I am on a quest for self-acceptance – warts and all.
Concurrently, I’m becoming more and more clear about what I will NOT accept.
Unkindness. Disrespect. A callous disregard for my feelings. Injustices perpetrated against myself (or those I love.)
I’ve discovered a new fight in me! Brenda 2.0 is feisty! She’s not buying what you’re selling (unless it is anti-aging serum, of course!) and she’s not afraid to tell you want she wants.
Which means that some new friendships have a short shelf life.
I have become a careful observer of behaviors that previously slipped under the radar screen. For instance, I welcomed a new friend to town and invited her as my guest for lunch. The second time, knowing she was finding her footing, I took her to lunch again. The third time was coffee…and she didn’t even attempt to pay her way. The fourth visit – at her request – was another lunch. When the bill came, she made no moves to her own pocketbook.
Here’s the thing: I LOVE being generous. But I do not love feeling taken advantage of or taken for granted.
And it’s not just about money. Another new friend started a challenging position and was dealing with a host of nerves. Each time I saw her, I’d encourage her and ask how it was going. I delighted to hear about her progress and how what started as a source of angst had become a blessing.
When we recently ran into each other, an impromptu meeting turned into a half-hour conversation. A completely one-sided conversation; a running diatribe about her position, her boss and her sales.
Not once did she ask how I was. I don’t even think she knows what I do for a living!
I took a careful mental note.
Is it me, or is everyone completely self-consumed these days?
I used to be perfect fodder for narcissists because I was a captive audience with such self-esteem and acceptance issues, it never occurred to me that I was being bamboozled.
Now, we all fall into the trap of selfishness sometimes. I love my other new friend, who admitted that in a recent conversation I wasn’t allowed to get a word in edge-wise.
Yes, I left the conversation considering if we would ever have another – after all, this is NOT the phase of my life where I’m going to waste time on one-sided friendships.
Then he called to apologize for running away with the conversation.
The point isn’t being perfect, but it is being humble enough to see how our behavior affects each other.
What are YOU accepting that is beneath you? More on this (and the new WOW):
Oh, well let me praise my SISTERS and BROTHERS, because I am RICH with their love and kindness.
My real friends? We FIGHT over who will pay the bill. We always check in to see how each other is doing and usually have to be FORCED to talk about ourselves. These precious gems are fail -safe cheerleaders, humorists, supporters, confidants…and truly the family God has given me.
This week, I will not retreat into my ever-ready shell. I’m callin’ on you, sisters and brothers! I can’t do this life without you, nor would I want to try.
Who comes to mind when YOU think of a sister or brother of the heart?