I often write these posts as a way of flushing out a new idea, so bear with me while I work through this and hopefully it will make some sort of logical sense in the end.
(Side note, I goggled the phrase “bear with me” to make sure it was “bear” and not “bare” and quickly realized that “bare with me” would me “let’s get nakey” which is definitely not what I intended…)
I’m reading a book called “Rising Strong” by Brene Brown and she poses this question: What if that person–the one who just hurt you, the one that is always letting you down, the one that is a constant source of irritation– what if they were doing their best?
What if everybody in the world was doing the best they could? And I mean currently, in their irritating, selfish, letting-you-down current condition. What if that was them doing their best? How would that change you?
The simple answer is that it would change everything. I’d have to love and accept them for who they actually are and not who I want them to be. (How very Christian.) It would mean switching my mindset from one of anger to sadness. From mad that they don’t love me better, to sad that they can’t love me better.
Another thing it would change for me is boundaries.
I’m not good with boundaries. I don’t even like the word. I envision soft spoken hippies, or worse Beverly-Hills-esque housewives complaining about “me-time” while their kids are with the nanny. Somehow “boundaries” sounds like a first world problem.
But I think I’m realizing that if people are really doing “the best they can” it would force me to accept people for who they really are, which means not trusting them with anything more then they can handle.
“When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time.” -Maya Angelou
So, one of the few things that I like about myself is that I’m a pretty open person.
This was not always the case. When I was little I lied. . . a LOT. I was sneaky. I lied about things I didn’t care about. I just lied. All the time.
I was a liar.
Somehow my parents coached me out of that ugliness to the point that I now share to the T.M.I. point.
If I trip, and no one’s there to see it, I’ll find someone to tell.
So, I have a person in my life who has a wonderful heart, but always leaves me feeling judged. Now, like I said, I like my openness. I don’t want to change that. But I DO NOT like feeling small.
I need better boundaries.
I have to believe that this person is doing their best. I need to accept that our friendship can remain intact, it just needs to have better boundaries. If I do not want to leave every conversation feeling abused, and then resentful, which will eventually lead to avoidance and burned bridges, then something needs to change.
I simply refuse to be a “burn the bridges” type of woman.
And so, boundaries.
I have to bear in mind, (bear not bare) that this person is good and kind. . . and not to be trusted with the vulnerable.
I have to grow up a little and realize that the opposite of lying is not over-sharing.
That every personal or delicate issue does not need to be discussed with every person I encounter.
Some people will hear my vulnerability and open up themselves. Some will hear it and use it as a weapon to keep me in my place.
Like I said, I’m still flushing this one out. I need a long talk with my sister and an even longer talk with my God. But I feel like it’s an epiphany that is just beginning to take shape in my life.
Most of ya’ll probably figured this out a long time ago, right?
Have patience with me. I’m a slow learner.
But don’t use that against me, [wink].