When I was a kid, my cousin and I used to take turns reading Aesop’s fables to each other. All of the short stories had a moral, such as “misery loves company” and it is amazing how many of them still apply in today’s modern world.
As I have been working through my anger lately, this particular fable resonated with me:
A Man came into a Woods one day with an axe in his hand, and begged all the Trees to give him a small branch which he wanted for a particular purpose. The Trees were good-natured and gave him one of their branches. What did the Man do but fix it into the axe head, and soon set to work cutting down tree after tree.
Moral of Aesop’s Fable: Then the Trees saw how foolish they had been in giving their enemy the means of destroying themselves.
There are many ways in which I can give someone permission to treat me poorly. I am working on learning to set boundaries and to focus on protecting myself from destructive people. I may not always understand what motivates someone to act as they do. I try to be understanding about their point of view and at the same time realize that I don’t need to make another person’s problems mine.