Spoiler Alert: This is a blog of true confessions.
Sometimes I find myself being friends with people who don’t call, don’t seek me out for plans, seem like they have fun when we’re together but in long periods of separation and silence, it’s as if I don’t exist. And so I begin to think that perhaps I have been too outspoken, too pushy, too bossy (the old voices from my childhood screaming loudly in my head) and pushed them away.
And then I get an email from a lovely friend apologizing for not reaching out to make plans and saying that sometimes her own anxieties get the best of her.
It never actually occurred to me that our lack of plans could ever for a million years be because she has insecurities. I thought only I felt self-critical.
The stories in our heads are so often made up of lies. Huge, colorful, winding storytelling lies. With characters and scenes and setting and a progression of events that are so not real.
We think we don’t fit in. We think we aren’t popular. We think no one likes us. We think we are ugly. We think everyone’s talking about us.
Um, get over ourselves. Like anyone’s talking about us anyway! Everyone is so caught up with their own stories that they have no time to imagine the stories in other people’s heads.
This email made me think. Really think. About all the time I waste worrying and feeling inadequate when really, I am fine, and everyone is fine, and we’re all just muddled in our illusions and misplaced feelings.
What if I spent my time instead just doing for others and giving to others and being of service and reveling in that?
What if we all did? And stopped worrying – rather, eliminated the extra time spent on worrying – about not fitting in and not being loved and not being enough.
It is that easy.
I am so grateful to my friend for sharing her feelings with me. Now I feel like I know and understand her better – and love her more for letting me in.
I wish all my friends would open their hearts and trust me with their true selves. I would be happy to reciprocate.
And what a bette world we would have if we all could do exactly that.