Consequences

15 02 2014

When I was young, my parents told me “be careful, your actions have consequences.”  When I would get in trouble, my teachers would say to me “you made a decision that you knew was wrong, and this is your consequence.”  Now, my biological mom would wage punishment over actions…which totally could’ve screwed up my perceptions of consequence vs.  punishment.  But thankfully, I was spared from that confusion by the grace of God!

But…it was never a punishment, but a consequence.  I’m happy to reap the consequences of good decisions.  For example, if I wash my dishes, the consequence of that is that I have clean dishes to use, and the kitchen looks cleaner if a guest decides to pop in.  If I pitch in extra at work, hopefully, the reward of a raise will be given to me and I won’t have to work multiple jobs.  If I wash my clothes, I love the consequence that I have clean underwear and socks.  If I show, and not just tell someone that I care about them, but so that they truly know that I care about them, I have the consequence of a healthy relationship.  I think that we’re all happy to reap the consequences of the good decisions we make, especially if there are good consequences that follow. 

Adult relationships are hard.  They truly are.  When we were kids, our parents perhaps mediated with another parent if there was an issue among two kids.  But at some time or another, that mediation went away, and we suddenly were on our own.  And when we treat each other like crap just because we can, we also get that consequence.  For example, I have a friend who made a decision to break off a relationship.  My friend then was frustrated and confused when their former object of their affections didn’t want to talk to or spend time with them.  They told me of how their heart was broke when they expressed desire to spend time with that former object of their affections, and the desire was not returned, and they were responded to rather harshly.  And they tried to tell me it wasn’t fair, and that they were hurt, and in love, I told them the truth.  I told them that they were simply experiencing the consequences of their actions and the way that they treated their former significant other. 

We don’t like bad consequences or unfavorable consequences.  We don’t.  Actually, we quite hate them.  We hate to have to face those consequences, because prior to adulthood, we didn’t have to, really.  If I broke a window when I was a kid, I got a whoopin, but then my dad would replace the window for me.  Or if I called someone a bad name, it was easily fixed by “I’m sorry,” and then you went back to playing with the kid.  But adult relationships, they’re complicated.  You have to take into account another person’s feelings, and you have to recognize that sometimes, you truly do get the consequences you deserve.  It sucks, but you can either use this consequence to make you bitter, or empower you to resolve to never do the same thing to that person again, or any other person. 

We don’t like those unfavorable consequences, but the “perk” of adulthood is that sometimes, you just have to suck it up, deal with it and go on.  That’s it.  You may not like the fact that your ex is unable to have a relationship with you, but you made the choice in the first place to break it off.  You may not like that you have to live your life without a former friend, but you made the decision to give up on that person.  You may not like the fact that there’s someone out there who thinks that you’re a jerk with no redeeming qualities, but that’s the result of you treating a person badly just because you could.  You sure hate the idea that someone cannot be in a close relationship with you anymore, but that’s the risk you took when you decided to push them so far, to see how far you could push before they left. 

You may not like it, but there are times when the reality of life hits you and that reality is that there’s not always going to be someone there to bail you out or to give you a second or third chance with the same issue.  There’s not always going to be someone that’s going to come back and give you full forgiveness and things are going to be like they were before.  There’s not always going to be someone that’s going to be able to put their needs on hold while you expect them to meet your needs instead. 

Consequences.  Deal with it. 

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