I wrote the other day What do you do when friends misunderstand you and don’t want to play anymore? When friends misconstrue what you say, and feel you are coming down on them, being negative, judgmental, feeling superior and being a know it all? YOU LET IT GO. You don’t hang on to it or try to sort it out or rehash it. You let it go. You focus your attention forward on something hopeful and pleasant. You remember it is not your job to fix or educate anyone. You get yourself back in the vortex and move on.
Since I spend half my life counseling people, I blog about it because (1) that’s my process, and (2) so it can be helpful to others who go through the same things. I’ve done it long enough that I recognize the patterns and I know that we are all going through many of the same situations all the time. So many friends email me later thinking I was writing about them, that I made a note on my blog called About Domino. So anytime you think you know who I’m writing about, don’t be surprised if you’re wrong.
I wrote on Facebook the other day: I have butted in, got misunderstood and alienated a friend. Ah, well. I attracted it. A typical Andrea post. Friends tell me they like when I post about “trouble” I have because it makes me seem more “human.” But I don’t just post the good stuff, I post it all, because that’s who I am; I just don’t have lotsa conflict to report. After seeing my post, a friend who took umbrage at something I’d said earlier told me he knew I was “going to write a blog criticizing me because I said something you didn’t like, as you’ve done with people previously, and as you’ve already indicated is in the air by your mentioning it so quickly online in such a negative frame.”
I didn’t know what he meant by “a negative frame.” I simply stated I’d had an experience when I wrote I have butted in, got misunderstood and alienated a friend. Ah, well. I attracted it. To me, “a negative frame” would have been if I had instead written “Tony is an assh*le becuz I’ve told him a million times how to fix his life and he prefers to whine about it and now he’s pissed off at me cuz I told him to start telling a new story if he wants a new life.”
Then he publicly comments why don’t we just “wish each other well on our paths and with our challenges (even if you don’t have any ; )” I replied, “I never said I don’t have challenges, I blog about them all the time. I just perceive them diff I guess.”
That was my first clue that all the years I’d known Tony, he’d not understood me. Challenges come up all the time, even for me, that’s part of life. And I write about them all the time, so he clearly does not read my blog. I just don’t let the challenges throw me, and I sure don’t see them as negative. If I’m travelling down a road and a boulder falls down and blocks my way, I don’t count that as a negative event. It’s simply an event. It doesn’t mean don’t continue on my trip; it might just mean enjoy the excitement of finding an alternative route or while waiting for the boulder moving equipment to arrive. Make use of the time in self reflection.
But you can’t label that a “negative” event. An event is simply an event. Your perception is what makes it negative or positive. I don’t use words like negative or positive for just this reason. But by Tony making his comment about me not having challenges, I realized it went far deeper than what he initially told me he was irked at. I realized he simply did not understand all I was suggesting he do was cut his usual pattern of self talk and shift his perception so he could attract what he says he wants to attract. He took that as coming down on him in a negative, know-it-all response.
I used to really get my feelings hurt when it would happen to me: friends whom I thought for years really understood where I was coming from, suddenly taking a basic belief of mine and perceiving it as a personal attack, then cutting me off because of it. But now I know it’s not about me. Someone can sit across the table and shout calculus at me all day and night for a month, but they can’t make me do the work in my head so I can learn it. I have to do that for myself. I don’t like math but I don’t think doing calculus is negative. It’s what goes on in my own head that matters, and that’s subjective and no one can know that but me.
Albert Einstein said “The single most important decision any of us will ever make is whether or not to believe the universe is friendly.” I learned the universe is a very friendly place once I figured out how it worked. So many times in the past I took things personally and harbored resentments and judgments, because that is how I perceived the world. The result of me seeing the world through that filter is that I was living in a world of struggle and just getting by. I resented that things seem to come more easily to others around me, and when my focus was there, my world was small and aggravating and I barely eeked out a living.
It took me years to see the connection between my beliefs, even beliefs about what karma I’d been born into and what my current dharma might be, and what experiences I attracted to myself. When I got that, I got it slowly. It took many years to change my thoughts around, which I did via daily creative visualization. It was not a fast nor easy process for me. I totally got why someone would have a hard time getting it. I had a hard time getting it.
So what do I do when friends misunderstand me and feel I am coming down on them? When they feel I don’t get where they are? I back away. I realize I am not being a very good teacher if what I say is not clear enough to understand. I write so much because (1) that’s my process and (2) I want everyone to know what I know, since I’ve figured some pretty basic things out, like how to direct focus to achieve goals. It’s a reminder to me to work on learning how to communicate more effectively. I’m grateful for the lesson. It’s my intent to be helpful, not to hurt feelings.
I used to find it easier to just make donations and stick friend’s names on the healing bench. I used to think I was being helpful by paying their bills, until all too often that ultimately caused problems and friendships were lost. Then I began sharing the creative visualization process with them. Then I’d share the importance of the daily practice of programming your inner dialogue. I learned that the few dollars I gave them was nothing compared to what they attracted by doing the daily visualization work. Anyone I’ve ever worked with who does the work gets the results, and there are no exceptions.
Anyone with a website, I always suggest they monetize it, get Paypal and have a donation button as a courtesy to their readers. Then spend daily creative viz time prepaving seeing the Paypal receipts coming in all day long. To not do so is just ignoring free money. I know, it sounds so easy that most people won’t do it, although doing it can change their world. It’s like the man on the roof during the flood who keeps turning away boat after boat and later wonders why God didn’t rescue him. Don’t ask me for suggestions on how to increase income with integrity and spiritual purpose unless you want to do it. I don’t want to waste your time.
A dozen+ friends a month ask me to support their cause. Some actually get resentful when I don’t. I’m always updating and revising who I donate to. I want to do it mindfully, so it means something. I used to write 6 checks a week to the churches/centers I supported. Now it’s down to 3. In their place, this past year I am honored to help support several elderly family members who have worked long, hard lives and raised children who are indifferent to them. I can’t convince them, in their 80’s, that creative viz will begin to improve their lives. I can’t convince them to change their inner self talk. They are used to just thinking whatever comes into their head, and following that thought to its end. They can’t imagine they can control their thoughts and, through that, control what they attract. So I’m honored I am able to work enuff to make enuff $$ to share. It’s one reason I work almost around the clock. Cuz I’m honored and delighted to do it.
And I don’t make excuses for what I have nor what I spend money on. Anyone reading my Facebook posts can figure my grocery and clothing bills. I’m not a big spender by any means but I buy what I want. I don’t downplay how good my life is, being worried that anyone will feel jealous or resentful of it. I don’t even think of things like that. I know that my life is my message and what I can have, anyone can have.
A favorite quote of mine is from Marianne Williamson, taken from Return to Love, often erroneously attributed to Nelson Mandela, who never used it. “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small doesn’t serve the world. There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We are born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us, it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”
Liberated from my fear? I’m scared sh*tless, just as everyone else is. I don’t pretend I’m not. I’ve just learned to deal with it cuz I get so much practice at it, that’s all. I’m still afraid. I just don’t let my fear immobilize me is all. I fake it til I make it.
Sometimes I even convince myself I’m not afraid. Imagine that. But when friends misunderstand, the best thing I can do for all concerned is let it go, move past it and get on with my good life.
As much as I may want them to be included, I can’t piggyback them into a happy future. Believe me, I’ve spent a lifetime trying.
Just how hard is it to make yourself put one foot in front of the other and just do the steps one by one?
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