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like a sieve

like a sieve

“you could start by not breaking people’s hearts,” i said.

this was in answer to a friend who wanted to know how i thought he could prevent people from hating on him.

“breaking hearts isn’t my thing. it’s not my fault if someone gets their heart broken,” he replied.

“truuuue,” i said slowly, “but people don’t need to be conscious to be proactive,” i answered.

I thought for sure he’d leave it at that, but instead he asked what i meant and i didn’t know how to answer so told him a story about my mother instead.

“well, my mom’s an alcoholic and she doesn’t want to be. if she asked me what she could do not to be an alcoholic, it would make sense if i told her to stop drinking, but i’m not a kid, and no one’s pain is so straight-forward as to be resolved by another’s opinion. i’d tell my mom to stop breaking her heart, and she’d ask me what i meant just like you. so i’d bring up my grandmother, and remind her how she chose to stay in a physically and verbally abusive marriage for her children without realizing her role in proactively ensuring her continued pain, then passing it down to her children and theirs. my mom still wouldn’t understand the connection, but that’s cause i know my mom, but besides that, it’s not my job to fix her pain. it’s my job to reflect her pain back to her through the lens of love. none of us creates pain or addiction in a sieve – the sieve is the creator. i know you, and i know breaking hearts isn’t your thing, but is it?”

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