Another one bites the dust……
(originally posted 10/5)
I have reached a moment where things seem to be on the upswing. I have been out the last few weekends. I have met some interesting people. And I even took the incentive to be apart of the equation in cultivating a new friendship. All this activity has pulled me out of a space, which I feel was part self-imposed exile and one very long pity party. So, why is it that all of this seems so temporal to me? I am, again, at the crossroads of ‘is this friendship gonna really be for real?’
I admit I sometimes lack people skills that probably would endear me in the hearts of many. While I am a kindhearted, warm, and a generous person, I will admit that my oversight on my people skills usually leaves me without that endearment that I am seeking. Case in point, my current new friendship with my internet buddy has bitten the dust. In my mind, at least. I have begun to encounter traits with her that are pushing my buttons, traits that I feel, too early in the relationship to call her on. Now, I am rather blunt and also with age, have cultivated the ability to gracefully point out behaviors that I don’t care for. But generally I feel that is best reserved for times, when one’s personal space is actually being infringed upon. But when do you point out quirks that could eventually cause a breakdown or better yet, how do you accept the quirks with out losing yourself.
Countless women say they have been involved with a man, whom otherwise they would have thought twice, and lost themselves in the relationship and given over their personal power. It’s a topic that’s been heavily discussed since Betty Freidan came on the scene. But where is the conversation about losing one’s self in a relationship that is non sexual? Why is it that when friends, who have quirks that would send us to the therapy couch with a man, become something that we have to accept? The last friendship that I had was 13 years old. We met in college and continued to keep in contact when we moved on after our first year in college. When we decided to see each other 13 years later, the two of us had drastically changed. One had a baby and the other one was out in the world. After a couple of days, I began to see things for what they were with my friend. Somewhere in the course of our relationship I had lost my personal power. I wasn’t receiving the love, respect or support that I had hoped to receive but all that time I had continued to be the one who called, and keep the lines of communication strong. I began to review the past, searching for that time where I had a thought that led me to begin to give up my power. I suspect it was early on in the relationship, when I gave a Christmas gift, and she did not reciprocate. Which is the pattern in a lot of my relationships, I am generous early on in the relationship, but often feel overlooked by the other party when I feel its time for my due. . When I broached the subject with my friend, she told me that I have too high an expectation for people. I suspect that it’s do to the fact that I don’t feel I have a voice, the ability to ask for what I want. Also, maybe I choose people who will not reciprocate because I believe that I am not worthy/deserving of love being returned to me.
I think I am in search of that perfect Hallmark relationship. No, the International Coffee House one. You know, you sit around with each other, sharing your heart and inner self. You are important to them as they are to you. This is a relationship that is a sisterhood of some sort. It’s got a rhythm, a vibe, an energy that uplifts and excites you. I often see it here in Asia. Where friendships, the life ones, are made during high school and college and kept for life. Friendships made during those times, are given rather a great deal of importance or consideration. Often, you can see women walking hand and hand or arm in arm with their friends. The look of happiness on their face could be summed up as due to the bond of sharing and knowing each other.
It’s been rather difficult forming that type of relationship with people overseas. Everything is so temporary, just like life. So, it’s not that you can’t get close to a person; it’s just the bond that you make may last or not last because of the evitable-distance. Then there are the people that make question how in your right mind you spent time with this person. And on the other hand, it’s a great lesson in practice if you follow Buddhism. The upside to all this is that you do meet a lot of wonderful and sometimes colorful people that you would never encounter at home, because of the manner in which you socialize. And because living in a foreign culture can be very isolating at times, this is generally one of the views you alter. Now, this isn’t true all the time, because there are plenty of foreigners that only hang out with other foreigners that they would at home. So, it’s possible to continue having the social life one had at home, just with an Asian backdrop. .I can say that having met so many people from different parts of the world, and having the pleasure of having getting to know them, its enabled me to see beyond the form, directly to the spirit.
New Agers say that you attract relationships to you that support certain beliefs that you have. I already said that I possibly have the sense of lack of deserving, so therefore, these relationships/friendships that I have, including a current one with it’s little ticks, maybe are teaching me a lesson. One involving self love, worth, and reclaiming my personal power. Or it could be reflecting to me that I do have to high an expectation of people, and need to see that if someone falls short of it, that I am not at risk of losing anything.
My father many times told me that if you have one good friend that’s all you need. I’m not interested in having one good friend. There are too many interesting people out in the world that I want to be apart of my life. And my heart is too big to be so small….