I had an amazing conversation with two really amazing women in the last 24 hours, that I hope felt as amazing to them as it did for me. I won’t get into the specifics, because I don’t have permission to discuss that, but I left both conversations feeling at peace. Both of these amazing women had concerns about their lives. One came to me because she was feeling bombarded by negativity and the other because she was feeling overwhelmed by a relationship. The amazing thing for me was that both of these women have inspired me by their strength, and both came to me in what others would call a weak moment. They both trusted me, they both felt they could learn something by discussing it with me, and they both taught me something. If that is not true strength, I don’t know what is. Being open, being vulnerable and trusting another human being is the most powerful thing any of us can do- and they did it with me! I’m honored.
After listening for the first few minutes of them “outlining” the problems they were facing I felt overwhelmed with them! I said to them both- “How are you doing this? How are you able to get out of bed in the morning? OMG, that’s a lot!” The great thing about my friendship with both of these women is that they understood what I was asking, which wasn’t- how are you doing this, but rather- why?
I think they both answered the question in a similar way- “Because it’s my responsibility.” I asked again- why? Both of my friends are giving people. They see someone in pain and they do everything they can to lift them up. But as many of us, especially me, are learning sometimes you can’t lift everyone up. Sometimes we have to realize that the person we’re trying to lift up is far more comfortable lying where they’ve fallen.
I found myself saying, for them and myself, “What that person or what those people think of you is none of your business.” It sounds great saying it, but it’s harder to live with in practice. I know people who say- “I don’t give a *insert curse word* what anybody thinks of me.” Which is fantastic, but often it’s their way of placing themselves apart and away from others. We’re communal beings, we have to belong somewhere. We all want to belong, and base our belonging on the opinion of others. But in my personal experience I’ve too often allowed broken, fearful, angry people to influence whether I felt I belonged. Why? If they’re broken, angry, fearful-they don’t feel as though they belong either, so it’s a bit like the blind leading the blind. There was a belief- especially women- that if we can fix this broken person in our life, we’ll somehow fix our own brokeness. If only it really worked that way!
I’m still learning how this works, but what I’ve discovered thus far is that I belong. Let me repeat that- I BELONG! I belong to me, to the human race, to God/Universe/Spirit. That is a bond, a belonging that can’t compare to any human bond. And because I belong what one individual thinks, says or does to disconnect me from that belief is their way of belonging. Some people truly believe (and I could easily include my past self in this group) that if you aren’t miserable, you can’t be my friend. Misery loves company, because that means you understand what I’ve been through, you can relate, we belong together, our bond is pain and suffering. And if one of us starts to feel better, starts to be less miserable, for the one who’s still stuck in the misery it feels like a betrayal. When in reality it’s a call to uphold our responsibility of AMAZINGNESS.
It is not our responsibility to stay in misery, it is our responsibility to be what God/Universe/Spirit intended us to be which is AMAZING! Our amazing-ness doesn’t diminish anyone else’s, but when we are in pain, fear or misery-it feels as if it does. This is what some experts would call lack mentality. When we are in misery, someone being AMAZING is just a reminder of our disconnect, our lack of that real bond with ourselves, the human race, God/Universe/Spirit. It’s a reminder that we’re not living up to our responsibility to be AMAZING. I don’t know about you, but being reminded that I’m not being AMAZING can make me feel worse- especially if I don’t believe I’m AMAZING in the first place.
So here is what I hope I’ve learned, and what I told my friend about being friends with people who are disconnected from their AMAZING-NESS. When you are connected with your amazingness, you’re speaking a language that is foriegn to them. Imagine if you woke up tomorrow and everyone around you was speaking Chinese. You would have two choices, learn Chinese or seek out people who are speaking your language. When we are in pain, we often find it more comfortable to seek out those who speak the language we know, rather than take the time to learn a new one. We don’t realize that both require the same amount of effort, we just can’t imagine learning a new language. As someone who can speak both languages we have to make a choice. We can continue to speak the old language, which often times pulls us back or we can choose to speak both languages, or we can choose to only speak the new language. We each make the choice that is best for us, and we can’t make that choice for someone else.
I often say, “If I can’t be a good example, I’ll have to settle for being a dire warning.” What people think of us doesn’t matter, because if I’m living my life for me/God/Univers/Spirit… I’m neither a good example or a dire warning, I’m simply following my BLISS.