Ask and you may be surprised

11 May

‘Surveys show that most of us say we believe in God, yet too few of us choose to believe in ourselves.
To my mind that’s like praising an architect and then being afraid to walk into one of his or her buildings!”

-Bruce Garrabrandt-

I just saw this quote after writing this blog and I thought it underlined what I was writing about.  Here’s my entry:

This past week I have been really upset with a bunch of people.  Not for what they said or did but because of what I was sure they meant by it all.

And, every time, I was very wrong.  It seems silly now, but at the time, I only knew what was in my head.  And, my head always seems to be very, very negative and disempowering.

Here is one example.   I was talking to my work out buddy after Tuesday as we were leaving the gym.  I knew he had over an hour to get to work, so I walked with him to his car, wanting to ask him a question.  From out of no where, he tone changed, he said “I gotta go,” got in his car, and left, very abruptly.  I had my mouth open in shock and he almost ran me over my foot.  I gave him the finger as he drove away, muttering, “WTF?  What an ass hole.  Fuck you.”

I couldn’t get it out of my mind.  All day long my mind revisited the scene of the crime.  “I will never walk him to his car again.  I should have known not to do that.  Why did I try to talk to him when he was rushing, I am an idiot.”

By the next day I was feeling physically ill.  I don’t know why but everything about my life was looking bad.  “I must be really annoying.  I obviously was bothering him.  I can’t even have a friend without literally driving him away.  He couldn’t get away from me fast enough.  I must be really horrible.”  I went home in between meetings and had to lay down on the couch.  My body hurt and I had no energy.  What was wrong with me?  Why was I like this?

I tried to get my mind in a better place.  I didn’t do anything wrong.  He just has issues.  It’s his problem, not mine.  Why should I even care?  It’s my fault for hanging out with an ass hole.  Anyone would tell me that.  I deserve it.  I am really stupid.

No matter what I told myself, I ended up going down a very dark tunnel in my mind and it seemed like something was very wrong with me and my life.

I started thinking maybe I had caught the flu or a bug.  My stomach was a mess and I was in pain.

Now, mind you, my original incident as a child was being left in the driveway by our neighbors.  They lied to me about where they were going and I waited and waited for them to come back.  I was two years old.  Even though it sounds ridiculous, it was my break in belonging and I subconsciously made a lot of decisions about life in that moment.

Today, two days later, at the gym, I ignored my friend.  I was so mad I couldn’t even talk to him.

“What is wrong with you?” he asked.

I was secretly pleased that he noticed and that he seemed to care.

“Let me ask you a question,”  I said.  “In my mind you had over an hour to get to work on Tuesday.  Why the hell did you peal out like you were on fire?  All of a sudden you became a crazy person.”

“I had to go help someone.  I was in a hurry.”

“Well, it seemed like you were mad about something.”

“No.  When I decide it’s time to leave, no one is going to stop me.  Not even Donald Trump.  I just go.”

We discussed it for a while.

“Next time I’ll be nicer,” he said.

I went up to him a little bit later.  “It made me feel like you didn’t care.  You were nice one minute and the next you couldn’t wait to get away from me.”

“Are we still talking about this?” he asked.  He cocked his eyebrow.

“Yes.  I am,  I was really upset.  Can you imagine if it happened to you?  Wouldn’t you wonder what you had done?”

“Yes, but I would ask the person.”

“Well, I wasn’t going to see you for two days.”  I said.

“Oh, well yeah I guess.”

So in the end, his leaving like that had nothing to do with me.  It wasn’t because I bothered him or annoyed him at all.  So I should have been good.

But as I was leaving, I realized he never did say that he cared.  I started getting anxious.

“Why?” I asked myself.  Why is this bothering me so much?

No one cares, my little mind said.  No one REALLY cares about you.  Or they wouldn’t have left you in the driveway.

And, there it was.  My little 2 year old has been suffering for all these years thinking that no one really cared about me.  It started making sense.

I could see my pattern.  When someone that I liked acted like they cared about me I would get really happy.  Euphoric even.  But eventually, something would happen that would kick my “no one cares” into action.  It could be acting annoyed with me, leaving in a hurry, making a face or a negative comment.  I would lose my grounding and get really really needy.  I would need reassurance in order to feel secure.  It was a terrible feeling to feel that pathetic.

And I hadn’t been able to figure out how to stop it before.

I wanted to go back to my friend and ask him if he cared.  But why should I?  He obviously did in some way since we worked out together and he did ask me what was the matter with me.

I decided, instead,  to upgrade my two year old conversation that “no one cares.”

People just have their own lives, just like I do.  If I’m annoyed with someone, it doesn’t mean I don’t care.  I’m just annoyed.

So this is what I decided.  People do care AND they also have their own lives to live.  It’s not always about me.  It doesn’t mean they don’t care.

What do you think about that?  I like it.


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