I see you. I love you. I hold space for you.
Sometimes I forget about past lessons I’ve learned and then one day they just smack me in the face. Here’s the recent one (learned in Costa Rica). When someone is challenging to be around, you just dislike them for some ambiguous (or not so ambiguous) reason….what about them is being reflected about yourself? What do you actually need to examine about yourself so that you can make positive change and have empathy and hold space for someone? Learning to love people…really love them.
There was a person in my life for a short time that I just struggled to like. She had a negative attitude, complained, and was very self-centered. She would engage in self-defeating talk (I’m stupid, I’m fat, etc.). She often told inappropriate (in my mind) stories and shared way too much information. She was difficult to be around….and for this phase of my life I just found myself always around her, avoid her though I tried. So this idea that there was something about her being reflected about myself made me angry. I’m not negative. I don’t complain. I definitely don’t say mean things to myself. There was no lesson I could think of needing to learn by being around this person.
One day, I was put on the spot to find something nice to say about her. I panicked, because I really couldn’t think of anything nice to say. But at the last minute the light bulb went off. This woman has no filter. She truly didn’t seem to think about or care about what others thought or how others might interpret her communication. Now I’m not advocating that we never filter ourselves. However, I realized that I over filter. I censor myself in such a way that I believe others will be more receptive to what I am saying. A trait common to many women I imagine. In that moment I found sincere admiration for the courage it takes to say exactly what you want and not give a f@*k. Too often I have suffered in silence out of fear for speaking my truth. Fear that someone would be mad at me. Fear that someone would no longer love me. Fear that what I thought didn’t really matter.
So thank you to this person. I see you. I love you. I hold space for you.