Sunday’s Reflection (Thought of the Day)

from Codependent No More by Melody Beattie:

The people who look the most beautiful are the same as us.  The only difference is they’re telling themselves they look good, and they’re letting themselves shine through.  The people who say the most profound, intelligent, or witty things are the same as us.  They’re letting go, being who they are.  The people who appear the most confident and relaxed are no different from us.  They’ve pushed themselves through fearful situations and told themselves they could make it.  The people who are successful are the same as us.  They’ve gone ahead and developed their gifts and talents, and set goals for themselves.  We’re even the same as the people on television: our heroes, our idols.  We’re all working with approximately the same material — humanity.  It’s how we feel about ourselves that makes the difference.  It’s what we tell ourselves that makes the difference.

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Letting Go of the People Who Can’t Hear You

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There are many, many things to learn in life — lessons abound in this wonderful playground.  Some lessons we get, early on, and we don’t need any further reminders.  You know, the simple ones.  Brush your teeth.  Look both ways before crossing the street.  Put on underwear.

Others, well… we take our time.  We may have to be hit over the head a few dozen times before we get it.  Before it clicks.  And we can’t even get too comfortable then because those lessons can sometimes unclick on you.  The lesson I’m talking about today may be one of those.

And yet, I think it’s quite a special one.  Because I don’t think everyone gets this one.  And it is:

Having the wisdom to speak to those who can hear you.

See, funny thing about this thing we call life.  We come into it essentially all on our own, and when we leave it, we leave it all alone.  And during the in-between, we have this urgent desire to fill it up with the poignancy and meaning only another human relationship can bring.  We are fundamentally social beings.  We must be careful and aware of the real danger of codependency — but there is a healthy measure of person to person interaction we are compelled, no fervent, to seek and maintain.

Naturally, those who are around us and closest to us in our childhoods and immediate surroundings seem to fit the bill.  Even as young adults, when we are braving our first shot at independence away at college or in the work force, we make connections and build relationships with those who just happen to be around.

This is perfectly normal and natural.  But…

A staggering majority of the people we encounter, hang around, love, and live with won’t be able to hear us — not really.  This is especially true if we’ve always felt like the odd one out in these social structures (deeply at our core).

Again, I don’t think everyone gets this particular lesson in life.  Many people are happy to just share their time with those around them and they don’t ever have the isolating experience of not feeling heard.  But then there are those of us who do.

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So this is for you, my friend.  If you’ve often felt that you have something to convey, express, or share with the people in your life, but they just aren’t interested — it can become a very discouraging and disempowering experience.  Until you realize that those people, those particular people, may not be the right ingredients for your life.  Ultimately, you get to concoct your life.  You get to dictate your time here.  You have the final say.

And it’s hard.  Believe me, I know.  Letting go of important people in your life, or those who you’ve had important shared experiences with, can be one of the hardest things you face.  It doesn’t mean you kick them to the curb, it doesn’t mean you completely shut them out… no, it’s more about picking and choosing what to share, and with whom.  You let go in the sense that before they weren’t able to hear you, now they don’t get to hear you.

If your time here needs to be spent doing a specific something, don’t deny that.  Don’t repress your beautiful self because those who happen to be around can’t hear what you’re saying.  Save your energy, and moreover your time, and stop trying to “reach” certain people about the things that truly matter to you.

There’s more than one audience out there. The first step is to fully recognize when you’ve been speaking to the wrong one.  So… stop.  Gather yourself.  Honor yourself.  And honor what it is you have to say.  Because it’s important.  And then find the audience who can hear you.  They’re out there, I promise.