One lesson that is abundantly clear that I’m supposed to learn in this go on earth is that I have no control over the narratives others have of me. It’s something that arises in my life over and over again.
Sometimes it bothers me more than others but over time flexing that muscle has made it far easier to just accept that I’m the villain in some people’s story, and that resolution may never happen between us because they may never be willing to be vulnerable and authentic enough to hash it out. They may never be willing to accept responsibility for their part or accept that I will never agree to take on a story about myself that isn’t true.
What helps me more than anything to accept this is knowing that most people use this as a way to cope with their own fuck ups.
Most people struggle to accept the ways they are shitty and have caused immense pain to others so they direct that shame by making other people into monsters.
I know because I literally do this too and am constantly trying to come into my own integrity around my own fuck ups (when I’m consciously aware of them at least). It’s just kind of how it goes.
And the beauty is that there are 7 billion of us on this earth, living in this microscopic sliver of time, in a universe so vastly large that it is terrifying. None of us know with any concrete certainty what happens when we die. But we all do.
And also my life feels vastly large and significant for me. I want to make good relationships. I want to challenge myself to love better. I want to give my loved ones my rapt attention and fully appreciate that being invited into their world is a precious gift.
The more I live and the more time slips through my fingers the more I realize that every moment I spend worrying about what narrative others have of me is thoroughly wasted. Let them be in their own world and let them make me small in their heads.
Let them tell the world how small I am. I’m not here to be anything to them. And anyone who takes their narrative as the final word isn’t for me. Because the people who are for me are the ones who hold the full and painful complexity of being human courageously.
They’re the ones who can laugh a nervous laugh, sigh, and hang their heads with me when I tell them the ways I realized what a douche I was being. They’re the ones I can look in the eye and say “yeah, I totally said that to hurt your feelings/intimidate you. That was not me being my best and you didn’t deserve it.” and understand that I offer that not to flagellate myself but because we have a mutual understanding that none of us are above it. That we’re all acting pretty stupid sometimes.
And that the best in us is going to own up to it because we value our integrity and we value giving our authenticity to the people who matter most to us.
Anyone who isn’t ready for that kind of mutuality and wants me to bear the brunt of their own pain and shame can frankly eat some expired hot dogs and get a mild tummy ache. I’m not hanging out with you stinkies. 🙂