Through the years, when I find myself contemplating the meaning of my life, I realize that in many ways this is defined by one thing: relationships.
Every single person who has crossed my path has left their mark. I have met people who needed my presence and others who taught me to be who I am today. Some just passed by briefly leaving a faint memory, while others stayed and share my time and thoughts now.
I have come across friends with whom I felt I can be myself. I felt I could express my fears, my thoughts, without being judged or criticized and I was there for them, listening, holding…
In a lot of relationships, people want to be with others because they tell them what they need to hear… It’s pleasant, comfortable and non-threatening. But often, when we are faced with the real person inside, the human who is vulnerable, insecure, we become scared because the ideas we paint of one another in our minds may be in conflict with this new experience.
It may not resonate with our thoughts of how someone else “should think and act”, in order for us to feel safe. Being faced with the real side of someone else can be scary because it can trigger our own insecurities and fears; it reveals the monsters in the closet that we carefully hide. So we close the door, trapping them inside and look away…
Years ago, these reactions would have hurt me badly, throwing me into a state of frantic desperation to “fix” the opinion they have of me. I thought I needed people to like and accept me because otherwise that meant that I was not worthy of love, that I didn’t deserve it.
Today, I understand what drives people’s thoughts and actions. Although it can be hard, it is possible to stop and acknowledge that at that moment, when you’re faced with others judgment, it’s not about you. It’s their own perspective of you, formed by their own experiences and how they look at life.
On my path, I have found perhaps one recurring answer about the purpose and meaning of my life: I love people. I love listening to their stories and sharing their lives, I love being the one to guide, nurture and support them. In my Bodywork practice, or in the Yoga room, I am here, holding the space for them, sharing their tears and laughter, being a small but hopefully meaningful piece of their journey…
Relationships with some beings can be beautiful, simple and nurturing, while others can be heavy, sad and destructive. The trick is to be able to identify them to help you make your choices.
I have been honored to find a few people who love and accept me without judgment or making me feel guilty for who I am; a tribal, imperfect being, with a lot of love for others and passion for the essence of being.
If all of this boils down to an invitation I have for you today it is this: Turn around, face your shadows, learn who you truly are inside and blossom…
Do you have someone in your life you can be real with? No judgment or criticism but pure acceptance and love? Let them know you appreciate them for who they are.
Yours with great love and gratitude,