Analytics and statistics certainly have their place in life but what about when it comes to people? Recently I have been noticing how much I analyze people and then stick them into “neatly arranged categories”. For instance I have one person who entered my life recently and I stuck them in the “do not over share and be careful category.”
Whereas someone else recently entered as well and I swear sometimes I feel like I should tell “them” absolutely everything about me. Not that I am all that interesting and I’m sure they don’t really want/need to know all that mess! Although, I believe there might be some common ground and perhaps learning opportunities within that dynamic.
At times, I think of people in my life as a game of Stratego; with the ultimate objective of not getting blown up. In addition, the set up is to line up all pieces in front of the player and cross to the other side without running into the opponents’ bombs. I’m not convinced this is a “fantastic way to ‘do life’”.
What really brought this all crashing down on me was watching an independent film called “Lives Well Lived” in conjunction with another conversation about “trust”, where I stated rather blatantly that I tend not to trust people. In hindsight, I think that was perhaps a little over reactive and said it more for the impact value rather than being an entirely factual statement. In the moment, I was thinking about a specific person, and not even the people with whom I was speaking!
The other part of this equation comes from two different perspectives. I was walking through Lowe’s the other day continuing on a previous thought about “how we’re all just people and at the end of the day, what do we really have to fear about each other?”
This, and a couple of other friends who too have become a part of my life in different intervals yet the impact they have made in my life is like the many different footprints in the sand in front of me. Each step we take together makes another and a different imprint on me. For instance, their gift of welcome, help and hospitality makes me stand with my head cocked to one side and wonder “how…how can I quit looking for bombs and welcome people with literal open arms?” I believe, this is in part where a fabulous piece of advice comes into play, I was told by a great friend of mine, “You need to trust our friendship…” not only hers, but that of others as well. I need not look for that to distrust and dismantle, rather that upon which to build – perhaps that is the real reason why I was walking thru Lowe’s!
Looking at the lives cast on film, contrasting them with mine, and the conversation from this afternoon where one said “despite all the wrong that has been done to me, I choose to give people the benefit of the doubt”…
Looking once again at a person I used to admire and want to be like – how I see them now as a wilted flower who is often looking for the “criminal element” of people, the government and other entities, I see this not as a life well lived, but as an opportunity to shine a bit of light where I can and yet embrace what was once so good about them and maybe even help them to see it (again) too
One thing I have learned recently was how I had let myself become lost in others and their expectations …” Sometimes I feel like I’m standing alone in the world for the first time. Other days, I’m confident in what I know and who I am; if you’re a part of me, and this awakening, please give me a little time and one day soon, I will be standing in the middle of the teeter totter dancing with my community – arms wide open!