Some of the most freeing relationships I’ve had in life were when I could completely be myself. Making it a total of maybe a whopping 5 times, which includes family members…and I count myself lucky.
You’re not seeking to feel loved but to feel understood. You want to release all inhibitions. You want to be around people that “just get you.”
It sounds simple enough, but why is it so difficult to genuinely find people that you feel comfortable around?
Maybe it’s because you have such high expectations of yourself.
Maybe it’s because you are afraid of rejection.
The negative thoughts you have about yourself are the same thoughts you believe others are having towards you.
It doesn’t matter what other people think if you don’t have esteem in yourself.
On a subconscious level you will always try to protect your ego.
The ego is an identity of your own construct, an identity that is false. The ego is the persona you display for most of your life.
The ego are the views you have about what makes you better than the next person and vice versa. It’s your personality, abilities, gifts, and accomplishments.
They are the rules you apply about identifying yourself…but it’s not your identity.
In order to feel understood you crave the need to temporarily discard these rules and be vulnerable.
When you feel understood there is an element of trust. You are trusting that your confidant won’t hold judgements over you, over react or treat you differently.
You want to be still, you want to do what you want, say what you want and feel how you feel without judgement.
When you feel understood you don’t have to fill a role,be fake friendly, fake smile, be or do fake anything. You just are, and this brings disturbing amounts of peace creating a black hole in time.
Shakespeare had it right when he said that “All the world’s a stage and the men and women merely players”.
You are constantly stepping out of one role and into another. You rarely get the opportunity to unveil yourself, nor might you want to. Who can you trust with your messed up thoughts?
“Is it even fair to unload all my baggage on another person like that?”, you wonder. “Does it make me weak?”
It’s only when you let go of the judgements, shame and restrictions that you place on yourself will you feel accepted and accept others for who they are. That’s when you stop pressuring people to “become someone” before you decide they are worthy of love.
Give yourself a break. Stop thinking the worst, stop obsessing about what people think about you. Take a chance on yourself because no matter how awkward, weird or quirky you are; you do have something to offer and somebody that’s waiting for it.
Society and false religious teachings have been corrupted to teach you that you have to do something or have some status to be treated with respect.
You don’t change because someone wills and commands it, if you decide to change; to become a better version of yourself; it’s because it was inspired.
Sometimes it’s the dedication and preservation of a person who still shows you kindness despite your bad habits.
Sometimes it’s life circumstances that challenge everything you thought you knew.
It may be because of a great loss or even a great gain when you realize that the things you thought were important suddenly don’t matter.
Accepting people for who they are doesn’t mean that we have to become friends with them or agree with their believes.
It’s more to the tune of saying “you are free to do you and I am free to do me. I don’t need to pressure, intimidate, or coerce you into agreeing with, or liking me; but I am going to respect and love you as a basic human being either way.”
You are not going to connect with everyone you meet. Of course you aren’t just going to go divulged your secrets to everyone…but you are secretly longing for that nirvana. That rare complete surrender and acceptance of self.
“You both think you know me, you both want to change me, neither one of you really see me”
This is one of my favourite quotes from Gotham, a Batman mini series.
The quote is in reference to two men who swear that they know the character, Lee Thompkins best. In fact they claim that they know her so well that they both want her to strive to be better. One wants her to to be an even bigger badder super villain, the other knows that she can be that good sweet girl again; she wants to be neither, but to be just as she is in the moment.
Ironically they just can’t seem to accept that. They only see her through their fantasy and not as she is in reality.
They both want her to reach her potential, to suit their needs.
They don’t take time to stop, listen or understand the women she has become.
This is what we do to people and relationships; we project our ideas of fun, love, and excitement on each other instead of seeking to understand and accept.
You might say, I wish my partner would travel more, if I could just get him/her on a trip they could see how much fun it is.
This could happen…or it may be that they just don’t like traveling.
Another reason you may feel misunderstood is because of your fear of disappointment and rejection.
How easy is it to say, “ I messed up, I messed up big”, without getting an exaggerated even hostile response.
How easy is it to put yourself out there?
To be understood is to be accepted for our faults and shortcomings.
To bear with the ugly aspects of being human.
We’ve become so quick to dismiss and give up on each other.
I’m not talking about abusive or neglectful relationships . Those kinds of relationships I definitely advocate for getting rid of.
I’m talking about healthy relationships where two people want to give to each to each other but are faulty. They are both willing to grow, both willing to try.
We want to know that someone is rooting for us, that they aren’t just going to leave when we make mistakes and stumble along the way.
But these days why would you try when it’s so easy to swipe right on the next best thing.
What is the way forward? Perhaps a balance of taking more chances with vulnerability and exercising grace with each other.
- Get rid of expectations.
- Stop trying to change people.
- Accept people for what they show you.
- Stop trying to fit in people and places that don’t align with your values.
- Keep your calm when someone tells you something personal.
- Stop obsessing about yourself and how people view you.
- Accept rejection as a part of life, don’t take it personal.
- Interact with people that you might not otherwise talk to.
- Talk to people/ go out with people with just the intent to learn their story; not solely for the purpose of dating or getting something from them.
- Stop putting people on a pedestal
- Self work, and building esteem.
- Try 36 questions that lead to love . According to Psychology Today these questions help you “get to know someone and create a sense of intimacy, in as little as an hour” – In the spirit of acceptance we’ll try it.
In the end whether or not you’re looking for love, we all want to feel understood.
Being vulnerable isn’t easy. We’ve all been burned in the past, but perhaps there will be new way in the future, where we have a little more room for making friends, acquaintances and having more grace with each other- while still maintaining our boundaries .
Until next time,