In the middle of a situation, whether at work or at home or out in public, it can be very difficult to remember that I’m a human being, standing in from of another full complete human being, asking them to harmonize with me. The back and forth reacting between us can go very well, or it can go very wrong, or somewhere in between.
When I was young I would ask a lot of my mom since all my siblings had all moved far away by the time I was eleven. I wanted her to play with me, be interested in what I was interested in, stay awake past 7:30 pm (even tho she had to get up at 5 am to go to one of her jobs).
Then as I got out on my own I would ask a lot of my roommates and colleagues – things like pay attention to me, validate my ideas, laugh at my jokes. Even tho I spent so much time with these people it was hard to remember that they were essentially strangers that had the fullness of all the their own lives to lean into.
In my twenties I got my heart broken I’d say a normal amount of times, and often I would wonder why. Why was I seemingly so unlovable? Why didn’t my roommates care about me? Why didn’t my work colleagues love my ideas? Why would someone break up with me when I thought everything was going so well?
But wait, there’s more…
As time has passed I actually have found friends that care about me, I have done work that colleagues have loved, and I did find someone to love me, “just as I am”. So what changed? I certainly didn’t change that much. I may be a bit calmer, and a bit rounder around the middle, but essentially I’m the same Drew I’ve always been.
What changed is that I have been shuffling through life’s experiences, and people have moved in and out of my life in the natural ebb and flow of things. Then, in that magical moment when I did find myself standing in front of someone with whom I harmonized, I prioritized them in my life.
I let those people bubble to the top of my emotional attention.
I see now that I was never unlovable, I always had good ideas, it’s just that I was asking the wrong people to love me. I was asking the wrong colleagues to love my ideas. And that’s okay that they didn’t!!! I was asking the right things of the wrong people.
It took some patience to allow people to move in and out of my life until the right ones came along. With gratitude and trust I allowed the ones that were wrong for me to drift out of my life, wish them well in my heart, and truly hope they find the people with whom they harmonize. And by releasing them with no ill-will or bitterness, I have been able to focus on the ones with whom I do harmonize, and I’ve managed to cobble together a fulfilling happy life.
PS: I need to remind myself continuously when I’m in public that that person I’m interacting with is just trying to get through the day the best they can. It makes it so much easier to be patient with them and maybe even feel like they are going to make it too.