First, I want to share a serendipitous moment that happened to me last night. As you know, awesome readers of my blog, yesterday I put up a post entitled, "There are no mistakes." Then last night I was watching the movie, "Evening" (which is very good by the way... heart-warming and it makes you consider your own life...my favorite kind). Anyway, I was watching this movie and towards the end one of the main characters (who's on her deathbed the entire film) says, "There are no mistakes!" I couldn't believe my ears! Not that that's a strange sentence to make. But to have written a blog post about that very sentence THAT DAY, and then hear it spoken in a movie which I didn't even know I'd be watching until 10 minutes before I decided to rent it... I love those moments. When everything comes together, or when things that are on your mind show up in another form, another area, as if a confirmation from the Universe that "Yes! You are on the right track!"
Ok. Now onto today's post. We all want to be liked. We want to be "friends" with everyone. But are there times, or people, who we need to just let go and accept that we're not going to be friends with them? That they may like us, or not, but the fact is, we don't like them?
How do you know when to keep trying to befriend a person, or make yourself like them, and when to give it up? As the holidays are upon us, this may be a topic on many of your minds. With all the holiday parties and get-togethers it seems everyone wants to have, it's quite likely you'll be face-to-face with at least one person you don't exactly want to be spending your "happy times" with.
I'll start by sharing my "person" with you. It will probably come as no surprise, that this person is my boyfriend's ex-wife. I know that I struggle with her existence as much as I do because there is an underlying issue that I need to work through. And she's in my life for a reason. She's a gift to me to help me grow.
Blah! I just don't like being around her. The reason I have been around her as much as I have is because she and my boyfriend had a fairly amicable divorce, so there's no real hard feelings between them, and they still share a core group of friends. In the just over 2 years that I've been with my boyfriend, I have been in social situations with this woman about 7-10 times. The most recent of those times being the destination wedding in Colorado and the ensuing reception back at home, that I wrote about in an earlier post.
My natural tendency is to not show others how I feel. "Be like a duck. Look calm and unruffled on the surface, but paddle like the dickens underneath."
I'm learning to SHOW myself more to others and BE ME! Even when that "me" is upset or freaking out. But seeing as how I'm just learning how to express myself in my most intimate of relationships, the likelihood that I will express my true feelings to a group of people at a social gathering is slim to none.
So this brings us back to the topic at hand. And the topic on my mind as the holiday parties are springing up with seemingly greater frequency. I am not comfortable being around said ex-wife. I am happier when she's not around. So what do I do if/when the next social gathering arises and we're both there? Do I act happy, calm, and put together, like I usually do, despite the fact that I'm screaming inside and just want to run away? Or do I listen to my inner self and actually leave the situation?
I've tried the first option. It's what I do. Don't show them how you really feel! Goes the little voice in my head. But this typically blows up in my face at some point later. I carry the discomfort and anxiety and while I make it through the party "looking good," I'm anything but when I get home.
My next strategy is to actually do what it is I want to do. Leave. Granted, I won't let anyone push me out of someplace I want to be. But when an initially enjoyable experience turns sour, I'm ok to head for the door.
I have a history of not listening to myself. I tell myself, "It's ok, you can do this," even when it's not ok and I shouldn't have to do it. But I think in BEING YOU, you need to listen to yourself. If you're unhappy in a situation, do something about it!
I'm not condoning or encouraging anyone to run away from their problems. To bury stuff under the rug. But if you feel like you've dealt with something, you've made your peace with it, then that's what counts! Every situation isn't going to be pleasant to you, and you shouldn't have to suffer through it just to "look good" or to appease other people. BE YOU!
Likewise, you're not going to get along with every person, or want to spend your precious free time socializing with those that bring you down. BE YOU!
Do what you need to do, FOR YOU! No one else is going to do it. No one else is going to stand up for you. You need to be your own best advocate and voice!
Life is short. Why spend it agonizing over doing things others expect you to do? Or being how others expect you to be? To hell with their expectations, what are YOUR expectations? What do YOU want? It's YOUR life, create the one you want! If this includes staying away from people who stress you out and cause you grief, then stay away! If this includes foregoing holidays parties or social situations that you'd just rather not deal with, then forego! Do what you need to do for your own happiness and sanity!
The thing is, you can't change other people. You can't control their actions. But what you CAN control and change are YOUR actions.
I can't control if ex-wife shows up at a party that I'm at. But I can control how I respond. I realize she is not a threat to me (as I once perceived her to be...hence my "issues" with her being around). I know now that I won't "lose" my boyfriend to her, as I once feared.
What I can do is listen to myself. I can respect my feelings and do what I need to do, for me.
I encourage you all to do the same. Be you! Listen to your inner voice, or that tug in your heart telling you what you need to do. Forget about the expectations of others, or how you think you should behave. What do YOU want to do? Who do YOU want to be?
This holiday season, be you and be happy! Life is short - Enjoy it! You only have yourself to answer to.
Quote of the Day:
These are lyrics from the song, "Ride of Your Life" by John Gregory. Great song!
In your heart you know what you must do.
You only have yourself to answer to.
Don't let fear of falling hold you down.
Your spirits flying high above the clouds.
You're going there.
You can listen to the song here if you'd like. I always find it very inspiring and motivating!