attacking the river

“I’m worried about you, what can I do?” It always comes back to the same thing–loving myself enough to create healthy boundaries. I called up one of my good friends yesterday as she raises her beautiful family in Texas and I still try so hard to please people around me still enormously triggered by some of the passive aggressive behaviors around me. I can’t please them all, and I feel acutely aware of who I’ve displeased. I’m simple, I’m emotional, and when I look on Facebook to realize a woman who I’ve been struggling with has unfriended me, I smile first realizing this is her stuff–not mine–but then become agitated that another can send a spicy email or have a direct contact with this person and not experience the fallout. I cannot change anyone and I’ve barely been able to change myself and so I come back to some more of the same things.

People like it when I’m happy. When I carry myself with integrity and do what I say I will do. When I show up. When I don’t respond in defensiveness. I often feel like I’m walking around with a weight that I’ve created for myself from my thoughts. I write these thoughts down and feel some release and feel tears in my eyes when my friend says our relationship is reciprocal and that I am loved. I wish I wasn’t such a strong roast sometimes but know that I like my coffee robust and thick like motor oil. I google how to survive in a small town and its remembering who’s watching and who’s listening. I don’t know how well I do living in this paranoid state and I think if I just be the best version of myself my words, thoughts, and actions will follow. I do not do most things with malicious intent and even if I slip up and feel severe dislike coursing through my veins, I try to rope it back in and say the mantra, “this is my stuff, that is your stuff.”

I want to travel and I love to adventure so I can get out of my head and alleviate the drama of perpetually looking at my own stuff instead of the whole set of systems (Ram Dass). I realize that I alone do experience suffering but there is a collective suffering that we are bear at any time. When I look at the whole thing, I feel the whole thing. It’s not feeling sorry for someone and doing something to alleviate the suffering so I’m the one who is piteous and in the position of owning someone else’s emotions. If I can help someone I will do it out of compassion of shared suffering and shared love. If there’s nothing to be done I don’t have to get freaked out. Most likely I am a small player in the drama of everyone and I can take less of a role in my own life in that regard.

At the end of day, I wish that woman well. I hope she finds what she needs in extricating me from her life and that more peace is a result. Same with my last relationship—the controlling behaviors will no longer be my torch to bear and I become aware of all the time I can now use to hone in on dignity, integrity, kindness, defenselessness. I can look at all the good things in my life and the people who don’t find me exhausting. I went on a tube trip yesterday and the trick is to attack the river and lean forward on big waves to avoid the flip. I did flip eventually and grabbed onto my tube with instinct and popped up out of the churning water. I didn’t take the river acting in its true nature as a personal attack on me.  I just laughed and kept going. I’m learning from the river, I’m learning from the veggies and herbs growing in my garden, and I’m learning from my small town. All is coming.

“Learn to watch your drama unfold while at the same time knowing you are more than your drama.”
-Ram Dass