Someone very close to me asked, in retort of a public apology, why I felt the need for said apology.
I said something about, not being able to give my all relationships, and that I felt it wasn’t fair to other people, which, in turn, made me “feel bad” (i.e. sorry and guilty).
She, then, asked, “Isn’t that for those ‘other people’ to decide?”
That got me thinking . . .
Recently, I realized, . . . she’s totally right. It’s presumptuous for me to assume potential friends, lovers, what have you, would NOT “be able to handle” change in me.
I typed, only a few months ago, “Getting to know me takes effort because I’m never satisfied and always evolving.” (https://mariahrosesramblings.wordpress.com/2015/10/26/an-apology/, An Apology . . . , October 26th, 2015.
It’s not that “I’m never satisfied.” It’s that I’ll always strive for MORE. I’ll “always evolv[e]” because I’ll always be looking for ways to improve myself. It’s, by no means, not because I’m “not good enough,” but because I thrive with change and get excited at new prospects.
However, I’ve always feared change. I’m afraid of a lot of things.
My “apology” was selfish. I was trying to protect MYSELF. That’s what’s not fair.
I think it took me, actually, failing hard at something to realize that (in a word: school).
One day, I was having a conversation about “perfection.” I WAS a self-proclaimed perfectionist (still working on that but that’s another story).
Anyway, the person I was conversing with asked, “How many mistakes have you made?”
I replied, “Actually, not many.”
Then, he listed off the many, huge mistakes he’s made to get to where he is. Behind success, lurk past failures.
There’s no shame in making mistakes. It’s part of the learning process. “Shame” is, only, a FEELING bred from doubt of the self.
“Nobody’s perfect. Everyone has flaws.” (https://mariahrosesramblings.wordpress.com/2015/01/19/understanding-is-reached-only-after-confrontation/, Understanding Is Reached Only after Confrontation, January 19th, 2015.) They are part of what it means to be human.
Again, mistakes are an inevitable part of the process of adaptation.
Once I get over that initial sense of impending doom and that need for “perfection,” I am in love with that change. It becomes natural.
Therefore, I need not be afraid or filled with self-doubt.
People are drawn to me so one of the other things that I’ve thought about is, “What makes me a ‘good friend?’ What am I physically, emotionally, or spiritually able to do now to show people that I care?” (https://mariahrosesramblings.wordpress.com/2015/06/03/redefinition/, Redefinition, June 3rd, 2015.)
Punishing myself by making MYSELF feel guilty never proved to ANYONE how much “I care.” The only thing that does is make me unnecessarily feel like shit.
I don’t have to explain myself to anyone and nobody owes me an explanation either. And I don’t have to take what people do choose to share with me as gospel.
At the same time, I need to be honest with MYSELF about what I feel. Trust in others begins with trust within myself.
Now, I know that being a good listener, with integrity, honesty, loyalty, conviction, tact (most of the time), and respect, is GOOD ENOUGH.
I am trustworthy.
I can say what I mean, and mean what I say, but that doesn’t mean, who I’m saying it to, will truly understand, much less, believe it’s the truth. And it’s not that I’m not trustworthy. Again, I am trustworthy.
In fact, it has little to do with me. When you’ve been through the ringer, it’s hard to know who’s on the level. I’m just as skeptical as the next person. However, I know how to suss out red flags and warning signs pretty skillfully. I can become less skeptical, sooner.
My point is: these things take time. How much time, depends on the individual situation. Patience is key. Relationships don’t blossom overnight.
I am a good friend.
I need to stop comparing myself to others, including my-past-self. Each individual is different no matter how similar they seem. Comparison leads to madness. Live and let live, and do the best you can.
“The best you can, is good enough.” ~ Radiohead