Sometimes people are feeling negative in life, and that’s ok. That is normal and natural. Sometimes people do not trust other people. Again, normal and natural. I have gone through any number of stages of the above emotions. Recently, through a lot of self discovery and realizing some things I was avoiding, I realized I was avoiding facing that there were things I did not like about myself. There were parts of myself, I did not trust. I realized, if I could not trust me, the only real lens through which I see the world, how could I trust or like anything or anyone fully? Were my experience and relationships with my loved ones dulled by my own feelings of inadequacies? I think so. The details of what I mean by this are varied, complex and interwoven. I write in my post http://amermaidnameded.com/2014/04/10/on-forgiveness/ about a sense of grief I felt when facing difficult emotions. One of the things I was grieving was coming to terms with the fact that I was not perfect, that I make mistakes, and yes (sigh) that I have caused others pain. Through facing this, a shift came. Once I had enough self-compassion to allow for mistakes in myself and understand where they came from, my ability to trust my world around me also changed. I don’t exactly want to say it increased, per se. I still know people can be mean, and have pain and make mistakes, but in the same way that my expectations of perfection from myself have changed, so have my expectations of others. I am now more able to simply enjoy getting to know someone.
I recently read something related to the idea that the way people see the world has a lot to do with the way people see the themselves. Perhaps, this is one of the reasons I enjoy doing small acts of kindness. I can experience and see the difference they make. If I can see myself as an agent of good for others, I am also reestablishing, in my mind and heart, that good truly exists in the world. It’s completely ok to enjoy feeling good about doing good, by the way. It is one of the beautiful things that makes us human. It is what brings us together. It is empathy. There is another saying about in order to love someone else, you must first love yourself. I have mixed feelings on this. As I think loving oneself if often so much harder than loving someone else. If this saying was 100% true, then there would be a lot of unloved people out there, because I see a lot of people having a hard time with self-love these days. In addition, it is sometimes the unconditional love of someone else that drags us out of the dark and into the light. This is the power of love. However, I have experienced the profound effect self-love can have on the love for someone else. I have seen how loving myself has deepened many of my relationships, and for that I am truly grateful. I think a lot of what I am talking about in this post can vary from person to person. However, the need to ask these types of questions to ourselves seems to be something we all share.
Side note: I also think when reading quotes or someone else’s words, it can be interesting to really ponder them. Try them on like a hat. How does that quote feel to you? So often we take other people’s words as fact or think because they seem deep or profound that they must also be true for us(the reader), but a deeper experience can be had if we jump into them and explore them through our own personal lens. Trust yourself.