I’ve wanted to write this for a long time. Haven’t quite gotten it to gel in my mind, so many loops to follow with this discussion. Many years ago, the relationships in my life were, well let’s put it nicely – unsatisfactory. At least, exploitive, if not downright abusive – and some were abusive, including physically. Why, why did I have these relationships, these friendships? With meditation, I began to feel and then to realize what my part was in all this. I had accepted it. I didn’t deserve it; wasn’t being punished; but, in some sense I was attracting this. And, I realized I wasn’t good friend material at that time myself.
The first barrier was the past. As it is with way too many of us, I grew up in a seriously psychologically and physically abusive environment. The code of the family, then, was that it was ok to hurt me – physically, emotionally, psychologically, and especially if it benefitted others. I was expendable. I didn’t ‘think’ then. I agreed. And, I was a child, so it wasn’t like there was much in the way of choice, at that time. As I grew up, I still didn’t ‘think’, didn’t review this attitude, or challenge its validity. I did not act in my own best interest. When I did question what my life had been, the reply was basically to suck it up, that was a long time ago, forget about it, or the really original – your past doesn’t affect your present, or your future – uh huh.
Using the traditional religious model of forgiveness, I failed miserably and was in turmoil. With years and beginning a regular meditation practice, I realized it wasn’t about forgiveness it was about the truth. The truth was, that I now had an accurate view of what my life had been and the present and future would be up to me, with regard to my choices of people with whom I would associate. I decided to accept what was, as what was, and to practice discernment from that point on. You don’t have to hate people for what they were (or are), nor do you have to continue in the same dynamic. Your forward movement in your own life, your investment in a more confident, skilled you concerned with healthy interaction to be the person y-o-u intend to be will draw you in other directions – away from what was.
With continued practice, I began to see what my strengths and interests were, and what my participation in my situation had been. I applied myself to my strengths and interests. I invested in me: developing my mind and abilities. I had the added incentive that I was now coping with constant pain. During this part of the process, I experienced times of being worried that soon, very soon, some of these relationships were going to come to a head and have to be dealt with. I so did not want confrontation. But, I was changing. Interestingly, the more I came to know myself, invest in those insights that supported me, I noticed that my efforts at enhancing me were helping others, and connecting me with others in a very different dynamic. Now, those dysfunctional relationships tended to drop away – no longer any interest. I was no longer attracted to dysfunction, and dysfunction was no longer attracted to me. No confrontations, no ugliness, those relationships just seemed to move farther into the background. Is it always easy? No. Sometimes, you might have to speak up and separate yourself and that does make most of us anxious. I have also learned, if you continue in a sincere, disciplined practice, you will feel more confident in handling communication in difficulty. And, you understand more fully (and accept) that you can’t control how the other person will receive or react. In refusing one thing, you make space for another.
Rather than dwelling on what was, turn the image just a bit, see it from the angle that you have choices and you can begin making them. A whole different dynamic based on who you want to be can happen now. Pursue that. It is worth your thought. Thanks again for reading, for stopping by. A day of choices awaits. Lilie