Ya know the saying, "Treat em like dirt 'n they'll stick like mud"?
I hate that saying.
Pretty much cause it's true, 'n I've been on the receiving end time after time 'n it's just not really the greatest. Why is it... that we do things like that to ourselves? (I understand there are plenty out there who do not...'n I commend you...I'm still working on it myself so save me a seat!)
I'm just gonna lay it out there cause I really wanna use this blog as a lil bit of a journalesque sorta way to deliver not only messages and insights for myself and all of us, but also to show my own process of working through things to illustrate we ALL struggle, and it's a blessing we can truly say, "I understand. I can't judge because I've been there myself. A lot." For some straaaaange reason, I feel so strong not to polish myself up or portray myself as a guru, healer, shaman or oracle, whatever you wanna call it whatsoever, but to show we are all capable of so many great things that simply entail us being our best selves. ( Being a high school drop out, I keep hearing specifically how important it is to use Dr. Rebecca Garifo with my most outlandish stuff to break up the idea of superiority or intellectual status. It especially helps me to laugh at the irony of looking outside ourselves at times for someone who knows better, more, someone who's certified. You can be rewarded a PhD just like you can a felony. Both can give people unrealistic impressions about the individual. ) That's it. That's all. Just knowing who we are as a soul SO WELL that we can give just that to the world. Our most divine self. That's wisdom. That's enlightenment. Knowing we already are perfection embodied, maybe we've just been watching someone else's sheet music too often to realize the greatness of our own notes.
Although some days I'd rather not be as raw and open about details in my life...once I open my mouth it usually just all rooooooolls out like a dislodged apple in the produce section.
I know what I deserve. I know what I should and should not allow. I'm also pretty seasoned at pointing out and explaining what I will and will not tolerate. Yet the fact remains, I tend to suffer from severe SUFM remorse. (Sticking Up For Myself is what that means if ya didn't know. Don't worry. You wouldn't know, cause I l just made it up.)
I've always been really good at explaining away any gut feelings I have about someone or a situation, harsh comments, or even down right lies and blatant sabotage. The trouble with having serious empathic feelings all the time is when ya reaaaaally start knowing what it is to be in someone else's shoes that even the worst things they do can be explained away. "They're just reacting from past trauma, I know they wouldn't do that deliberately. They're hurting." So it's forgiven once again, and now I'm hurting right along side them...
"So we'll just uh...sit here together in our misery then shall we? ..."
What we feel we deserve, we invite into our lives over and over. This I cannot argue with because I've watched myself do it time after time. I grew up under the impression I was here to be of service to everyone around me, which is still in fact my purpose BUT I'm having to unlearn service being at the expense of my own wellbeing and happiness.
I've had more than a handful of friendships and relationships that have repeated the codependent pattern over and over. I've wanted so badly for them to see what it is I see in them, to love themselves like I love them. To forgive themselves like I've forgiven them, and to stop throwing daggers at the happiness around them and allow it into their own lives. I've been putting off enjoying my own happiness and sharing it with others, to force a few to change into what I see best. I've kept myself in the line of fire time and time again. Stubborn as hell. That little kid in me constantly saying, "I fix it I fix it!!!"
It's a daily practice comforting that little kid and calming her down. Rather than first respecting myself and my right to joy so that I can return it tenfold, I've often walked backwards trying to pick up the pieces for someone else before I continue. I've realized unfortunately it's not so much the friends that are around when you're low that show you who really supports you, it's often the ones who stick around when you're doing well that you should watch for. It's only natural that when ya aint feelin' your best, ya sometimes kinda wanna trip people who are just killin' it left 'n right, am I wrong? Yes, obviously from my business ventures throughout my life, my joy IS seeing others well and happy, but that doesn't mean I haven't had those days I see a jogger and think, "What the fuck man... It's 5am 'n you're already making me feel like an underachiever. Way to jog me right into my own self loathing before sunrise. " Is this the joggers fault? No ma'am. Would I love to be the kinda person who wakes up and runs every morning? Absolutely.
Is it my own damn choice to sit in a grandma sweater 'n wool socks sippin' tea? You betcha. Now although I may not out right roll down my window and yell, "STOP RUBBING YOUR FITNESS IN MY FACE JOGGER JERK!" they could likely catch a glimpse of my salty stare as I drive by.
So heres the thing. Me with my stank face for obvious reasons, may not be the best choice for say... their personal running coach. Not really...motivating. So why would I keep people around me who would love nothing more than to figuratively speaking, watch me eat pavement while I go for the gold.
