I’ve been rolling through life, going to the gym, physio therapy, driving therapy and seeing my GP and a psychotherapist. My physical recovery is painful and exhausting while my emotional recovery has been enlightening.
My emotional focus lately has been accepting people, places and things.
There was a situation in my personal life recently which had thrown me, it presented quite a challenge for me which was different than my past responses would have been.
Simply put there is a person who doesn’t seem to view something as I do, and I’m getting the distinct impression they don’t dig me much.
I just have to say at this point, this person doesn’t know what they’re missing.
Can I get a fist pump?
In the past, if it were in business I would have enjoyed the challenge knowing I had done my homework, certain that I was correct and thought nothing of it all as I expect this within that forum.
In my personal life I would have had a negative knee-jerk reaction which would have consumed me.
I would have had a massive internal battle, over-analyzing myself, my values, traits and talents, finding myself lacking in some way. As a defensive move I probably would have convinced myself the other person is uneducated, pious, way off base…well frankly anything that made me feel better about myself at the time.
I would form these arguments about the person simply because their rejection of me would have impacted my self-image.
If it were necessary I would have continued interacting with this person, being cordial but chances are it would have been in a condescending manner, harboring negative internal thoughts about them. Heaven help us if ever I’d had drinks around this person, all of my negative thoughts would blast out without a filter!
Other’s acceptance and respect of myself was directly related to how I saw myself.
This trait of mine certainly made me a fantastic employee, one who was determined to provide excellence to any task I performed but it’s not a pretty way to live.
Determining myself by other’s expectations or opinions is detrimental in so many ways. The process is flawed if only by the fact that my perspective of their opinion isn’t founded in fact but by my skewed vision.
Some people will like me and some of them won’t. Either attitude is as likely to be right or wrong. It’s next-to-impossible to be myself when I’m caught up in constantly wondering “Do they think I’m witty? Does she think I’m fat? Do they think I’m stupid? Am I good/clever/popular enough to be a part of their group of friends?”
To actually be my authentic self I cannot entertain these concerns, I just gotta be me!
Flowing naturally through situations with people, being mindful of others rather than being mindful of their perspective of myself will allow people to experience my true self.
I have found that people pleasing is an exhausting and fruitless endeavor. It is a vicious cycle which diverts my energy unnecessarily. If I take this energy and focus it upon improving my strengths, knowledge and talents there is a better chance of finding my serenity in this journey.
Eleanor Roosevelt: “no one can make you feel inferior without your consent”
This doesn’t mean that I don’t value this person’s role in my life, I’ve looked at how I’ve presented myself and I do see ways in which I could improve in the future. Interactions with this person will hopefully continue, and I will openly embrace the opportunities. If I am correct in my assumptions of how I’m being viewed, I hope in time this person will see my value and well if that doesn’t happen then I will know that I’ve been true to myself.
Mother Theresa: “Let no one ever come to you without leaving better and happier. Be the living expression of God’s kindness: kindness in your face, kindness in your eyes, kindness in your smile.”
What I choose to do today is accept that I am unaware of this person’s situation, their burdens.
I cannot assume nor predict the way a person thinks, what value they place on different aspects of life.
What I do know is how to secure my reactions.
To build the foundation of self appreciation so that I can respond with love to people, places and things which used to cause that knee-jerk reaction of mine.
Changing my focus from what others can bring to me to what I can bring to them has given me release from the behaviors of the past.
So while I think it’s sad that not everyone will love me or even like me in this journey I am determined to do my best to remain focused upon being humble, learning and being aware of the amazing things God allows me to see.
Romans 12:3 Gifts of Grace
For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned.
But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.
AA – Grapevine 1958
If we examine every disturbance we have, great or small, we will find at the root of it some unhealthy dependency and its consequent unhealthy demand. Let us, with God’s help, continually surrender these hobbling liabilities.
Then we can be set free to live and love; we may then be able to twelfth step ourselves, as well as others into emotional sobriety.