Years ago, from a psychotherapist I was visting after experiencing a robbery at the place I was working at the time, I received a list of what some might call "instructions", a photocopied sheet that my dr. may have given to all of her patients. It was a list with some interesting suggestions, one of which was to come up with a "mission statement" for your own life, and my previous post triggered it for me.
The mission statement I came up with was that I was going to live my own life, my way, to the end. Meaning, I wasn't going to allow anyone else's view of what I should or should not do in my life, or with my life, colour any of the decisions I was going to make, or any of the things I wanted to be. And so far, I've managed to keep this theme, this mission statement going.
I will admit I've had some meagre bad luck, the first paragraph of this post gives a nod to that (it's not an event I ever give my full headspace to anymore); I've also done alot of growing up to get to where I've gotten to, shedding those unrealistic expectations of what life is supposed to be, and what life may or may not owe me (life owes me exactly nothing); and because of these beliefs of mine, this little credo, I've managed to get through alot more meagre bad luck, to prove, as one very close friend once put it, how resourceful I really am.
Over the last two years, I've had to really monitor the amount of time I spend worrying/obsessing/over-analyzing, and allow myself to really do alot less reacting, alot more observing, and it's allowed me to come to some amazing conclusions about what I call "sorority living." Let me explain.
My sister drives this point home as describing people as "Real". Or "Not Real."
Real means genuine. Real means caring. Real means concern, and real means feeling really happy for others when they have something great happen to them. Real also means feeling the pangs others feel when something goes really really wrong. It means participating in someone's life, if you are there as a friend. It means going the extra mile. It means not keeping score. It means giving that person some slack when they need it.
Not Real. Not so good. It means that you will hear white lies. And, being real, you won't call a person on those white lies. You are generous enough to let them have them. (by the way, you're not doing them any favours.) It continues. It means that you will probably do them alot of favours, ones that they often won't reciprocate. Sometimes, being Real goes hand-in-hand with being a giver. Not real's are often takers. It means un-genuine, un-original behaviour. They will hide behind their own lies, because they are motivated by envy. Not Real's will probably be very jealous of the Real's. The Real's are there, staying the course of their own life, navigating with the truth, and this gives them a clear conscience. The Not Real's don't know WHAT that feels like.
I have recently caught up with some of my very very Real "old" friends, meaning that, we've all been in each other's lives for a long long time, even if we are unable to communicate as frequently as we would like. They each reminded me, each in their own way, how important real-ness is. They are all some of the most real women I know. Genuine, passionate, stubbornly original. I contrast this with some behaviour I've fallen victim to recently, both in my personal and professional life. It doesn't go unnoticed. But, like a Real, I don't call them on it.
Because I don't have to.
They already know what they're like.