acceptance · adulthood · change · friendship · honesty · progress · self-care · self-support

R-E-S-P–…oh you know the rest

Things I have the power to change:
my hair color
my perspective.
That’s the list for now. Sure, it could be really long, but
that’s what occurs to me at the moment. I haven’t, in fact, changed my hair
color in a few years – after the blonde debacle, and subsequent re-browning –
and, it sort of feels that i haven’t changed my perspective all that much
lately either.
I met up with a friend in SF yesterday, as I went about my
day flyering the city (note the gazillion workshop flyers on the lampposts of Hayes
Valley), and basically, she told me that although she could see that this was
important to me to talk about – where I am in my life, basically, … or rather,
my opinion of where I am in my life –
that she just couldn’t process with me anymore. That she herself, as I well
know, is in a similar position, going through similar changes in her life, and
I guess she’s just fed up with the whole “Let’s figure it out” routine. And so,
she told me, gently, that I’m still in the problem, and not the solution, and
that until I start to do things or see things differently, of course it’s going
to be painful for me.
I was both disappointed, and heartened – our friendship is
that strong, that we can let one another know when we’re being crazy,
basically, and that the other just can’t bear witness to crazy right now.
I have a few marching orders, work I’m doing with a woman
one-on-one, that I can proceed to progress on, and that’s where the change will
come. But, for now, my friend is right – as Jung said (loose paraphrase): we cannot solve the problem at the
level of the problem.
So, if all I have at the moment is my ground level view,
it’s better for now to stop reporting back from the (perceived) bleak front lines, and do
the work I have in front of me which will help me to get a foothold up and out.
Perhaps this all sounds sort of vague, but it’s all I got.
I was reflecting this morning on respect – that something
that I can change is how I respect myself or don’t. Who am I to disparage
myself for not being x y or z? How would I react if a friend came to me and
“should” all over me? (You should know, it should be different, you should have
figured it out already, you should be better…)
I’m realizing that all the time that I spend in lamenting
this situation is time I’m spending beating myself up, and treating myself
unkindly – and without respect. What would it be like to respect myself – to
look at myself from an outsider’s view? To congratulate myself on my
accomplishments, take real stock and account of things that I have done and
talents that I have. What would it be like to take a more well-rounded view of
myself? Would I ever disparage myself as
in the above paragraph? Discounting all that I am? No. Because here are a few
reality checks – a) I’m human – guess what, I come with assets
and liabilities. b) I’m hosting a workshop that I’ve
dreamed up, crafted, advertised and implemented all by myself today. (with due
thanks to all my helpers!) and, c) I am poised to graduate from graduate school. I
didn’t
make it to my college graduation
. I got
high as fuck after my high school one. This time, I’m showing up – period. I’m showing up
entirely differently.
I’ve changed. I have
become someone worthy of respect – most emphatically of my own respect. If I
can begin to take ownership of feelings like that – or rather
facts like that – then I can begin to move from the
problem into the solution. I do not need to know anything about what “will
happen.” What I do need to be very careful I count along side of the things I
have “to work on,” are the things that are worthy, lovable, respectable about
myself.
Because in the end, I’m the person with the power to change
my perspective. Because I will inform others’ interactions with me, Fate’s
interactions with me, by leading by my own example of realistic, balanced, and earned respect. 

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