I hurt someone the other day. Badly. I tried my best to minimize the pain, but as is often the case, it didn't work out that way. What happens when you just realize that it's not right? What do you do?

When my marriage was struggling, I tried very hard to allow for the fact that what I was reacting to was the fear of change. I wanted very badly for things to stay the way they were. But I saw that the special person I loved so much needed to be allowed to change into who they needed to be. She needed to be authentic, and I needed to allow that. As painful as it was (and at times still is), it really was for the best. I tried to simply be with the change and accept it as one more turn in the wheel inside the machine that is the Universe. At least we still talk.

The person I hurt a few days ago is also a very special person. She is many things I wanted to be with, but in the end, I suddenly realized that--for a number of reasons--it wasn't right. A number of these reasons were about me and what I was either bringing, or not bringing, to the relationship. But unfortunately, I blind-sided her with my decision. I truly wish I could have done things differently, but it suddenly burst from me. I feel terrible about it. She lashed out with some very venomous word-attacks, and no matter how much they hurt me, I simply let them hit me. I had to. She has a right to feel that hurt.

My teacher says that when this happens, the karma is mostly decided by the intent behind the action. That's no real comfort to me right now. This woman has been openly criticizing me as a Buddhist, and the path in general. I can't really do anything about that, but it still bothers me. I know that I would not have been able to fulfill her needs, nor she mine. I want her to find the person that can be wholly and totally what she needs, and sooner rather than later. I didn't want to be wasting her time anymore. Not that my time with her was a waste (contrary to what she accused me of) but at the same time, working on something you know won't work is by definition a waste of time, and she deserves better than that.

Me? I think being alone is what I need right now. Not in that pathetic sort-of way. More along the lines of "chop wood, carry water".

I just wish I hadn't cut someone in the process...