Are you still . . .
Recently I’ve felt misunderstood by some friends that are close to my heart.
Not misunderstood, like they thought my words meant something different than I intended, though, of course, that happens too. But rather, misunderstood about who I really am, or who I feel like to me.
I think this happens all the time. I’m sure it happens with me in the reverse as well.
We relate to people as we knew them. Or to people as we remember them. But not always as who they are in this moment in time.
It makes sense, right? It creates a sense of familiarity, a sense of depth of relationship, to feel like you really know someone.
But, we evolve.
I’m not who I was the last time we talked. I’m not who I was when I was little. I’m not who you remember me to be. Except, of course, when I am.
There is a part of us that is constant.
I see this all the time with how parents related to their adult children, like they’re still . . . kids.
Or how old friends come into our lives again and expect us to be who we were, how we were, and treat us that way.
And then, sometimes, we start to act like that is true, because there still is that part within us, even if it is no longer ours, or no longer part of who we’ve evolved to really be. Maybe because it’s more comfortable than to stick up for who we’ve become, or maybe because it triggers us to go back into that persona, or maybe because it’s just . . . easy.
But then, we lose our true selves, the self we are now, in that moment.
Perhaps this self is someone you’ve actually put a lot of effort into manifesting. Maybe this self is one that you’ve created by working through some really deep-seated shit. Perhaps this version of you has only been able to be brought to light by shining brightly on all the darkness inside. Or maybe this version of you is in it right now pretending to be anything else is even more painful.
What if we always showed up curious. Curious about each other in this moment.
Instead of making statements of fact:
You don’t like . . .
You always . . .
You have a hard time with . . .
We might ask:
Do you like . . .
Are you still . . .
What’s going on with . . .
This allows the space for the evolution of the other.
When I was 7 I really loved wearing black, white, and red, this phase lasted about a year. When I was 10 my mom bought me a black, white, and red outfit for my birthday. Because “it’s your favorite.” But, it wasn’t my favorite and hadn’t been for 2 years. I felt very unseen, and it created a small crack in our closeness.
It’s hard to keep up with everyone you love. You can’t possibly know if your cousin still loves horses like they did when they were 12 or if your neighbor is still working on her relationship with her daughter. But, you can show up curious, and let them know that you remember who they were, without making it who the ARE.
I feel like it’s almost a spiritual practice to show up in every relationship willing to relate to who they are right now, in this moment, in this evolution of them. Allowing for it to be different than you remember, and letting that be okay.
And in the end, this act of authentic relating creates true closeness, a closeness that in and of itself is allowed to evolve and morph because it is between two ever-changing human beings, instead of between two memories.
And that constant, unchanging part of ourselves. Yes, I want to relate to that too, to that soul without persona, and that is the part that we allow to shine through when we are not hanging on to all of the rest.
Love, in this moment,
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