Learning to believe in yourself and who you are
Do you remember the fairy tale of Goldilocks and the Three Bears? She would try out various items in the house of the bears, and would get to the one that was just right! Not too much, not too little. Just right.
We get lessons everywhere and in the most interesting ways. I recently had an online connection come to an end, mutually agreed upon by both of us. And it has been a blessing and a gift.
There can be wonderful gifts in goodbyes. I didn’t realize that for most of my life. I begin to see the truth of that now. That endings are sometimes necessary and absolutely ok. And no one has to be a bad guy in the ending.
Ah, how I wish I had realized this earlier in my life, with different relationships that I have been in. Relationships where I tried to make myself into something that I am not. Relationships where I tried to deny and push away parts of me.
This recent online connection was sweet for a while. And then the language and style differences between us became more apparent.
I speak the language of emotions and affect. It is where I live. It is my native tongue.
For many years, I condemned this as being wrong somehow. Too feminine. Too hysterical. Too over the top.
I have been told this by others at times, both indirectly and directly. That I am too much, want too much in terms of emotional understanding and response. That I am too sensitive. Too this or too that. Wrong and defective and not good enough. Interesting yes ? To feel judged as both too much and not enough at the same time? With the most harsh judge of all being myself.
So this online connection that I had was yet another lesson. I did not feel heard or seen enough in responses that I would get to some of my posts on my blog. I also felt that I was given advice at times, and I react strongly to being given advice when I have not asked for it. That does not make the other person bad. It simply makes it very hard for us to connect for very long.
And it’s ok to acknowledge that and to move on. What a lesson this has been for me.
I have tried, in more long term and real life, face-to-face relationships in my life, to tone down my wants. To dampen my feelings. To try and numb the emotional parts of me that hungered for more. I would tell myself that I wanted too much and that this was a bad part of me that needed fixing. That I had to learn to shape myself into someone who didn’t need so much, who flexed and quieted those parts of me so that I didn’t feel like I was asking for too much from anyone. Then ending up never feeling satisfied or really seen or heard enough. Condemning myself for it all being my fault.
So, ending this brief online connection because we could not connect, where both of us, perhaps, were not feeling validated, heard or seen adequately, this was a new idea on a gut level for me. To simply say that we were too different and that things were not working. What a concept!
This man gave me the gift of saying that he did not have the time to work on what seemed like very difficult needs on my part.
In the past, this is where I would have tried to engage even more, without really hearing the truth, his truth, of what he was saying for him and for the connection.
And this, this is one of the greatest gifts. I realized. I breathed deeply into my feelings around this, deeply enough to find the part of me that completely agreed with him. To realize that I too, did not have the time, or energy, to work on this any further. No extra explanation needed. No extra conversation needed. This was enough for an amicable good bye.
I am sensitive. I get emotional. I have certain expectations in relationships. Expectations of enough understanding, enough of a connection, enough of a mutual language shared to enable clear enough communication. And that is perfectly ok. I don’t have to judge myself as bad or less or defective for these parts of me.
And I can choose relationships, even brief online connections, where enough of this language and communication is shared. Where there is space for all to feel heard, understood, and accepted. And sometimes, when that doesn’t happen, it’s ok to say good bye and to wish each other well. No one has to be bad or wrong. It just wasn’t enough to make it work any longer. People are different and we don’t connect with everyone. And we don’t have to.
Such a relief. Such a gift.
And absolutely and completely just right!