It is never my intention to hurt someone or to act in a way that is mean or cruel. I just wasn't built for it. I am a peace-maker by nature. This caused me to befriend mean spirited people in the past and left me vulnerable to their manipulation. As I've grown, I've learned that life is as much about giving positive energy as it is about finding those who feed it back. This can not be created with false concern, superficial adoration or fitting in behaviors. It is best when the positivity comes from a place of mutual trust and respect- where we can take someone at face value and know that they will listen as much as they will share their truth- a truth that doesn't change depending on the people who stand around them.
It is when we can share our honesty and know that it will be received as intended- with curiosity and the desire to understand. When our values are clear (and they don't become clear without articulating them) we can begin to walk side by side people in partnership, teamwork, friendship or collegiality. When we stand before someone with our honesty- raw and real- and we see how they listen or defend- this is that pivotal moment of awareness- when we learn where we stand with-or apart from another person. It doesn't make us enemies.
We all seek to be understood. Authenticity is one of the most amazing goals to strive for. However, when we share our truths or our opinions are different from the group, it can be seen as an attack or we can feel very vulnerable. Share it anyway. It is the only way to brave the wilderness of this life and to walk our walk with integrity. It takes the greatest courage to use our voice in a way that is true to our core- especially when others don't understand it. It is our birthright to be real- not just the real others want us to be.
If the people we share our truths with belittle, shame, guilt, judge or defend- we might need to give them time to come around, process, put the ego aside and learn. I've certainly been in those shoes before. It isn't easy to hear a hard truth. However, if this happens repeatedly or even one time with something truly dear to the heart- it might be time to walk away. Do we have something to learn from one another? Can we shape this relationship into something meaningful or is the person not worthy of the time, effort and respect we've afforded him or her?
There are many people who have vastly different beliefs and ideals than me- some of them become my most trusted inner circle. We value our differences and grow side by side- sometimes closer and sometimes further away from one another.
Some are the people who I will smile and wave at, engage in casual conversation and respect as a human being- but never, ever invite back in. These people are often the ones who will show you support but only when others aren't around- to protect themselves. Or, they outright ignore, avert their eyes, laugh and whisper when you speak. They might be kind to you and then speak ill of you behind your back. These people should be kept at arms length until we can learn more or- we simply move on and focus on the people who are in the world to be real and caring- to elevate and be elevated.
We are worthy of respect. This doesn't mean we earn it by being fake, complicit or never getting involved at all.
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