Foot in Mouth Disease
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I don’t always say the right thing. All too often, my mouth engages long before my morning caffeine catches up to my brain, usually with results ranging from “undesirable” to “just shoot me now”. All too often, the magnitude of my faux pas is determined, not by what I said, but by who my audience was.
Over time, I’m learning there are many different levels of people who enter my life, from strangers who never even know I exist to my nearest and dearest friends and family. But there are several levels in between, and in some ways, I’m still learning which ones I need to concern myself with and which I need to simply treat with courtesy and leave it at that.
At the end closest to my heart, I have my dearest friends. I include the few family members who remain a part of my life through all of my evolutionary iterations (who can sadly be counted on one hand). After that come friendly acquaintances, a group I’ve mentioned in previous posts. But today I realized there’s another group I’ll call “selectively friendly acquaintances”. These are people who are friendly as long as I conform to their societal standards. In other words, when I’m behaving myself, I’m in their good graces. When I’m not, it is appropriate to shame or shun me as they see fit. There are also neutral acquaintances. We smile and nod when we meet, but have no emotional attachments or expectations. Finally, come strangers who are simply people I have yet to interact with and determine where they might fall.
Nurturing the Child Within
For some reason, the insecure little child inside me keeps insisting on trying to make friends with the selectively friendly acquaintances, despite having been set down hard on more than one occasion; despite understanding the rules governing their acceptance, or really, tolerance of my presence. And when I invariably blunder and violate another of their rules, I spend too much time beating myself up and letting them shame me before I finally realize it doesn’t matter. They are the “other people” in my favorite catch phrase what other people think of me is none of my business. There’s not a snowball’s chance in hell they’ll ever accept me for who I am. They will always find a reason to look down on me like I’m some slimy worm crossing their path. So why do I let it bother me, even for a minute?
I have to admit there are still remnants of the acne-ridden girl with glasses and braces who desperately wanted to be accepted. She believed her mother who kept telling her she was fat and suffered a long serious of humiliating nicknames from classmates. She cared because she believed she was on the outside, never realizing there was a perfectly good circle of friends who included her without question. She could only see where she was excluded and failed to appreciate that the places she was included were far better.
Taking Ultimate Responsibility
Even now, I know those I keep allowing to make me feel small aren’t the ones I want to be close to anyway, but I can’t stop trying, knowing I will continue to give them reason to mistreat me again. With each new experience, I am reminded to treat everyone courteously, but to only allow a few past the length of my arm. The times I forget and let some in closer, I get slapped down and reminded yet again. Or worse, I spend a few hours beating myself up for being insensitive, when their response was equally so.
I’ve finally started to recognize those who I will invariably say something to irritate them and who will respond unkindly. They’ve decided not to like me, and that’s not only their right, but it’s perfectly OK. But like the kids in the school yard who called me names or pushed me down, they don’t have the right to be cruel. Yet it falls on me because as long as I allow it, they’ll continue to believe they are justified.
Recognizing Those Who Come into our Lives for a Reason, and Responding Accordingly
I truly believe people come into our lives for a reason. Clearly, the selectively friendly acquaintances come into my life to teach me to honor my own boundaries. We all have the right to be treated respectfully even when we make mistakes. We’re human and making mistakes is part of our learning process. If we make none, we cease to evolve. So I’m grateful to the people who fail to recognize my worthiness and treat me as a lesser being. They make me stand up for that sad little girl who didn’t realize how special she truly was. They make me wrap my arm around her shoulders, give her a hug, and tell her about all the things which make her unique and valuable. They make me tell her to ignore the bullies and meanies who mistakenly believe that making her and others like her feel inadequate will fill the holes in themselves.
My words may, at times, come out wrong, but my heart is always in the right place and doesn’t deserve to be stomped on for expressing things badly. That insecure little girl deserves a better champion. And she’s going to get it from now on! I’m done trying to win over those who were lost before I ever began. Why am I wasting time on them when there are some amazing people who love me in spite of, or maybe even because of my warts? They deserve better from me too..
With Love and Gratitude
My gratitudes tonight are:
- I’m grateful for the people in my life who treat me harshly. It reinforces the lessons I need to learn about boundaries and my own worthiness.
- I am grateful for introspective days which help me find my true north when I’ve wandered too far away.
- I’m grateful for the friends who support me and even kick my butt now and then. Knowing they believe in me makes it easier to fight the battles that come my way.
- I’m grateful for the peace and sanctity of my home. No matter how sad I might be, it can be cured with some cuddle time with my cats and a chat with my Guides and Higher Self.
- I am grateful for abundance; insight, lessons, cherished friends, peaceful retreats, inspiration, motivation, uplifting moments, aha moments, love, joy, peace, harmony, health, philanthropy, and prosperity.
I invite you to visit my Facebook pages, Sheri Levenstein-Conaway Author and HLWT Accounting. Please also drop by my website, www.shericonaway.com and check out my Hire Me Page. I’ve created these pages as a means of positive affirmation and would be very grateful if you’d “like” them or leave a comment! Thank you!