaped by the bad behavior of others.

It’s not easy. When you feel you’ve been fucked over, it’s normal to want to take full advantage when the opportunity arises to be the one doing the fucking. Similarly, once you’ve been burned, it’s natural to want to protect yourself.

Other times, it’s not a deliberate choice. Our emotions run away with us. We listen to bad advice or fall prey to old habits. Or maybe we just aren’t paying attention to how our decisions affect others.

And sometimes, sometimes--despite our best intentions--we just make mistakes.

Mistakes are fine.

But that’s not what we’re talking about.

What we’re talking about is making an effort to reduce the amount or intensity of the fucking over we do. We are also trying not to let bitterness and resentment twist ourselves into something that is no good to anyone, least of all ourselves.

The best part is, you don‘t have to do anything big. Nobody is asking you to become a saint or martyr. You don’t have to solve the world’s problems or ANYBODY else’s problems for that matter. In fact, it’s probably better you don’t.

The little things are where these types of battles are fought. And there are always opportunities to do a little thing. No matter what you’ve done or has been done to you, it is never too late and always within your capabilities to do a small thing.

Every time you choose to be honest when it might be easier to lie, every time you let go of a sliver of resentment over past betrayals…those small pebbles are enough to jam the machinery of the Wheel of Pain.

You aren’t just stopping yourself from being crushed beneath the Wheel of Pain. You’re reversing its effects--on you AND on the people close to you. And that one act may be something that reminds those people to treat the people in THEIR lives better and so on and so forth down the line.

You’re doing more than stopping the Wheel of Pain. You’re REVERSING it. With one small, simple action, you are helping yourself and a whole lot of people. We all drink from the same romantic river--every contribution you make towards cleaning it helps everyone.

The Wheel of Pain is not invincible, nor is it inevitable.

You have power over it.

All it takes is a little thing.

-May All Beings Be Sexy

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  1. I don't know; my husband fucked me over with a broomstick, and it did not raise in me the desire to hurt anyone else. Just the desire to stay out of the game until such a time as I know I *won't* just be hurting other people.

  2. I love this post! It's inspiring, and so true. I've seen that graphic before and felt hopeless, but you put a positive spin on it here that really works.

  3. Cori, you may be a very wise person.