There are times when we just realize (and yes, I speak in “we” multitudes ala God in Genesis) that we are not what we are and are what we are not, that is to say – we don’t fully realize what we do and how our ways impact others.
Maybe you can say otherwise (and all of us sometimes bullshit) but I practically always tout how good a friend I am (I am), as if to say that “being a good friend” somehow ameliorates much of the downsides of myself that I am aware of or believe of myself (my self story). But in fact (really? What do I know of facts? – I meant “But now I see myself and others differently”) I am neither smiley (which would be an automatic plus for everyone else’s feelings), nor pleasant (it’s a broad range, but I skew witty yet harsh more than mellow and sweet); perhaps even somewhat whiney – a lot of moaning in my world.
Like everyone else I can make excuses, and quite differently from many others as well. After all, if one is to solve problems (and in my circles there seems to be a consensus that “if you need help, see if Marlene can figure it out for you”), then one must have problems to solve which, of course, requires becoming aware of problems that others may not see or “overlook” as in they are too lazy, unfocused, untrained or skilled, and perhaps “don’t care” – albeit I want to promote for myself the story that people would care if they weren’t so dumb or stupid. If you were interested in definitions, dumb people tend to be assigned less responsibility for their condition. That is all to say more simply – If I understand myself somewhat then, I reflect these traits (non-smiley, seeing problems and focusing on them) because they are warp and woof of my primary action mode that we might call the problem solver-helper of others. So then I am a good friend after all, right?
Not really. My assets are a nice compliment to what I can do for others, but they aren’t packaged in a way that benefits me much beyond self-satisfaction in knowing I tried and battled and had the best of intentions (actual trying requires intentionality if it is conscious, that is to say if it is more than instinctive reactive behaviors or indoctrination). And while “friends” come to me for help and sometimes to hang out – what people don’t get much from me is what we all want friends for: soothing acceptance and heartfelt levity… the “healing” arts of many friendships you might say. I lament that a good bit because we get back often what we give and attract self-similar energies to ourselves. Like everyone else, I seek and need the very assets I don’t have to give.
The good news I take today from this rambling is that there are those who are built so that they react the way we need, and when there are too few of our type or of those that meet our needs…. there are groups created (alinon, church, bingo and bars) where we are more likely to get the “cup of water we need along the way of life.” The other good news is that we really are all unique and it is mostly our propensity and capacity to generalize and label that puts us in pigeonholes… On the other hand, without those boxes and generalizations for categories, we would be much less likely to have any conscious way of addressing our totality and the “ways of our own being”….
With that let this day begin again with an effort on my part to broaden my ‘persona’ horizons and lessen the narrowness of my own confines in behavior.
- To see with the eyes of wonder without fear
- as a child that knows it is safe
- To dismiss the judgmental thoughts and feelings
- the buffers of disappointment;
- To limit the sway of expectations
- that lead to judgment and chafing
- To encourage and lovingly accept
- rather than lecture and direct
- Loving others as myself begins with self love