Tuesday, August 4

it's not me, it's you

Just the other day, I made a vow to both my brother Adam (Happy Birthday tomorrow, up there) and my brother-in-law Ben (though he does not know why) to write more consistently.  Like, 3 to 4 times a week consistently.  Though, I was stuck when nothing struck me as important.  So, today, after a long-list of unfortunate events and reminders of unfortunate events, something struck me.

The Counselor often speaks about understanding which things are mine to keep, and which are not.  Sometimes, this is about a memory or a recognition of something great within in me--a quality, a female characteristic, a clear memory of something good.  These, I keep.  Others include harsh words, ignorant actions, and neglectful thoughts from others.  Those, I let go of.  You see, there are things about me that will always be about me, and there are things others offer to me, shoot at me, or send my way which are never, ever about me.

Somehow, I continue to find this really difficult to understand.  As if Counselor is speaking in a language from either the future or long, long ago.  When I am excluded from a photo or event, when someone says something about me in jest, or when actions speak much louder than words, how can these not be about me? How can I not hear, see, and feel all of these things as completely personal?

In a perfect world, everyone would be able to say what it was that was going on...You offended me, You hurt my feelings, I'm afraid of you, You pose a threat to me, I got scared, I didn't know what to say, I felt this was the best thing to do.  It would open up this space to say, "here's what I experienced, but I know you are human too, and you probably had an experience too.  What was it?  How can we agree to both have an experience and still be okay?"  Perfection, you see.  Instead, we have those experiences, and then we react.  Well, if I've been hurt by you, I've got to hurt you, too.  Then, maybe you'll stop.  Or maybe I won't hurt as much if you're hurt.  Misery loves company, you know.

Instead, we live in these little worlds in our heads where it seems easier to get by with avoidance, protection, defenses.  I cannot accept the words and actions of others, when I haven't been given the chance to share my experience, too.  So when it feels like I'm not good enough to be included, to be treated fairly, or to be communicated to, it's not mine to keep.  If someone comes to me and says this is why you weren't included, or this is why I did not tell you, then I get the option to keep it or not. 

The Golden Rule? Freedom begets freedom.

You are free to share your experience, and then the other is free to share theirs, too.  You are free to accept others' words and actions as yours, but you're certainly free not to, too.  I was once told, if another person tells you your experience is wrong, inaccurate, false, or crap, they're just being manipulative.  Your world is not their world to be governor of.  Sure, someone can help you stay accountable and out of Crazy Town, but it's still your choice and responsibility to determine their level of care for you, their ability to honest with both you and with themselves.

The truth is, we are all bound up by this self-protection, this need to stay safe, comfortable.  Without even knowing it, we create elaborate, extensive patterns we think are working.  But, here's the evidence that they are, in fact, working for shit.  People get hurt.  People feel hurt.  And if we ascribed to this think called humanity at all, we would never wish "hurt" on anyone.  We would not hope for others to feel like lepers, less than perfect, or too ugly, stupid, disgusting, lame, or weak enough for the rest of us.  We know what that feels like, why would we give it to others to feel? Why would we participate in this little circus?

Well, because we are bound by fear and darkness and cycles of hurt.  We are bound tightly because we don't know any other way.  We are bound by silence, rather than being opened up by communication.

So, there it is.  Or part of it, anyway.  If we were to live, or strive to live in light and freedom, where we wish goodness and acceptance to others, we'd be able to live with ourselves, only accepting what is true of us, and true of others...rather than accepting others' disregard as our own.  We could accept what was only ours because we will have expressed our honest needs and experiences to others who are willing to do the same.  We would both offered and accepted freedom.

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