Tuesday, September 9, 2014
Well, I neither have answer to those questions or proof to verify any of those statements. But one thing I do know is that we've all become very comfortable sitting in our judgment seats. The first feeling I felt when I first saw the video was shock, but it was quickly followed by pity: for both of them. No one comes into this world an abuser or a victim. Excluding mental issues, most times what's layered beneath the fabric of both parties involved are histories that include more abuse--whether it's how to deliver it or how to tolerate it. Many of us will be blessed to never know the physical pain involved in either, but to say none of us have experienced abuse of some kind in relationships would be a stretch.
I often hear women (and sometimes men) run down the list of things they've tolerated in relationships, yet feel super empowered in saying, "But if he/she ever put their hands on me, I am gone!" Which lends one to believe that physical abuse is the only "blow" that should not be accepted or tolerated. Yet many of us have been in relationships where hurtful language; mistrust; and emotional battery became the norm. Where partners took rather than gave; lied rather than loved; and broke us down as opposed to built us up. Yet, we somehow feel comfortable deciding when and how Janay Palmer should have reacted to what is probably the most horrific experience in her life, all the while not realizing that in our moments of confusion, we were probably being silently judged as well for what we accepted as the norm, whether it was because we found a way to rationalize our staying or because we simply weren't ready for a new experience.
If we're going to spend this time critiquing, judging, and examining every fiber of this unfortunate situation, perhaps we can take a few of those minutes to put ourselves in the shoes of others and be thankful--not critical--for our own deliverance that may not have left physical scars but indeed, in some way, wounded our souls. The grace we received is the grace we need to give to those still in their valleys.