I recently participated in a family meditation retreat over a weekend. I spent an entire weekend in a lodge full of strangers I had never met before. Even roomed with a family I did not know. I told a friend about this, and she was surprised–she said “You?? But you hate people!”
Yes, I hated people. I mean I truly despised people in general. There were very few people I could honestly say I enjoyed.
I have realized lately that I used to be so private and guarded because I didn’t trust people and didn’t want people to know certain things about me–that I wanted to choose who I could deem trustworthy enough to reveal certain aspects of me and my life. I didn’t want to expose myself to others who could potentially discover things about me or my life if I couldn’t control who would know, or what they would know.
But lately I’ve discovered that’s not the real issue or concern. I’m OK now with putting myself out there (in a not-oversharing sort of way), being in the mix, being me with people in general because the issue is not WHAT they find out about me and how they’ll judge me or use that information, but the issue is HOW I deal with their behaviors that I couldn’t control in the first place. What kind of behaviors I’ll accept, what boundaries I’ll set forth, what expectations I’ll put out there.
So I’ve learned it’s not about staying away from people in general to avoid toxic people or frenemies, or for fear of being judged. But it’s in identifying inappropriate or unacceptable behaviors and deciding how to deal with them. It’s in teaching people how to treat me. That, I can control. And I’m so grateful for all the new friends in my life.
Thanks for such a thoughtful, mindful post.
I absolutely enjoy being with people I enjoy (who doesn’t?), people with whom I am at ease, easily myself, who see my unconventional nature (me, really) and appreciate it, who share in this love between us—and, like most humans, I don’t choose to run with people whose company I don’t enjoy (toxic people, of course, but what exactly is this “frenemies” matter?)—but I do cross their paths from time to time, sometimes a lot of the time (you know, societal things like employment, various gatherings, common interests, grocery marketing, etc.).
I appreciate the distinction you’ve made between WHAT and HOW, as that is the very heart of the matter. For me, it’s become quite simple in terms of deciding—the WHAT doesn’t matter to me (it used to, silly me)—rather, is the HOW worth my life time (my very breaths)? Will it add meaning, growth, love, and happiness (and so much more) to each of our lives? If the answer is no, it’s simple—I state my peace, listen to theirs (non-toxic only, thank you), and walk (and even run) on. If the answer is yes, it’s blissful, regardless of the difficulty level—I’ve learned that relationships worth the HOW are full of little and big moments of happiness and sadness, but always love. The HOW for me is love—and love is at the heart of it, each of our hearts.
I always enjoy reading your posts—if only we had more time to write. Thanks and smiles!
And if only I had more time to reply in a timely fashion! 🙂 I was thinking likewise as I was reading your comment–how I love your comments, always so thoughtful and draws out my thoughts even more! Thank you for being such an interactive part of my blog/life!! A positive part too! 🙂
Happy to you!
Thank you for such a thoughtful post. It has provided me with new perspective as I consider how I approach my own life.
I nominated you for the “Blog of the Year 2012″ award. Please go to http://yourejustadumbass.wordpress.com/2012/12/08/wow-i-have-been-nominated-for-the-blog-of-the-year-2012-award/ for more information. Congratulations!
Thank you SO much!!! so honored!! And APOLOGIES for such a tardy response!! I will definitely follow those rules–soon! Thank you thank you! I REALLY appreciate your support. Despite my dropping correspondence and being too busy to get my head out of my butt!
My pleasure to nominate you, love! No worries! Just wanted to let you know how much I am inspired by your work.