Once upon a time I decided not to give a fuck. I was young, far too young to be making such decisions about the world. But there I was. Hands on hips, fire in the eye, declaring to myself that “never ever again” would I …
- Trust people
- Rely on people
- Need people
It was just me against the world now.
Full of piss and vinegar. And pride. God damn there was a lot of pride. I didn’t need anyone. And I would prove to everyone I didn’t. That I could do it all by myself. I was jaded, chip on my shoulder, finger to the world behind my back but a sickly sweet smile on my face.
Little did they know that I could see right through them. That I could see their hate, their anger, their frustration, their needing to put other down. I had experienced most of it and developed a thick skin and a glass wall that nothing could penetrate.
Or so I thought.
It all got in. I pretended it didn’t. Just more proof that people couldn’t be trusted or relied on. And that if you needed them, it meant you were weak. And I would never ever be weak or needy.
Ready for battle, all the time. And the world showed me plenty of people who weren’t trustworthy or reliable. People couldn’t keep their word, they cancelled and quit and didn’t show up. And they lied and cheated and I took every single one and filed them away to remember what people are really like, just in case I ever forgot.
Eventually the pain and suffering in my life, all the things going wrong, made me look for new answers. All roads led to forgiveness, for seeing things differently, allowing myself to trust people, remove the triggers of the hurts and cruelty. And I had no reason to be jaded anymore.
Yet, there I was, jaded.
Why couldn’t I let it go? I’ve healed those things. They no longer bother me. People are reliable, people are trustworthy, people are mostly good and doing the best they can. But I was still sour.
And I realized I was now angry at myself. Bitter at myself for becoming what I said I never would. Angry for forgiving those who hurt me, for throwing away the files, for putting myself out there, for exposing myself leaving myself vulnerable to hurt.
This wasn’t what I promised myself so long ago. I promised myself I would rely on ME and only me. That I wouldn’t be at the whim or fancy of someone else, that nothing would get in. But I had laid down the armour, taking it off piece by piece. And now here I was with no thick shell or skin, no way to deflect what was coming at me.
I can still feel people’s inauthenticity. I can still feel and see the lies behind the actions, I can feel the poison disguised as nectar from friends and family who passively aggressively remark on something. I can feel the darts they shoot and hear the venom behind their words.
Not all at me, but just radiating from their being. Some think it’s a gift and some days I do too. But other times it’s overwhelming and I long for the days when I could more easily deflect things. Now I have learned to see them, accept them, not take them on and move on. Because it really is simply a sign of where other people are. It doesn’t make them good or bad. It doesn’t mean anything more than they are going through a tough time or that’s there reality now – it’s not mine and I can have compassion because I once was there too.
But there’s the part of me that still battles with that, that wants to build that glass castle again and hide in the turret, walling up away from hurt and cruelty and nastiness. Instead, I lean into it, I help those people, I am nice, send well wishes their way because I know they truly need it, I help them understand why they say and do the things they do, because I can do that. I can help people who are ready to understand their behaviour and how it impacts them, their lives, everything and everyone around them. When they’re ready.
But every now and then I can hear feel the temper tantrum of a 10 year old who wants to shut the gates, close the blinds and stick her finger to the world and retreat – being right in her assessment that people are untrustworthy and unreliable.
But it’s simply not the truth. While people can be unreliable, as can I, blanket assumptions create global belief systems that mean “everyone is” and it’s just not true. And while I say that, the 10 year old in me has her arms crossed saying “who cares if it’s true. It’s still not safe out there and YOU invited them in here with us. I’m just trying to keep us safe“.
And once upon a time that belief system kept me safe, it kept me withdrawn from people who really weren’t safe and really weren’t in my best interest. But just because some people aren’t safe or reliable, doesn’t mean everyone isn’t. That’s the truth. When we have the courage to face the crankiness, the bad days, the muddy waters, we can uncover the old belief systems that no longer serve us, those often created when we were hurt or scared. That served us well for a time but eventually took from us.
Because we all need and crave human interaction. When we can’t let go to have it, we suffer. The belief system that people are a certain way will ensure we attract those types of people or see the one thing they did wrong as permanent proof of who they are. But our basic need for love and connection will mean we will seek them out anyway.
Whether we attract the ones we fear or we only see the bad in them doesn’t matter. What matters is that we are seeing the world from an old view point that isn’t true. That view point will have us pulling up anchor and steaming away, when we should be building bridges, when we should see all the good people are instead the one or two things they are not.
Letting go of “her” has been the hardest part. The part of me that only wants to keep me safe but to her safety is tucked away. Because real friendships, relationships and connections are unsafe and potentially hurtful. That part of me knows that no matter what someone does or says, I will be fine, I will be able to get up and move on, with little to no issues.
What if, when you’re all in, people hurt you? What happens then… will I be able to get up and keep going? Will I be able to recover? Will I be able to move on? Forgive and let go?
When I let my soul speak instead of my fear, I hear the whisper “of course you will, because when you listen your gift will tell you who to trust, who to rely on and if it’s ever wrong, it’s ok, heal and move forward, because we are all doing the best we can.”
And I’m reminded of the quote:
“The bird doesn’t trust the branch, it trusts it’s wings”
Letting go of who we decided to be isn’t easy. Once upon a time that identity, that image was all we had, it was all that kept us safe in a scary and uncertain world. But if I, and you, are to create the life we’ve secretly wanted to live, we have no choice but to let go of that which we said we were that isn’t really who we are.
PS… if you’re letting go of the old you and welcoming in who you really are, join us in the Wild Souled Women Facebook Group!