I have always been a quiet person.

I rarely speak not because I don't have anything to say or I don't know what to say, but because I learn more from listening to people. Usually, I just like to think. And when there are times that the emotion is too hard to contain, I write them down.

There have been times when I have hurt some people due to some impulsive outbursts. Family, friends and lovers. Though I felt a certain release just being able to say what I wanted to say, most often the satisfaction is fleeting. It is almost always replaced by pain, knowing that I had hurt that person, and by guilt, knowing that I can never take those words again.

Since then, I have taught myself to think over and over before saying anything because I know that such carelessness on my part is at the expense of another's feelings. I take comfort in the silence of my thoughts.

I used to think that if I was careful like that, people would....should do the same to me. Shouldn't we be treated the way we treat others? But they don't. Because that's the injustice, nay, the fact of life. You can neither expect or demand other people to change for you.

I know now, I should do something because it's my choice, because that's how I want to live my life. I know now that in every situation, no matter who or what is involved, I always have a choice.

And right now, I choose to be defenseless.

Like any other human being, I am not one to readily admit mistakes. (Who is?) Actually, I used to be that way. Used to be because I know I need to change my perspective if I want to live in peace. It's a slow process, but I am gaining ground on my weakness, inch by inch.

It's never easy to take responsibility for something you know wasn't directly your fault. It's not fair to be held liable for another person's shortcomings. It hurts when you feel like all others see is what you've done wrong.

Your knee-jerk reaction would be to raise your arms, defend yourself and deny any responsibility. Your immediate thought would be, "when you seek wrong in others, you are likely to find it." You would feel that after everything you've done, this is what you get in return.

During confrontations, the emotion and the indignation used to be too much for me to handle so I used to shift between extremes -- either I rise up vehemently defensive or stoop down and cry.

But now, things have changed, and so have I.

I am trying to accept things as they come. I will not throw blame or push another person off the cliff to save myself. I will accept my responsibility where it is due.

I will not get affected by what other people say or think of me because that is as far as they go. I know I have a choice whether I'll hold the knife by the blade or by the handle. I know I can choose to listen to them, and separate the chafe from the grain. I will only take what I need and I will move on. No grudges, no hurt feelings.

I will choose to be silent.

I will relinquish the need to defend myself because I know that keeping my inner peace is a great deal more important than proving that I am right.


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