Tuesday, January 1, 2013

You Are Doing You All Wrong

Yesterday I was talking to a friend.  I hadn't been speaking to her in a while because she, quite frankly, pissed me off and I wasn't sure how to deal with it.  We had talked on various occasions about things, and one of the things we had talked about was about being in someone else's shoes, and how there are different realities.  But even though we had had those conversations, I felt that she was not allowing me to have my reality.

My reality was being judged, and I was doing things "wrong."

This came on the heels of a blog entry that I had made talking about how I was feeling.  It was one of my more difficult blog entries because I was in a difficult place.  I promised myself that when I shared, I would share everything - including the ugly - and it was difficult for me to do.  And then after I shared it, I got feedback from people (including her) that was not in the least bit helpful.

But I didn't ask for feedback.  I was thinking out loud.  I was expressing how I felt, and was sharing what was going on with me.

Apparently, according to her, I have to tell people what I want, and what I need.  So it would seem that I was "wrong" to express things that would cause other people concern and discomfort and that would have somehow the anticipation that I would figure they would read my mind.

We didn't get to finish our conversation, so I am not sure where else she was going with it, and at some point we probably will, but it got me thinking about things in general.  It got me thinking about how so many will think they have the right answers and approaches to things.  There are those who do many types of self help seminars and trainings and read books that would lend themselves to the idea that "X" is the "right" way to go.

I sometimes think that those types of things aren't that helpful, and that sometimes they are just as bad as anything else.  Life is full of contradictions and paradoxes.  It is full of things that are uncomfortable and unfixable and don't make sense.  And sometimes I think the types of "spiritual" things I am talking about will give people the illusion that if one does things "right" it will prevent the discomforts of life.

It got me thinking about how often I am told I am not doing something right.  I am not asking in the right way.  I am writing too many words.  I need to look at things at different way.  I need to do things differently.  How does anyone know what is "right" FOR ME?

Others may know what is right for them, but how do we know that what is right for them can overlay so nicely on to me?  And, even still, if it does work for me too, it does not mean that the person doing the talking is 100% proof.  I am sure they have their moments.  I am sure they are just as human as I am.  I am sure they have their quirks.  Their discomforts.  Their things.

We live in a world in which people find it very difficult to be themselves and to speak their minds.  Is it no wonder when there are those around them who are all too willing to tell them how they are doing something wrong?

This friend had acknowledged me on more than one occasion for how well I had been handling things. Well...am I not allowed to have my time of falling apart without being attacked in the process?  I felt like I was being kicked when I was down.

How dare she do that?  Given what she told me in our brief conversation, she was pissed at me.  I haven't told her this yet, but I have to wonder why when she saw me hurting so much she had to feel pissed at me.  It would seem to me there was something going on inside of her that was being triggered, and she potentially took it out on me.

But in the process she had to tell me why I was so wrong to have my questions and doubts and concerns and why I was so wrong to not see what was good in my life.  C'mon now, who is able, at all times and in all circumstances able to see the good in their life?  I am fairly sure she has had her moments (because we all do) of times where things looked anything but positive.  But if she never said anything to anyone about it, then no one is going to try to fix things.  And if she did, maybe she wouldn't be receptive to positivity, because sometimes we are not.

I tend to think we need our moments of despair of anxiety of loss of pain.  I wouldn't say we WANT them, but when they show up, I think we have to allow ourselves to be whatever we need to be, and we need to be able to be it without someone else coming along and trying to tell us how wrong we are about how we are doing things.

I seriously doubt that approach is welcome or appreciated or even works in some cases.

I have said several times that I write mostly for me.  However if someone gets something out of what I say, great.  I share to share, not because I am looking for answers.  Apparently I don't let people know that enough.  In my mind, I wonder why I even have to.

I realize that people have a hard time reading what they do, but they could just stop.   Also why is the "default" one in which it is assumed that a person who is expressing herself is asking for help?  Why couldn't the default be one of just listening, and if there is a need to reach out, have a person reach out and ask if they can help in any way?

I don't expect anyone to read my mind, and that I would say is an unfair assessment of what I am doing here.  There have been times I have asked for help, in the best way I knew how to.  Is that "fair"?  I don't know.  But it was the best I could do.

If we do the best we can do and someone else doesn't think it isn't good enough, is that fair to us?

I can't imagine I am the only one who thinks this way.  I can't imagine I am the only one who struggles with knowing what is "right" or what is the "best" and with sometimes not having a freakin' bloody clue of what to say or do.  The last thing a person needs at those times is for another, or a bunch of anothers to come in and tell them that they're wrong for being who they are.  Especially if the person is not in a position to hear it.  And how would you know if they were in a position to hear it?  By (1) if they asked for help or guidance or opinion, and (2) by really listening to what they are saying.

Since my diagnosis, I have found myself responding to people much differently.  If someone is having a problem, or an issue, or is down, my response is more along the lines of how that sucks than on how I can say the right and best thing to cheer them up or help them.  I recognize that the odds are good it ain't gonna help, and likely won't be appreciated.

I can't expect that everyone is going to read every blog and view every video, so maybe they will miss a lot of what I say.  As a result they will come to conclusions, some of which will be faulty.  It is human nature.  It is human nature to want to help.  It is human nature to want to fix things.  It is human nature to want to avoid all appearance of pain.

Well.  It ain't gonna happen.  Because it is also human nature for us to sometimes be in the ugly places and say the ugly things.  And the sooner that we can find peace within ourselves, the sooner we can allow others to be themselves, as I tend to think that often it is our discomfort with things that drives us to do the things we do rather than a perceived desire to help another.

OK.  I am done - for now.  I am fairly certain there will be more to come.