I'm talking about emotional hurt, the kind of things that are symptomatic, those moments that prove beyond doubt that human beings are flawed in how they relate. When someone takes something you value and treats it with contempt or apathy, the pain is like a bullet, a small thing, that with the speed of a moment penetrates and damages. Words, too are tools, for destruction or for building. Sometimes what is left unsaid is a weapon, too.
Some of the smallest moments become that bullet. You can tell someone outside the bubble about that moment that wounded you, and they may laugh at you and tell you it's only a small thing. And that it is. Bullets don't crush you, they riddle you with holes that drain life. In some relationships the wounds heal and the scar disappears, and in some one wound lays open for a long time, and in others you lie bleeding for what seems like years, and sometimes it is: decades.
Some relationships only have tiny little pellets that sting and fester over time, and some are like cannons that destroy you in one moment. If you're well matched, with knowledge of the other person and love's lens, you may become expert surgeons with healing hands. If love is lacking in one party or the other, you might lose your innocence, slash and burn, destroy and be destroyed in a one on one duel with deadly accuracy.
No matter how many walls you put up around yourself, no matter the expertise with which they are built, someone who lays siege to those walls, whether they look to your benefit or ruin, will be hurt. No impermeable armor has yet been made for the heart.
You can't stop a bullet, but there's ways to dodge a few. If by some miracle you dodge them all for awhile and your life is warless and sheltered, it's probably only a matter of time. If you try to always be your own surgeon, learn your mirror image by heart - when that heart is riddled with holes you cannot fix yourself.
Soul healing is a collective responsibility. Each of us needs to know and be known inside out. Somebody has to be able to say the healing words at the perfect moment, somebody needs to have faith in you, somebody needs to watch your back, cover you in the shootout, stand in silence when words fail.
Sometimes they'll even take a bullet for you.
You have the choice to know and be known. If you never let anyone past the wall, the medic won't get in either. Somebody out there has the power to fix you, or at least to try. All hands can be healing hands or weapons, and words can heal or hurt. We have choices. And the biggest choice is not to be the violent one who causes the pain. We fail so often at such a simple thing, but it's a choice we have to keep making over and over again: to be one who brings healing and not ammunition.
It's your choice. The only way to stop a bullet without sustaining damage is leaving it in the box. You can't stop someone else's bullets, but at least you can stop your own.
(1) - [The Beginning, the Story of Doubleslash] (2) - [The Dream] (3) - [Non-Existence] (4) - [Heterodox] (5) - [Forgotten] (6) - [Know Your Enemy] (7) - [Junkies] (8) - [Descent into Blindness] (9) - [Speaker for the Dead] (10) - [The System is Down] (11) - [Inequality] (12) – [Heterodox Revisited] (13) - [The Unsustainable] (14) - [All the Zeros in Zimbabwe] (15) - [Bullets]