I have seen 33 coming of the leaves...33 snow melts...33 Springs...Today is my Birthday...
Each year we are alive, we receive many gifts. Challenges that make us who we are. Revelations to steer us in the right direction. Visions that show us the way. And each year we live makes us wiser, not just older. Wisdom is the best gift of all, and the longer you live, the more wisdom you gain.
“Never mistake knowledge for wisdom. One helps you make a living; the other helps you make a life.” ~ Sandra Carey
So, today marks another year that I get to enjoy my life. And another chance to do something special for myself. Ever since I turned 30, I've given myself a Birthday gift of significance. Not anything that you can purchase in a store. Rather, something that I either do for myself that day or vow to do throughout my new year.
Last year, Birthday 32, I vowed to write my novel, to put myself first once in awhile, and accomplish something that was indeed very special to me, my dream. And, through much delight and determination, I did it: beginning, middle, end.
My gift to myself at 31 was to take my health and my life into my own hands. To figure out what my 'mystery illness' was and get better. And I'm happy to report that I'm still alive - obviously ;) - found out what was wrong and am still working to fix it rather than cover it up as my good ol'doctor insisted I do (yes, yes...another blog, another day...).
Some years I do or vow to do something so private for myself that no one knows about it with the exception of me, myself, and I. That was my 30th Birthday present to myself. It was a very hard thing to do, something that was 14 years in the making, but I'm glad I finally did it. And, if my book ever gets published, you'll all know exactly what that gift to myself was! But you'll have to read the book to find out ;)
Well, I had a sad but important realization just this past weekend: I don't have many (if any) symbiotic friendships outside of my darling husband. And although most people don't even have that, I need to start surrounding myself with friends who put just as much effort into me as I put into them. I listen but seem to never be heard. I give and only give...and then give some more, only to be tuned-out the first moment I have something to say. Left the moment I do something I want to do.
I have no qualms in never having something returned to me. I'm a giver. That's what I do. However, I'm seeing more and more that if you only give and give and never receive, sooner or later you start giving away all that is you. Everyone deserves something in return, if only an ear to listen, a shoulder to lean on.
So, this year, I vow to no longer be the doormat to 'friends'. I've already tried to rid my life of drama and toxic people, and it worked and I'm healthier for it! Except, I feel as though I only worked in the family territory, thinking that my friends were toxin free. That is not the case.
"Love yourself first. Put yourself first. Don't sacrifice who you are for anybody or anything. Don't put yourself in the backseat; don't deny what you know your truth is. That's what makes you amazing, and beautiful, and rare and an individual. And it radiates out like the most beautiful light. And with loving yourself, you will attract people who love you back." ~ Kimberly Elise
If you don't put yourself first, no one will.
This blog post was back from 2009... (I'll wait for you to do the math, lol...)
I'm glad, oh so super glad, to report that I did, in fact find a great new circle of friends to surround myself with. Friends who are like minded and others who challenge me in ways that are so appreciated. Just friends who were the true sense of the word. Give and take. It's a beautiful thing.
But it wasn't the fault of the people that I had previously surrounded myself with that they were takers. I subconsciously, almost purposely, surrounded myself with people who didn't care that I talked, and tuned me out when I did. Why? Because, quite honestly, I didn't want to talk. I didn't like myself enough TO talk.
And I wrote a book with a main character who too surrounded herself with people that either didn't listen, didn't want to hear about whatever was in her heart, head, or people who were just plain clueless - not because they were bad people or selfish people. No. It's because my character, like myself, did not like herself enough to talk.
That, and she was afraid of all that was inside...
This is all, of course, a total subconscious effort. People that either are afraid of what's inside or don't like what's inside themselves (or both) will always surround themselves with people who never engage them in a way that promotes introspection and healing. They will only surround themselves with 'takers' as they, the self-loathing, don't think they are worthy of anyone's time, effort, attention. Love.
But that's all old hat, thank God!
Now, my question for the sequel that I am writing - where my character is healed and loves herself and is starting to surround herself with the right-for-her kind of people, is this: when my character finally sees that these people (or person) she has surrounded herself with are/is unhealthy... does she just 'cut them out' of her life? Or let them know why she probably won't be calling too often from now on? Do the enabled narcissists in our lives care for or need an explanation? Or, will they not even know that the bridge has burned between you?
I've experienced this a few time in my life, lol... people so consumed with themselves, that they don't even notice you've stopped making an effort... hmmmm...
I'm leaning toward the they'll call if they care line of thought. Then, if they care, you/I/she can let them know that you've come to some realizations and if they are okay with the new you, great! If not, no worries.
You'll find your tribe eventually, and be better for it :)