Let’s be brutally honest. Whatever gossip-worthy egregious behavior your coworker is displaying, whatever glaring Marco-Polo-your-bestie-worthy inconsideration your ex is performing, whatever outrage you’re reading on social about the idiots tit for tatting, wildly judging each other all while insisting that what their side is doing isn’t judgement, whatever bone crushingly unsupportive comment or stance your grandfather, or cousin or your whole family is taking, let’s be honest: You saw it coming.
You saw it all coming, you just kept your eyes closed because that’s what we do. We do it so much that AA has a saying for it. It’s called “don’t go to the grocery store for hardware.”
That’s right, don’t call your relative after your boss chewed you out if your relative is the type to take one too many beats of silence on the other end of the phone while you imagine the slight curl in her lip, the one which makes you doubt yourself more.
And while we’re at it, don’t call that special friend to share the news of your promotion or your fresh big gig, the friend who you laugh and cry with but who, as lovely as she is, secretly sees your wins as her losses.
Don’t do all of this and then cry to your spouse about how no one supports you and you’re on an island. Because you saw it coming. Every interaction you’ve had with these folks has been the same. It’s always been the same, but not only because they’ve stayed the same.
Turns out the most critical, reliable part of these interactions and your subsequent feelings is that you’ve stayed the same.
You’ve approached each of these conversation with the hopes of a 1950’s school girl clasping her hands together, twisting her tippy toe to the left while she bats her eyelashes at the boy across the street. Will he notice her? Will he return her affection? Will he give her what she needs? Probably not and if he does she’ll probably regret marrying what will turn out to be his lazy ass.
But if she were to change her energy. If she were to ground herself on both feet and know she were valid regardless of whether or not he does what she thinks she needs from him, what would happen then? He’d either saunter across the street and ask her out, or she’d realize there’s nothing attractive about a guy who’s spitting on the ground, rolling a cigarette.
My point is this. If you change who you’re being, you’ll see things for what they are and everything will change. I know, because this week, I fell back into my old self, my old grievances and lo and behold… there were all the people who happily feed my addiction to feeling insignificant, left out and like I’m perceptively challenged.
Then I remembered my future self and I decided to behave like that person. I remembered who I really am. And voila, like a telescope coming into focus, I could see it all coming – that which I drew to myself with my wayward energy and yapping inner critic, and that which I stepped right into. So, I started down a different path, the path that if we have the courage to get out of our own way, is always there for us.