I am genuinely interested in other people’s growth. Passionately so. So much so, in fact, that I have been known to lose sight of the fact that we all learn at our own pace and that just because I say something to someone with love and that I feel is important for them to hear and understand does not mean that they will receive it.
The fact that someone was not “catchin’ what I was throwin'” would drive me nuts. I would become infuriated. Like what I had to say was so important for them to hear. Until today. I had a heated discussion with someone I care very much about. And her behavior has been unacceptable to me and many others, which, by the way, does not make her behavior unacceptable. It just means it was not acceptable for what I know to be true. If she’s being true to herself then it’s perfectly acceptable, but I digress.
I was putting my shit squarely in her lap. I saw in her what I sometimes see in myself and I wanted her to recognize that, but I needed to recognize it, not her. I needed to realize that I am still okay whether someone outside of me validates me or not. I don’t require validation from anyone but me. But I was trying to convince her that she didn’t need it, when I was ultimately trying to convince myself.
Ugh. When you become clear about what’s happening, it can hit you like a ton of bricks.
I am the one who gets to choose how she shows up in the world, whether people like it or not. If it’s right for me, than that’s okay, as long as I’m not hurting anyone else with that behavior. I am fully responsible for me and how I feel. I can’t give that responsibility to other people. What an onus. What a burden. What a responsibility for them to bear. How dare me?!
And what was so incredible about the exchange is that I felt myself getting upset, and I actually heard myself say, “Hang on a sec, honey. You need to take a beat, sweetheart. You’re making this about her, and it’s realllly about you.” I took a breath, changed my tone, acknowledged out loud that I was getting upset and expressed myself in a calmer manner.
But whoa, what a moment. To be that aware in the moment was awesome. And looking back on it now gives me even more clarity. I owe it to myself to be true. And to be loving toward myself in those moments when I’m not, but to still strive for it. Grasp for it. Constantly make a play for it.
And I recognize that I don’t really need your recognition, your validation, your approval to be okay, to be me. I can just simply be okay being me and seek my own approval before anyone else’s.