Since the beginning of this blog I have been very open with the fact I tend to be a slow learner in life lessons. I have often repeated mistakes and made the same bad decision over and over again until finally the lightbulb goes off and “I get it!” Part of it is stubbornness and part of it is my innate need to try and find the good in every situation and every person. And, to always be hopeful of things never changing.
My dealings with abandonment from people are well documented and ruminated. Those memories are no longer painful, but continually serve as a reminder. I wouldn’t be who I am or where I am if I had not learned those lessons. I’ve had to make choices to cut people out of my life permanently – it’s never been easy. It’s taken months, years… it’s been done through tears and fighting my own wants to do what I knew had to be done. I’ve never been a quitter, I’ve never been someone who has left another person without it being painful. I don’t like endings and I hate change. It’s a constant work in progress for me to learn this is a part of all of our lives.
Even if you get to a point in your life where you’re stable, you’re happy, you’re healthy, you’re doing the things you know you should be doing with your life – there will be someone who doesn’t love your happiness. Many times we find these uncomfortable feelings coming from strangers or acquaintances, but sometimes they come from our own inner circle.
Remember me talking about learning those hard lessons? One of them has been that when people show you their true colors in the beginning – you should believe them. I suppose if I had always stuck to this belief I would have saved myself years of heartache in relationships – both romantic and friendships. If you find yourself surrounded by someone who enjoys mocking another’s success if it doesn’t align with their version of a “good life” – be sure they will mock your success. If you find yourself surrounded by someone who questions another person’s happiness or accuses another of being selfish because it threatens their own happiness or self worth – be sure they will feel threatened by you. If you find yourself surrounded by someone who seems to be a friend to all, but will make deliberate actions to hurt another in a seemingly innocent way – be sure you will find yourself hurt.
I’ve never claimed to be perfect. I’ve never claimed to have a perfect life or be a perfect friend. In fact, it’s always been the opposite. I’m not ashamed I’m different now. Unfortunately, I have found myself so elated in the past year that I am a better version of myself (not just for me, but for everyone else around me) that I didn’t even think that anyone who loved me would not accept me because I was no longer who I was. But, it happens. It’s part of the letting go.
No matter how hard you try – you will never please everyone. You will always let someone down – or maybe even a few people. You will stumble, you will make mistakes. You will second guess yourself. You will pick yourself apart trying to weed out every flaw so you can please everyone. You will wonder if you should “dumb down” your successes and victories because others feel blinded by your shine. You will wonder if God is judging you like your peers are judging you. You will wonder about a lot of things.
When you can step back from wondering and say, “What really matters?” You realize in the grand scheme of things all the wondering in the world doesn’t change God. It doesn’t change your circumstances and it doesn’t help your journey. All of these things are simply foxes in the vineyard and they do not take God by surprise. Our job is to maintain our fruit, water it, share it, and keep being productive in this one life we live.
“Often people that criticize your life are usually the same people that don’t know the price you paid to get where you are today. True friends see the full picture of your soul.” – Shannon Alder