Updated: Jan 2
2022 has been quite the year in my world. I will not discuss the vast majority of it, but I can say that there have been some losses (sorry to see you go) , some releases (Buh bye now. Don’t let the door hit ya where the Good Lord split ya!) and some life altering circumstances (WTF was that?!?!). This year has been impactful enough for me to decide to begin a new tradition of release at the end of the year. Let’s delve in.
My original favorite girl faced significant health challenges and has done so with courage and determination. I’ve stood by her side and will continue to do so. She was hospitalized for three weeks and it wasn’t until she was choosing to discharge AMA (against medical advice) that the doctor would speak with me…despite my repeated attempts and her asking him to talk to me. I’ve learned a lot and had to do so very, very fast. I am so grateful for the ability and means to offer assistance. My mother’s only child turned into a nutritionist, dietician, alchemist, recipe developer, researcher (not new) and re-demonstrated that I am a beast…with beast mode in full activation. My mother and I will do our darndest to figure things out as we always have…but this post ironically, isn’t about my mother. This one is one is about me and my relationships.
My spouse is stellar. Top notch and tiggity boo. I couldn’t ask for a better person to walk on any journey with me. There are a few friends who have done what they can…usually in the form of asking me to tell them if I need help. However, delegation has not been a strong point for me. But, the fact that they ask…and check in…and keep asking helps me to feel seen knowing there was some other tether to the outside world. Some checked in to make sure I was drinking water and eating…my words got tossed back at me and I am humbled.
Then there are those who have checked in sporadically or on a very limited basis. Here begins the lesson: I have to check MYSELF because it has been a keen reminder to NOT expect yourself from other people. There are friends who have had parents experience medical emergencies or perhaps their children or even spouses and goodness I stepped up. I was there! I checked in and listened. I sent money electronically for snacks. I voluntold Mel to make cookies. I offered suggestions and advice, if asked. But, WOW that was not returned. And, in full honesty, I set myself up for failure. Because as noted above…do NOT expect yourself from other people. I know this logically, but I managed to expect myself from others. Whoopsie! A throwback to my counseling days - Expectations are planned resentments.
I know this! I know it better than most but, yet I managed to fall into that cycle of expectation. So, what and how do I move from here? I honor DMX’s words stating that you can always trust people to be who THEY are. The incomparable Maya Angelou told us perfectly when she said that when people show you who they are, believe them. Believe them. Trust them. They are being themselves and this is truth.
So, I had friends that would leave me in a lurch. They wouldn’t “toilet text” for five or ten minutes or send a Bitmoji. Sending simple words of comfort – not an option in their world. If they wanted to…they could. I know this to be true because I have faced some thangs and still said “you good?”
We put our attention where we desire it to be. When I was dating my wife I have NO CLUE how we managed to go out to dinner almost every single night, talk for hours and then repeat it the next day…six days a week But, I will let y’all know that I was fully focused. My attention span offered no sway. Unlike romantic interests in the past…this lasted (and continues to last). However, I did not change my behavior with my friends. My now wife was once a wild card...and I am not a gambling woman. My friends, had been there...tried and true...or, so I thought. One friend commented that I didn’t disappear and noted their own surprise. I still emailed, texted, called or went out for Happy Hour with those that desired my attention, energy and time. Why? It would have been easier to let the friends fall…but why…would I let a friend fall? We’ve journeyed through life.
As I reflected on the dichotomy of my friendship vs theirs…my anger grew. My resentment grew. I ALLOWED expectations to lead me there.
Anger is a secondary emotion…there is something beneath the surface, always.
Hurt. In this instance, the anger was based on the hurt. Years worth of fun times, laugher and challenges faced together dropped when I was the one in need. I stood with them, but the favor was not returned.
So, what is the move? There has to be a move because some of these relationships have been 5, 7, 9 years in the making, building and nourishing.
I wrote a post on a social media network and expressed my disappointment. In that, some folks came correct. I can say that I did NOT expect it, but some did. Some called. Some texted. But, those that said…I can do better…did. They acknowledged that they had their own thing going on (as we all do), but they wanted to be present. I admire them. I don’t believe I told them that, but if you are reading this blog and you see yourself in those words…please know that I love you and admire you. Because as a recovering Ms. Know-it-all, I am not a fan of being wrong. It took a LOT of growth in me to admit when I was wrong…and for you to step up deepened my respect and love for you. Thank you.
Then there are those who said nothing. Or, those that said something…but, somehow made excuses…(what are excuses…?) and then still failed to show.
Planned resentments cannot dwell in a space of peace, growth, abundance and love. I do not have the time…just as they did not have the time. It is not a loss…it is a release. Because if they wanted to be there, they would be there…no excuses.
I can tell you that some relationships have ended for me. Others, have officially changed. See, I believe in being my authentic self and encourage others to do the same, but I also know that in order to navigate the world well, being kind is good and necessary. I expect it of myself. So, there are those who may not know that the relationship is finished…until it is far too late because I will move in kindness. I will live in kindness and respect because that is who I am. We aren’t matching vibes up in this b!tch because peace must be protected. I release anger, expectations, resentment and you. We are growing and striving with the ardor of hope for a better life and world. And, you don’t get that with low vibrations. But, this does not equate friendship or kinship. And, I do not believe that someone deserves to be in your world only because of familial or longstanding relationship.
Cold? Icy? Feeling a breeze? Naw, baby…boundaries. This is Radical Self Care.
I can also tell you that there are some relationships that have been revived…new breath breathed into them. Some folks stepped up more than I could have ever expected and they were a most welcome surprise. I am grateful for those folks.
Boundaries are BEAUTIFUL because they let YOU and the other party know how to best love you. Create them. Set them. Maintain them. And, you as the creator and maintainer of those boundaries gave yourself permission to walk away when needed. You also gave yourself permission to step forward when its warranted. Beautiful, beautiful indeed.
Nope, that doesn’t mean that just because someone wronged you one time you stop speaking (unless it is truly that BIG), but you pay attention, you watch, you listen and you act accordingly. Boundary setting is beautiful, but it is not always fun. I can attest that this is NOT fun. This has been hard. TuPac said I want to see you eat even if it is not at my table…so I will pray for those folks from a distance and wish them every love, joy and wealth. I genuinely mean that.
As we approach the end of 2022, I have been developing a new ritual for myself. I generally do a year in reflection and determine one thing and one thing only…
Did I do better?
Yes or no are the options and I move from there. No judgement because it is not serving. But, this year I am going to acknowledge, bless and release some things. I invite you to consider the same if you feel 2022 was a challenge in any capacity. It is important work and I believe that it will allow space for those who love and respect you, me, we…and it is well deserved.
Beloved, I hope you have a beautiful New Year. Relax, Relate and Release? Party? Celebrate in whatever way suits you in mind, body, spirit. Just do it safely.
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