Predawn this morning, listening to the thunder and enjoying the lightening in the darkness I kept hearing the words from a conversation the other night. Over pizza with a friend we were discussing relationship, human nature, and the behavior of others; talking about personal quirks, oddities, struggles, etc. when he said, “We all have varying degrees of it and if you share it upfront instead of trying to hide it you will find the people who are supposed to be in your life, those that matter will stay.” I keep finding my thoughts drawn to this.
I know what the people who have stayed in my life mean to me. Of course that includes my siblings who are invaluable on my journey but I also have a small group of very close friends, those who know some of my innermost thoughts. I regularly talk to that group of four, most of the time daily. They all have a different perspective on life and offer me so much, I could write pages on each one of them; my dearest friends have seen me in the best and worst times of my life and still show up with nothing but acceptance, care, and more often than not lots of laughs. Beyond that group of four, I have a handful of friends that have known me for decades who have seen me off and on through my travels and would be as open to a discussion today as they were over 20 years ago. I also have a small group of extended friends, those that fall on the spectrum much closer then acquaintance, those older then I but who have my respect for their experiences have taught them the things I am still trying to learn.
I do not often consider others opinions of me. I learned a long time ago I cannot control what another thinks of me and time it too precious to waste on things I cannot control. In therapy years ago (and this question was posed for the right reasons at the time and has come in handy through different situations since) I was asked to list the seven most important people in my life, and my children would all count as one so that left me six other people to list in no particular order. As I did this and explained the reason they were important the therapist explained to me that these are the only people I should be concerned about their judgements, not because I need to conform to them but I should respect their opinion. That idea has come in quite handy but I now find myself clueless to what others think of me? I work hard to be kind, grateful, compassionate, loving, and respectful but what impact does that have? I suppose as a carryover from my past posts on my own mortality I have no idea how others think of me, if I am valued, have I left an impact, the smallest ripple in life? Did I stay in their life because I matter or is it only out of momentary convenience? I suppose it really isn’t my business to know…..
“ Hateful to me as the gates of Hades is that man who hides one thing in his heart and speaks another.” – Homer