I’ve written before about a teacher whose class I was enrolled during my High School career. His message I understood was to surround yourself with people who are going to benefit you. Upon reflection, I realize that perhaps I misunderstood what he meant or at least what he intended with what he said. The way that I understood his message is, generally speaking, the way that I chose to live: deflecting people who have no value in benefiting me or my life.
Wait a minute let’s take a step back for a minute because that’s not entirely true; I’m not that bad… However, part of who I am is someone who has purposefully not allowed other people to get close to him. In that, I have led most of my life being guarded and that certainly hasn’t allowed me much long-term happiness. I gain happiness from interacting with others, but not showing my “soft underbelly”. Interacting with others, I gain happiness from conversations, from stories; telling and listening, from telling jokes and just being around people.
As I get older I realize this, misinterpretation of my teacher’s message, is not sustainable. As I get older I realize that I need more. As I get older I reflect upon being someone who has lived an independent life and not “needed“ much from anyone; letting down my guard has been difficult.
It is difficult for me to “let people in“ and be vulnerable to others, even people who I love. In my post “Learning to Love”, I expressed that I learned how important it is for myself to be vulnerable, to truly love. I have learned that it is necessary for me to share with and take from others how the world affects each of us.
We all need to be there for anyone who needs it and resist the urge to point fingers at those who look, sound, act, or think differently than ourselves. We need not to levitate ourselves to a point where we cannot hear or see what and how others are experiencing the world. Allow yourself to be vulnerable and trust that by being honest hope that others will respect the person you are and not seek to destroy the person who they think you are by understanding that the world exists not because of one person but for the service of all.