2013-01-19

I'm an angel who likes everyone

So, Precarious Financial Situation isn't less precarious as such, but at least this time I know payment will be late because P actually forewarned me. She told me I'm her angel sent from God.

Last Sunday I discussed, with M, at length, how uncomfortable I am with compliments, but surely this time it's Ok to be taken aback and squirm a little. After all, there is nothing angelic about me.

Thursday, a wonderfully gossipy co-worker of mine retold the horrors of her day. When I said, sheepishly, that I liked the horrible person causing the horrible day, she rolled her eyes at me and said, "You like everyone!"

And it's true, I guess, but I like some people more than others. And funnily and thankfully, even though I usually tell people I like the target of their grief it doesn't stop them from sharing their horrors and resentments. I think there are two reasons for that. Firstly, I never discount their experiences. If I have learned anything it's that people have many faces. They may be congenial around me but that doesn't mean they don't treat others like shit and kick their dogs. Secondly, I don't kiss and tell, unless it's good things and I am meddling trying to fix things.

I used to, though, kiss and tell that is. I wanted people to like me, and information is a way to get attention, at least for the moment. Never mind that the gossiper is blamed and despised as much, if not more, as the treacherous friend, and that passing on what others say makes you a rather suspect friend.

And I didn't used to like people either. That came when I learned to stop feeling overlooked and passed over. Although, granted that it wasn't so much me learning as me ending up in an environment where I feel appreciated. It's made a difference dumping most of the what-about-me stuff. I don't put so much pressure on the people around me with my insecurities.

Well, there is Frank, I suppose, but even there the need for acknowledgement, appreciation and validation slowly diminished. It's how I am able to let him go now. I want him in my life, but I don't need him to feel whole.

I wish I was a better person, not a angel perhaps, since it implies martyrdom and all-sufferingness. I'd like to be more like I imagine Dalai Llama: caring, empathic, but not because I need it back, not at cost of myself, but because I can and want to.

I'd like to change the way I think and feel about interactions with others so that they feel less like invasions and are less taxing. I read somewhere about a guy who wanted to become more mindful. He described himself as a stressed out person with no room or time for himself. He said that that changed once he realized all time is his own time, doing the dishes, playing with his kids, working. With that realization the need to be alone disappeared. I found it quite remarkable and completely unattainable at the time. I have hopes now.

I used to contemplate the whole giving-is-receiving thing quite a lot. I tried to live like that, think like that, because I suffered so much because of the what-about-me frame of mind. But what I did, give to receive, wasn't really better at all. In fact, it is, kind of, the opposite of giving. Keeping a tally of given and received was just more of the what-about-me.

I have always imbued these types of pro-verbs, love thyne (thy?) neighbor, give and you shall receive, etc, with a certain amount of nefarious intent. They are less of advice and more to declarations of personal flaws and failings to me. They are glib and shallow, failing to take into account that in order to take them in you have to already know your own innate worth. Advice like that is basically useless. It's like skipping to 4th grade when you haven't yet learned to read and add.

Now that I have learned the basics, I'd like to get better at it. I'd like to go from insight to insight without passing Go.

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