On this life train that moves at warp speed, I am an eager passenger that enjoys the ride. Just like the rest of us, some of my days are better than others. And for those occasional days hit by some sort of hormone bounce or lack of sleep or too many encounters with plain ole shxxy people, my tendency is to reach out. Misery loves company is only trumped by misery loves an empathetic ear. I connect with others – chat, call, meet and contemplate to understand them and have them understand me. And yet sometimes, when we end, I feel worse than I did when I started. It’s like going to mass with a sometimes-found judgmental Priest – you go into church looking to gain insight and yet when you leave, you feel worse about yourself than when you started.
I have learned to pay attention and notice. Who is it that supports me and supports my vision? And who is it that takes away and pulls me down? This may seem obvious but I offer you a thought – when you really look at this in terms of the actual person and not the defined role they play in your world (i.e. boss, sister, neighbor, mother, father-in-law, etc.) you can gain a easier perspective and manage the input and output.
I recently took inventory of a few conversations I had with people that I deemed ‘in my corner.’ We met. We left. I felt terrible. When I looked at it and thought back, I realized that there were several people I entrusted and thought they would support me or at least give me some positive input. Yet the truth is, they were actually anything but supportive. I have to share that it wasn’t obvious. No one sat there and yelled at me. Some of the input was scornful, some of it was detached and some of it was just plain ole passive aggressive. Do you ever get the raised eyebrow, the questioning ‘reallyyy??’ or the ‘well that’s nice….’ or the ‘Yes and I want to tell you that you should be xxxxx’.
It all comes wrapped up in ‘doing the right thing for you’ but the truth is that it’s not always the case. The bottom line is that I let them in – because by role, they are the ones that are best for me and are there to support me – and based on these roles, they ‘should’ be good for me.
As I reflect back on this, I think to myself – who is it that I let in? Who is it that supports me and my vision?
Interestingly enough, sitting in my corner is a neighbor, a work associate, and an old friend. It’s not the expected and usual players. And you know what? That’s ok. Letting go of the ‘expectations’ is the key to understanding where to put my energy and how to frame my world.
I now know who takes me down, who really doesn’t approve or support me. And I am not worried about their role in my life and my world. I have stepped back and figured it out. Give yourself the gift to do the same. It sure makes sharing easier. And it’s another step in learning to take care of you.