Amy’s generous, heartfelt gift goes great on my bed and perfectly highlights the colors of my Tiffany style lamps. It is fun to look at all of the fabric scraps in the pattern to see how many elements which seem individually on the surface inharmonious, when joined, actually create a wonderful, joyful mosaic.
Risk Letting Love In?
It’s no secret that I have experienced years of feeling isolated, unknown, and unloved. I have felt like I was encased in a bubble wrap cocoon that kept me safe from the prying and poking of people who would most likely devastate me in new, and unexpected ways. I was ALWAYS on high alert, looking for the betrayal, the insult, the proof that I was not loved.
Of course, when you look for these negative things, that is often what you see. I’m not saying that some of the horrible, mean-spirited, bullying did not actually happen. I’m not even saying that I hold myself responsible for generating these soul-searing events. But I am saying that my hyper-alert mode has also kept love and kindness from penetrating my shell.
There are ways to risk letting love in, but you do have to build up your tolerance for letting the negative go. There are no guarantees that when you engage fully in life, that it will ALL be rosy and cosy and wonderful.
Appropriate Authenticity is Key
‘Hey there, Laurie, are you saying there are times NOT to be authentic?’
Nope. But there are levels of what and when you share. I have friends who are politically opposite of me. When they express their views I can either try to logic them to my side, generate a political debate, or let it go as their belief and enjoy them for who they are. Now there are times and places when a healthy political debate can be stimulating and enjoyed by all. But that takes maturity on both sides for this debate not to become a slanging match that hurts the relationship. At the same time, to quietly agree by your silence with what you stand 100% against kills a bit of your own emotional soul and also hurts the relationship. That’s because friendship based on false faces are false relationships.
So what do you do?
Well, for me, I listen and say things like, “I certainly can see why you have that point of view. My life experience causes me to see things a bit differently.”
And depending on the friend, we then commence the debate, or we move on to current movies and the like.
If they push I restate, “Well, I can see we won’t agree on this one, please pass the salt”.
This technique works for the various weight and body topics that can get really heated as well, and religion, and sports and anything else that ignites passionate opinions.
Learn to Let People Be Who They Are
If we look closely at Amy’s Quilt, you will see colors and patterns that are SO different from each other. You would not expect them to go so well.
People are like that. We all have our own emotional colors based on our experiences. We have the point of view that our years of life have honed in us. It is really unrealistic to expect others to change. They usually don’t.
I know that I always wanted to fix people and situations. I felt that I inherently ‘knew best’ and if you would just LISTEN to ME and APPLY my AWESOME WISDOM, you would be happier, better, and *I* would certainly feel more comfortable in your presence.
“Wow, Laurie, that doesn’t sound AT ALL like you!”
HaHa! I have done a lot of work on this core problem of mine. You BCs can see it peek out from time to time, but overall, I have learned this lesson. If I managed to convince you to my side, or way, or point of view, but it wasn’t authentic from YOUR HEART, it was just another barrier between us. I might feel more comfortable, but you would feel resentment and not understood and you would pull away from me. And the reverse is also true. If I agree to “keep the peace” and hide myself from you, our relationship suffers.
No Advice Explained
That is why I don’t want unasked for advice nor give it.
We are all responsible for thinking and feeling what’s true for us. It takes time to process behaviors and feelings. Hell, it takes time to even KNOW what we are feeling. Sometimes if we jump right away onto a new method of dealing with food or anything else, we are short circuiting our life experience and we rebel.
When *I* ask for advice, it really means I want feedback from outside of my point of view directly about a situation I’m facing. I consider all of these. I even try some of this advice on for size. But I’m not a jumper any longer.
When I DON’T ask for advice, I’m already processing on my own and don’t want the added burden of an outsider’s point of view before I am ready.
Since this is my point of view, I respect you in this manner as well. Though, I admit, some of you may WANT advice from me. In that case, you are free to ask on the Advice page or in your comments.
Why Brave Companions Matter
Companions in every movie or book bring unique skills to their story’s quest. Buddy trip, finding the ring, saving the world… whatever it is, all companions are needed. Their differences bring strength. Part of every journey usually also involves the companions learning to respect and value one another. Good writers bring conflict in to make the story exciting, but also to hone the character’s arc.
We have an arc too. Our story as companions is about finding our authentic selves in the thorny lost forest of eating issues. We are together bringing our strengths as well as our weaknesses. Our weaknesses teach much to ourselves and to each other. When we are authentic in sharing, yet respectful to one another, we build such a strong band of love, that nothing is impossible.
No binge can break us. No wagon can lose us. No cookie can slay us.
We are BRAVE and we can face our own inner truths and dragons. We are COMPANIONS and we share a journey though we explore different paths. We are not perfect, but we are authentic.
Never give up. Never be ashamed. Whatever you have experienced, it is OK here in our forest. We all care. Not just me. We all do. We are like the chevrons marching around the edge of Amy’s quilt. Different in color and pattern, but unified in our purpose. The purpose of authentic love and respect for each other and ourselves.
Have a great and colorful day BCs!