None of us like getting called out for bein' a lil twat waffle, that goes without say. Unfortunately in my case, maybe because I've been through so much counseling and therapy my entire life, that even if it makes me look like a complete fool, I will lay it out there at the expense of my own pride and dignity to get to the bottom of things. I will dissect myself and lay it out on the table assuming everyone acts this way...but honey they don't. My gosh...believe me when I say they don't. It's tough realizing we don't all run on the same program sometimes. We don't live with the same intentions and mind set, because we are all seeing through different lenses.
Many of us are constantly striving for truth and joy no matter the cost, but just as many are striving to keep their comfort and security even if it costs them their truth and joy.
I have a bad habit of letting little injustices or sharp remarks happen over and over without saying anything until I explode over something little 'n then it allllllllll comes out.
I've learned the hard way though, if someone truly wants healthy communication and problems solved, they listen. Even when it hurts. Even when they have to think on it a few days. We all miscommunicate at times, and we all make assumptions about things as we see them through our personal experiences, but when someone continuously hurts us and denies our feelings over and over, there comes a point ya gotta give it a rest. Stop flogging yourself for being too sensitive, over dramatic, or misunderstanding. Your intuition won't stop until you listen, you're not crazy.
If you find yourself questioning every angle of your actions in a relationship to see why you keep getting that feeling of dishonesty. The back handed remarks. The unsolicited gossip about someone not liking you constantly, and the "No offense but" statements... here's your sign.
It's so hard for me to share this but both my parents have been my greatest teachers when it comes to this. One has taught me the depths that victimization can bring you to, and the other has taught me how anger clogs receptivity like cotton balls in our ears. Both my mom and dad receive pleas for love and acceptance with a blank stare and head shaking. (The prozac parakeet as I mentioned in earlier writing.) Theres a look that happens when you ask for compassion from someone but they don't have it to give. It just ain't in stock. Not even in the storage room waaaaay in the back. You can ask if it's on back order but they'll probably just tell ya they're closing and you can be put on a waiting list. Both my parents have taught me that loving people sometimes really means walking away, and loving them from afar. You're not abandoning them or giving up on them as many people would say, but you're basically letting them run their own store as they see fit without critiquing their order list every 5 seconds. Hanging around and begging for something someone doesn't have for themselves is like going to Blockbuster for the new season of Stranger Things. The windows are darkened and a For Sale sign is on the door, and rather than leaving, you sit in your car and cry for the next I dunno...15 years.
No wonder bad relationships are exhausting!! And let me be clear. This is ALL relationships. Friendships, student and teacher, church or spiritual practice, family, romantic, ya salty ass siamese cat. A relationship's a relationship. I too often see anything but romantic or parental relationships downplayed. Your circle, your tribe, is what waters your garden. Remember that.
If they're slippin' Clorox in the garden hose, even the tiiiiiniest bit...ya gonna see some ramifications.
For me it's been 3 steps forward and 2 steps back with cutting unhealthy cords. Most days I think, "How did I let them treat me like that for so long, and put off my own dreams to try and help them see who I see?" Some days I think, "I should write them one more message. One more text. I just need them to know I didn't mean to hurt them and I really do love them." But then I remember I've done that for years. I've had the same conversations, the same pleas with my mother alone for over 25 years. Some of my friends for the last 10+ years. It was only when I got sick that I really realized I had to stop feeling guilty. If it hasn't helped my entire life...I don't think it's gonna help now.
I started really listening to the "no offense but...", "all the women in your family are crazy...", "if you can do it, obviously anyone can do it..." (thanks! wait...what?) and realizing they're definitely not loving, but also not personal. We all want to feel comfortable in our environment. If we're comfortable putting ourselves down and feeling inadequate, then we'll naturally paint that on everyone and everything around us. Like hanging our favorite pictures on a wall to make it feel cozy, we can unknowingly tack our self judgement onto the person standing in front of us. This is why things really aren't personal, we're just matching our environment to our inner landscape. (I will say there are circumstances where people DO know exactly what they're doing and continue anyway. That's when things have gotten progressively yucky. A later blog.).
I'm saying this to myself just as much as I'm sharing it with you, we are not here to fix anyone else, but to compassionately share and learn from one another how to be our best selves so we can assuredly improve the whole. Sometimes that involves confrontation and misunderstanding, but that's often where there's chances for the most growth and release from self inflicted limitations.
"When you become gentle and compassionate toward yourself, you will no longer need to demand it from others. The need to change or argue will dissipate with time. You will simply feel comforted by it's presence in someone else, or feel opposition from it's absence."
-Dr. Rebecca Garifo