Monday, August 26, 2013

Forty, Assertiveness, and Conequences

Someone told me that part of being forty for her was a process of letting go of people and things--and being able to do that.  Some people can be toxic in particular relationships and sometimes it is necessary to let go of that relationship when it is like that.

Lately, I've come to terms with some of my own limitations while raising three children, and I have had to voice those limitations.  I cannot be as open or do everything I would like to do, or quite be the person I would like to be--I have to be honest with that, and sometimes I have to admit to it when I am at my limit and say "no" sometimes.

Recently, when I have said "no"--as kindly as I could muster, it has been misunderstood in the process.  I have been misunderstood, and I have felt judged.  The limit was not received well.  Sometimes, people think they understand what it is about, but they really and truly do not have the context to understand; yet they assume, they know, and have the right to judge.

It is painful to be misunderstood.  And still misunderstood even after trying to explain it.  There is no way to explain to someone who does not walk in your shoes sometimes.  And the more I think about it, the more I think "being judgmental" is a dead end road.  It is best to try not to offend or "be offended"--We truly do not know what it is to walk in someone else's shoes.  We have stereotypes in our minds, and it dehumanizes others whenever we refer to those judgments.  Besides, no one is cast in stone, humans are dynamic, and changing all the time.  A judgment or mistake made one day, can be truly a transient aspect of that person--and that person may be quite different another day, another year, another choice.

Judgment hurts, but it also makes me angry.  I do not feel that I am accepted for who I am. I am not who they want me to be.  I used to think I needed to be what people wanted me to be in order to be loved.  It may be the case, that there are fewer people who will love me as I be honest with what I can be, and who I really am...there may be a shedding of people who I thought liked/loved me.  It is scary, but at forty, I am beginning to feel that life will not be over if I am not liked in the ways I wanted to be liked.  Perhaps, it will shed some of those people, but perhaps, it will open the door to other people who will be more genuine in their relationship with me.

I am not sorry and I do not feel I was wrong to say, "no" sometimes to what I know will push me to the limit of what I truly can do.  They may think less of me, that I unable to do what they wish.  And I hope to make peace that they may not like me anymore.

This is not so different as learning to say no as a teen to unwanted sex--  It is the very same principle.  Funny, how this is so much more difficult, and how it is the same lesson so deep into my adulthood.  Funny, how I still struggle with being able to let go of wanting to be liked.  The fear of being alone in this world. Being unlikable.  Maybe there are worse things than being unlikable.

I am starting to be willing to take that risk.  That by being honest, I am going to be unlikable to some--Sticking my neck out and being willing to be honest--maybe shedding those people who do not like me for that, is not a bad thing.

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