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Why Do You Let that S%#T Bother You?

"When someone shows you who they are, believe them; the first time," Maya Angelou

A friend of mine recently posted that quote, and it reminded me how important that sentiment is in my life. I mean how important trying to remember that sentiment should be in my life. See, I have this bad habit. This really bad habit. Sometimes instead of loving people for who they are, I love an idealized version of who I think they could become. I love their higher self, and I pour my hope and faith into believing they will achieve that.

Here's the issue with that: Sometimes people don't want to achieve my idealized version of themselves. Sometimes individuals don't even share my vision that they can be better people. Sometimes...people are perfectly happy being oblivious and unaware of the dreams and potential I am believing for them. Coming to this realization (that people don't care to reach the awareness and enlightenment I want for them) is always more painful for me than for them.

My daughter does this too, and several of my closest (and like-minded) friends do as well. It makes me feel better to know that I'm not the only only one. It makes me feel better to say, "These smart, beautiful, amazing women do the same stupid stuff I do."

My husband does not. He is actually outstanding at accepting people for exactly who they are. (Unless that person is arrogant or a bad driver, then you're gonna see the west side in that boy.) For years, when I would share my feelings with him he would say in the most helpful way, "I don't know why you let that shit bother you." Well, I don't either. It isn't conscious, or I would most assuredly choose NOT to let said shit bother me.

A few years ago, he stopped doing that--PRAISE THE LORD--and started encouraging me at least to see, if not accept, people as they are. As I tried harder to do this, I realized: When people disappoint me, it is rarely because their behavior isn't congruent with who they are; it is nearly always because their behavior isn't congruent with who I want them to be. Applying this premise in your life may not save you years of therapy, but it will probably spare you some hurt feelings.

Except ... I don't always remember to apply it. That's the problem. Sometimes my heart is already hurt before I analyze the situation, recognize my expectations and let people own their behavior. In the not too distant past, I would ruminate for wayyyy toooo lonnggggg harboring resentment and bitterness, nursing hurt feelings and disappointment, but now I realize that any amount of time spent on that is too much.

I recently re-read The Four Agreements, and I'm seriously considering getting them tattooed somewhere where I can see them every moment of every day. Have you read it? You should read it.

1. Be impeccable with your word.
2. Don't take anything personally.
3. Don't make assumptions.
4. Always do your best.

Logically, the one I struggle with the most is, "Don't take anything personally." Ugghhhhh. It goes right along with my constant prayer, "Less of me; more of you." I always get in God's way.

So, today, I am going to be me, and I'm going to let you be you. Whoever that is. Even if I think you aren't living up to your potential. Even if I think you could be a better you if only you would stop being so insecure, or quit gossiping, or show a little humility (that was for you Brad Bell). Today (well, for the next few minutes until I get derailed) I am going to focus more on the log in my own eye and less on the speck in yours.


  1. God fucking dammit! That's fucking twice your goddamn blog has motherfucking eaten a gloriously fucking witty goddamn comment. YOUR BLOG HATES ME! Am I somehow not living up to your blog's vision of my fucking potential???

    1. My blog thinks you have a wee bit more potential, but I love you just the way you are :)

  2. ^^^ that's the most hilarious comment ever. Google does the same thing to me. I'm going to copy this comment though because I've been burned before, FIE ON YOU GOOGLE!

    anyway, great post. It takes a long damn time to really admit and inhale, exhale, eat and poop, dream and sweat this truth: whatever the hell is going on in me about you has NOTHING to do with YOU and EVERYTHING to do with me. vice versa, which I prefer SOOOOO much more: WHATEVER you've got going on in you HAS ZERO to do with me. <-- that version, i prefer. xoxo

    1. Thanks, Mol :) I remember a book on my parents bookshelf when I was growing up: I'm Ok, You're Ok. Today, there are lots of books bearing that title on Goodreads. Between 4 and 40, that phrase warped which was always in my mind warped into lots of different variations. Thanks for reading and for the support. I loved your post today.

    2. my mom had that book too. about three copies of it laying around the house.

      (oh, and i think i figured out the google glitch: i need to be logged into my WP account to login as comment here as my WP person/blog entity thing...)



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