You know I’ve been writing to you recently about my mental health. Two or three letters. That I’ve been taking a step back and becoming the observer of my thoughts and feelings which, lately, has led to me becoming a little fed up with people around me. However, standing back and taking a long breath, I have to confess that I am often the creator of my own situation, be that joy or misery. The “Captain of my Soul”. So, as I observe my thoughts and feelings, I am pushing beyond the immediate to ask “How did I get here?”.
Why am I becoming fed up with people? Well, I am seeing that my perceived good nature is being taken for granted or taken advantage of. And part of my issue is that I now realise I knew this sometime ago but chose to push on because it’s in that nature to accommodate people where I can and offer a helping hand, in what ever form that may take, when needed. But I have to ask myself whether I am actually accommodating myself by pushing on and doing so to allow myself to feel comfortable within my actions? Whatever, I am feeling like the tank has run dry and now I’m drawing from other parts of my nature.
Do you ever leave a situation questioning people’s motives when previously you’d have wandered away without giving them a thought? And once your thoughts start down that path do you find you are reviewing numerous situations, both those gone before and new ones? It is a slippery path, but as I stand back and observe, I’m thinking it’s one that needs walking occasionally for our own mental balance. Maybe it serves as a reminder that not all people behave like you and I or have the sensibilities we are blessed or cursed by. That’s a timely lesson if it prevents you becoming mentally exposed, fragile and vulnerable.
And just remember different people have peculiar tastesThe Glory of Love, Lou Reed
So here I sit not wanting to do any ‘peopling’ today or tomorrow. My usual ‘line of slack’ I’d cut you is down to a couple of centimetres and I’m more likely to smile and walk away than allow myself to be engaged in conversation. My phone has a message saying “Out to the world until further notice”. This is self preservation and, despite what anyone else may think, I think it’s healthy.
The long and short is probably that I need to learn to be less amenable, say ‘No’ whilst maintaining a smile, and be more aware, and less forgiving, of poor behaviour on the part of others. This would possibly save me from reaching my current situation too frequently.
Apparently Mother Teresa said:
People are often unreasonable,
irrational, self centred.
Forgive them anyway.
If you are kind, people may accuse you
of selfishness, ulterior motives.
Be kind anyway.
In the final analysis,
It was never between you and them anyway.
That’s a position to aspire to I’m thinking but I remain a distance away. In fact it’s being able to live life despite other people, having a mind guarded from the opinions and actions of others. I’m still thinking that there comes a time when we have to distance ourselves from certain people because, well, there are those who will just walk all over you if they can, either because they are just not possessed of the sensitivities that basic relational skill requires or because they are overwhelmingly selfish and really have little care for others. Whatever, maintaining a healthy mental being needs a distancing. Yes, forgive them their behaviour, and I will always strive to reach this place, but I’m not going to forget. Forgive because harbouring ill will towards another is self destructive. It leads to bitterness and worse, which denies peace. Don’t forget because putting one’s self in the way of possible harm knowingly, well that’s just stupid.
You don’t have to rebuild relationship with everyone you’ve forgiven. Just because you are at peace doesn’t mean that they’re not still toxic.Word Porn
I’ll remember because as Jesus taught his disciples, “do not throw your pearls before swine” or as recorded of the Prophet Mohammed, “Trust in Allah, but tie your camel”. Basically, whatever you believe there’s wisdom in taking measures to ensure you do not suffer unnecessarily. There’s a call to be responsible for yourself right down to protecting your mental wellbeing.
I will be back, hopefully a little wiser and a little more aware of certain people and situations. Maybe I’ll even be mindful about avoiding these because I’m aware that the less one responds to either, the more peaceful life will become. As the man said, “Smile and wave boys” as you walk away. No need for unpleasantness, no malice, just boundaries.
Maybe my failure to set boundaries has been my issue. I’m learning and I’m thankful it’s never too late.
For now, I’ll enjoy a little solitude and the company of those few I have learnt can be trusted, whatever the situation. I’ll continue to stand off and observe myself with an intent to find better ways and behaviours.
Yours, tying my camel,