I’m 46 years old, and, like scars on my body, I have collected a number of battle weary relationships too. I’m not overly proud of that, but I am learning to accept it. I used to worry about it, even lose sleep over it. However, with my remorse also comes a realisation that I don’t control others. Some people simply don’t like me. Something has triggered this somewhere along the way as part of my interaction with them. It may have been a conscious interaction or it may have been something that happenned outside of my personal awareness. Never the less, it happenned, and there are times when this makes me feel really uncomfortable. Nobody wants to know they’re not liked. The greatest gift of these experiences is that of hope and love. Hope that the relationship does not drive me to despair, and love for the other person regardless of how they treat me. Two gifts in the one experience. I am truly lucky.
It was Oprah who raised the topic of our need for validation. Our desire to know we matter. I’m learning to take instances where people dislike me and first ask myself if I have done enough to show these people how they matter to me. In all honesty, when I was with them, was my focus on them or on my own needs? How do I validate others when I don’t fully take the time to seek out their gifts? There’s a difference between listening and waiting for your turn to speak. There are times when I have simply waited for the other person to take a breath. On the other side, there are times when I feel I have given all that I can in a constant stream yet it still is not enough for the other person. I end up feeling exhausted and drained.
I realise that the most loving view I can give of these experiences is to understand that we’re all on our own journey. If some people don’t like me – that’s ok because I like me. I’ve stopped worrying about it and want only the best for the people I don’t always get along with – unconditionally. I hope I am a better person for these experiences, and I am now able to use these learnings with everyone I encounter. I’ll always be grateful for this.