Life has not been easy.
But I guess it isn’t supposed to be. No one ever learnt from sitting on the perfect rocking chair, sipping piping hot tea and pondering about this vast universe.
You may study, think, reflect, contemplate, draw conclusions and heavens help us, judge (we are humans and we will judge, that’s alright). But even the wisest of empaths and the most knowledgeable of psychologists can only dissect a situation so much.
Walk a mile in someone else’s shoes? I like that phrase. It helps soften your anger and hush your annoyance. It aids compassion and fuels empathy. Still, you need to remember that you can only walk that mile metaphorically and do it so much justice. Even more so, you need to remember that there is only so much you can tone and chisel your life by drawing from observational miles.
So life isn’t gonna be easy and that’s just fine. Yet sometimes, it is everything BUT fine.
I’ve been having the worst luck with three of my closest friends this year. We’ve constantly been at it, waging silent wars and subtle I-don’t-think-you’re-getting-it-right rebuttals. Of course, we are friends, we won’t be nasty to each other up front. Friends are supposed to understand, support and love, even when they disagree.
Alas! It has all taken a toll on our strong friendships. Quelle suprise, amirite?
When my third and closest friend recently gave me a piece of her mind about how I am messing things up, I knew I needed to sit back and think. Think, with a little experience this time. Not a lot, but a little.
But a little experience only opens doors for a little understanding. My means were limited, but the word wide web and the plethora or humans I interacted with, I realized, was not. So I began to ask, search and to listen. What did the wiser ones have to say on this? (Yes, I know, www is filled with more smart alecs than wise-ones! I know.)
The one annoying phrase that kept hounding me was that if I seemed to be having problems with too many people, maybe the problem was with me and not them.
Of course, I had my own set of mental rebuttals to that one, a rather long list of ‘but I accepted them when they were this’ and ‘not EVERYONE has a problem with me’ and the most striking of the list, drawing similarities between the ones who had problems with me and in turn turning the problem towards them. Yes, I did that. I do that.
But none of that really satisfied me. If I were to be honest, and I was, I knew there just felt something wrong in that approach.
Now let’s fill you in a bit about the kind of person I am. I am the sort of person who has read too much crap on the internet and internalized it all, not completely understanding simplified one liners. I don’t think the Internet Bible is for a person like me. I need to know the whole story, or I screw up.
I am a rather proud person, but I’ve always heard that pride comes before a fall and that the first one who apologizes isn’t weak and all that. So I often apologize first, sometimes when I don’t even really mean it, because hello Internet Bible!
I’ve taken in mottos on pretty pictures as life advice that I relentlessly throw at myself when any hard situation comes up. Having a soft heart in a cruel world is courage, not weakness. Life is 10% of what happens to you and 90% of how you react to it. Don’t give your past the power to define your future. And then the famous don’t cross oceans for people who won’t even jump a puddle for you ALONG WITH the revised one striking it out with No, do it. Life isn’t about what you gain but what you give. You know I am guilty of having shared all this on my Facebook as well!
You get it. That’s basically me, a confused soul looking at a string of words from an actual situation I know nothing about and going all “This is it” MJ on my life with it.
So where were we? Yes, me trying to be really honest sans the Internet Bible (which I totally ODd on by the way) and other’s opinions. You see, complete honesty is a scary thing. There are doors you don’t feel comfortable pushing past so you just perch yourself against it, sip piping hot tea and ponder about the vast universe.
But one day, someone pulls it open from the other side and you fall flat on your back. Urk. Not so comfortable anymore. Experience, what a fun thing you seem to be!
So what have I been doing so wrong? I can sense myself get tense and curt in regular conversations. I’d had enough of bullshit. I felt like I needed to speak up now. But then, I had to ask myself, why did I even put up with the aforementioned bullshit to begin with?
Because I was kinder, maybe nicer, when I COULD be. And I have read that quote, the one where Dalai Lama said “Be kind whenever possible, it is always possible.” Again, one line. How much do I really know about what he meant or what situation he was talking about? Maybe sometimes the choice was to be kind to yourself and allow yourself to say that right now, no, I can’t be a good friend. Not if it isn’t coming to me. And it just isn’t.
Guilty of finding the trigger on the www, I’ve been doing a little digging into Karma. Not the you reap what you sow kinds, but the you attract what you put out kinds. I drew up a chart of the various significant relations in my life, the rises, the falls and the fall outs. And little else in my life has ever made more sense than the bitter-sweet list of names that were oh so much more than names to me.
Clarity. Crystal clarity.
Who you are being, as opposed to what you are doing, has a lot to do with what you attract. I haven’t been at peace for a long while. When certain people walked out of my life, I realized that I had allowed people to take who I was for granted for too long. I looked at those who were still in my life and hurled the resentment at them, cause I let them take me for a ride too. The others left, I couldn’t do anything about it, but these guys, oh boy! Were they ever gonna see the wrath of my scorn.
But when my insides pruned, I saw how my friends began voicing discontent. That’s not what you need to do as a friend. No, maybe it wasn’t. But my job wasn’t to teach them how to be a friend. My job was to teach myself how to be one.
So maybe I did allow them to take me for granted. My no-complaints during their long periods of radio silence and open arms when they returned. My heart breaks that took second place to their heartbreaks. My change of focus to better things when they said and did hurtful things so that I wouldn’t indulge in negatively feeling towards them. Yes, I can see how some of that made me bitter.
But a lot of it came from a place of fear, not always understanding. It came from crappy, short-sighted perceptions of insightful messages. It came from an attempt at gratitude over reasoning for times when there should have been gratitude for reasoning. And you know the one thing all these guys have in common? They all came from within me.
So it wasn’t really fair to throw the flak at friends who were just being themselves the best they knew how to. It’s not fair to judge their human for judging my human, not when I have always said that I could love with super-human love.
I got my Karma, and I can’t bring myself to call her a bitch because she came in the form of my best friend.