I have learned a lot about myself through my interactions with others. Through things I have said to them. Both positively and negatively. Both have given me gifts of enlightenment.
I have discovered that my heart is capable of greater love than I ever imagined was possible. That I am far kinder than I have ever given myself credit for being. I have seen great beauty within myself, but I have also seen a very ugly side.
I have said some things which have shocked me to the core, and for which I feel regret and shame.
But those things made me stop and look at myself, and take stock. They enabled me to access hidden wounds which needed to be brought into the light to be healed. Sometimes the worst of ourselves gives us an opening into the best of ourselves. Not always, but it is a gamble worth taking. Or not.
The greatest gift a person can give you is to show you their unadulterated self. To speak to you with honesty. To share with you their truths, their thoughts and feelings. This is not easy for a person to do, as sometimes what you say will hurt the other person. Not deliberately, but accidentally. We are often dishonest with others because we fear that expressing our real thoughts and feelings will do more harm than good, and will cause us to be rejected by others.
For the most part humans seek harmony in relationships. We lie not to deceive, but to maintain the status quo.
Which is fine as long as everyone is content with the situation, but sometimes it creates a stasis which stifles movement and self expression.
People get stuck in roles.
At first those roles are appealing, they give us a sense of belonging, and we play along, happy to be of use, relieved to be wanted. But then they start to become cages from which we yearn to break free. We may truly be the person who others think we are, the role may fit us well, but there is more to us than just one facet, one role. We want to be free to express more of ourselves, to grow, change, and evolve, and feel truly a part of the group, the human race, as a whole human rather than just one limb.
But how do we break free.
If we are known for our kindness, how do we express those moments when we do not feel kind.
If people come to us for comfort, how to we let them know when we can’t give that needed comfort because we need comforting instead.
If we are known for our rebelliousness, how can we ever be conformist.
If we are considered wise, how do we reveal our foolishness.
If people think we are angry, how can we be happy.
If we are the group’s asshole, how can we be appreciated for those moments when we are not an asshole.
If we are the crazy one, will anyone notice us when we are sane.
We try to please others in so many complicated ways. We seek approval, and if getting that approval means we have to be an outcast, then we will sacrifice that part of us who belongs to keep others happy, to help others feel that they belong.
My mouth gets me into all sorts of trouble with others. Mostly because I am curious and ask a lot of questions. My most common foot in mouth moment is when I spot an inconsistency between who someone says they are and who they are actually being. I want to know why they are pretending to be who they are not when they could be who they are. I know I shouldn’t ask, people don’t like it when I do, but I truly want to know their answer.
I am particularly overly curious about behaviours which we all do, just because we all do them doesn’t mean we do them for the same reason as others. I know why I do them, I want to know why you do them. I seek to understand more, get more pieces of the puzzle, see the bigger, more whole picture.
I spend a great deal of my time biting my tongue and telling myself to shut up. Curiosity is a real bitch, but I love her.
I also love solving problems. Mostly my own problems. I tend to stay out of other people’s problems, unless they make their problems mine. If someone complains to me about something, I examine them to find the cause, as usually it comes back to something they are doing or not doing, and I point it out.
Most people don’t like to know that they are the cause of their problem, they prefer to place the blame elsewhere. I know from experience that I am almost always the creator of my problems, so I apply this to others. If you’re the cause of your problem, then you are also the solution – if someone else is the cause of your problem and you’re playing no part at all in it, then you’re stuck waiting for a miracle to happen – as in the other person to decide that they are the problem which is unlikely to happen as they may not see themselves as the problem or that there is a problem at all, and if they see a problem they probably shift the blame for it elsewhere.
A friend once asked me why others reject them so often. My answer was that they are so afraid of being rejected that they reject other people first, this makes other people feel unwanted in their life, so they move on to someone who welcomes them with open arms. This friend doesn’t speak to me any more. I guess I should have kept quiet, just listened and said ‘Poor you, other people are such shits’. That would have made them happy, but it would have made me miserable because I don’t believe it.
The other thing I do which unsettles people, is that I shift gears very regularly. Once a person knows one side of my character, I like to introduce them to another side. This often doesn’t go down well because they’ve assigned me a role in their life and I’m being a pain in the ass by not accepting it and doing what they want me to do, being who they’ve decided I am. I’ve tried playing their game, but I don’t have the patience.
I love discovering as much about other people as possible. I want them to shock me, challenge me, express all of themselves to me.
That is partly why I behave the way I do, to encourage others to do the same with me. I want to know everything about you, the light, the dark, the in-between. The beautiful and the ugly, the beautiful ugly and the ugly beautiful. All the various facets and sides of your character.
I don’t have to like all of you to love you.
You don’t have to like all of me to love me. Or do you.
I don’t think so, maybe I’m an idiot of the highest degree of the order of idiots. Even idiots have ranks, and I’ve given myself a high one for ego purposes.
Tell me you love me, tell me you hate me, it is all the same, it reveals you to me, it reveals me to me too, and I love that.