Thursday, June 23, 2011

Ask and you shall receive....not always

This post is specifically for Gen X-ers. If you were born before or after this moniker's designation keep it moving. Remember women when we were coming of age we were instructed to speak up - to ask for what we needed and wanted? That wasn't a complete statement. What should have come after that was "and be prepared for the person to give it or not." I think I missed that part of the conversation. So for the longest time I thought that when I asked someone for something because I had spoken up and used my voice that they were going to give it to me. But it is much more complicated than that. And today I had one of those moments when a lesson is not just an epiphany but it has become part of your personal ontology - it has been ingrained into your belief system.

I have every right to ask others for what I need and what I want. And they also have every right to say they cannot or worse yet, will not give it. But then there is a third part to this conversation - I then have the choice of accepting their answer and them as someone I want to keep in my life or let go of. HA!!! That lesson took years for me to get.

Each person is unique and has their own issues and we get to decide if we love them enough to put up with those issues. Love them, not like them or think they're cool, but love them enough. I have a male friend who is not the person I go to when I am in emotional crisis. He is horrible at being supportive and making me feel better. But in one specific instance I needed his support and I asked him to meet me as best he could. He couldn't do it. Big choice to make for me. After I assessed why I needed them to be there for me in a way they never had before, I decided that yes, I can keep them in my life because I love all the other ways they show up for me. And I knew - going in that he wasn't going to be able to fully show up for me - but he was the only person I could ask at that moment. And secretly I wanted to see if he could bend, even just a little. He can't. I tested him and now I know for sure. And he is still on the island.

There have been people that I have used this test with as a way to get rid of them. I ask them for something I need, they can't give it and they get voted off. It sounds harsh and cruel but it really is an important test for me. It allows me to see if I am keeping people around who feed and nourish me or if I am keeping them just because they have been there so long and they are comfortable. If I want comfort I'll buy uggs. If I want support I will keep friends who can give it. You know how the clutter gurus always say only keep things in your house that you absolutely love and give the other stuff away to someone else who could love it? That is what I am doing with the people in my life. Only keeping the ones I truly love - their light and dark sides. Their shadows and their brilliance. And I am urging you to do the same. Are their relationships that no longer serve you? Do you absolutely love them? Then let them go. And bless them and leave them to find someone who can truly appreciate their particular beauty.

I am so glad that this lesson no longer comes in snippets of light but that it is firmly a part of my world now. No need to be mean, just release. I thank Grace for this latest piece of wisdom.


May cool winds fan your skirts


Nanda Mama said...

Blogger is having issues and won't allow me to correct a grammatical mistake - so yes I know it should be "Are there relationships." But right now blogger is f*#king with me!

kare o' the mountains said...

wow. i really needed to read this today. touched me so much that i'm shedding a few tears. i'm learning some parallel lessons right now. much love to you.

Nanda Mama said...

@ Karen, my latest mantra has been, "There are no mistakes only opportunities." So something in me knew you needed this as much as something in me needed to write it - because this was not the post I was working on in my head for the last couple of days. This one just popped into my head while picking the kids up from school today complete with clutter metaphor. Grace is an amazing thing! She's rocking my world!!

John Garrett said...

Damn, Keisha. I was gonna go to sleep but now I have a feeling I'll be lying awake thinking of this tonight. I shoulda read this earlie :)

I wonder if I've been doing this myself at times. I never have consciously analyzed some of my behavior but you've got me thinking...damn damn damn. lol.

This blog is actually making me go over several different parts of my life. This is a deep one. I'm glad you got some things worked out, though for real. Peace!

Nanda Mama said...

You should know better than to read horror stories before bed :-)
Seriously, I hope it was a peaceful sleep!