My New Year’s Resolution for 2019 was:
PRACTISE THE ART OF SHARING RATHER THAN COMPLAINING.
We’re human. We won’t be joyous all the time. That’s OK. But complaining isn’t actual vulnerability…it’s a mask, and it’s a distraction from pure vulnerability. People respond to vulnerability very differently. Complaining doesn’t solve anything. Complaining comes in many forms: bitching about others behind their backs, being hypercritical (at the expense of empathy), demoralizing and dehumanizing someone, blaming others and circumstances consistently, making others wrong in order to be right…in short, it’s usually making others seem negative in order to seem superior and/or remove any sense of self-responsibility whatsoever! It’s NOT blowing off steam. It’s coming from a place of judgment. Complainers aren’t being vulnerable because they’re afraid to be…it’s “weak”. But all the frustration, anger and sadness ALWAYS find their way out somehow…because those feelings ARE THERE. THEY EXIST. WITHIN ALL OF US!
I get it. It’s easy to resort to complaining. But I realized for me, after YEARS of complaining…complaining was a way for me to escape my problems and to dump them on my friends or to search for answers outside of me (as if my friends didn’t have enough problems of their own!). Complaining was me going, “I hate this feeling…I’m confused…who can I ‘give’ this feeling to? Who can take this away from me and sort out my problem for me?”
Like it or not, we affect each other, and we’re affected by each other (Non-attachment is NOT indifference or disconnection…but that’s a debate for another time).
So I tried to stay true to my 2019 goal…I chose not to run from my feelings…I chose to be aware if I was complaining, and tried to form it into expressing myself instead…whether that was by myself or to a very trusted companion. It’s been a rough year…nothing happened per se, but because I chose not to distract myself with overworking, meaningless parties, drinking, other substances, senseless flirting to boost my ego or even traveling…all my fears, insecurities, feelings, traumas and even wishes that I have suppressed for the longest time have all surfaced. I cried…a lot. A lot of ugly crying…frustration…anger…even throwing cups to my wall, screaming out loud in the privacy of my own home…Some have witnessed me feeling this amount of pain. Usually I wouldn’t say much, I didn’t yell at them, blame them, accuse them of anything, I didn’t even expect anything from them…they just witnessed me feeling my emotions in their purest forms…something so abstract and intangible and difficult to explain…
And the right people will respond when they see you feeling that much pain. Vulnerability helps us connect to the right people. The right people will honor them and take you seriously (because you’re taking your feelings seriously). Different people respond differently be it through advice, comforting you or making you laugh – because they care. Even if they don’t say the “right” things…if it comes from a place of genuine care, you’ll feel it.
The “wrong” people will judge you, walk away or even degrade you…because they were there for the masks you’ve been wearing. Let them. Letting them go will be easier than you think.
It’s funny…something I learned from myself and other judgmental people is that they will always see the negative in others but never in themselves…their negative patterns and complaints, no matter how nasty or insensitive they are, are ALWAYS “justified” (and the people on the receiving end always “deserve” it or “need” it). They’re the “strong ones” and the vulnerable, expressive people are the “weak ones”. But don’t worry…have some compassion…because these people carry so much pain that it festers and rots inside them and makes them bitter and resentful. They’re not comfortable with their own feelings and seeing others being so free and expressive – be it a hearty, genuine laugh or crying – makes them uncomfortable and because they can’t deal with it, they resort to judging them and making them wrong…because that’s just the easy way. They are suffering more than those who are brave enough to be vulnerable, even if it may not seem like it on the surface. They remain on the surface, never delving into the deep end…and if you can’t delve into the deep end, you can’t harbor deep, loving, trustworthy relationships.
How do I know this? Because I used to be like that too…and I could be a real bitch sometimes! “You’re the sum of the people you spend the most time with”…there’s a lot of truth in that. I’ve come to learn the hard way that not only do people not really know how to form deep, meaningful, substantial romantic relationships…but they don’t know how to form deep, meaningful friendships or familial relationships either! Sayings like, “Men come and go, but friends are forever” or “Bros before hoes” or “Blood is thicker than water” is bullshit if you are too lazy to go deeper with empathy and understanding, choosing to remain on the superficial aspects of companionship.
I apologize to those I’ve hurt while you were being vulnerable. That wasn’t fair of me.
I’m grateful for the wonderful human beings in my life who have been patient with me, shown compassion for me when I lacked the strength to show compassion for myself and who called me out on my bullshit not because you wanted to belittle or ridicule me – but because you wanted to see me grow and be truly happy. You point things out in me that get in the way of my own happiness…you allow me to be truly honest and vulnerable with you, too. You all inspire me everyday.
You all know who you are.
Most people only quote and talk about integrity, honorability, loyalty, trust, the meaning of friendship and love…but very few practice these things. They do the bare minimum, and perhaps even know the right things to say at the right time. They care about APPEARING honorable and noble…but they don’t want to do the actual work to BE honorable or noble.
You, the loves of my life, don’t discuss these things…You act them out and live by them with your body, actions, mind and hearts. I will try my best to always follow your example.
BRING ON 2020!