Recently I have been working on integrating more fully the person who takes a lot of shit from people (often because I understand where they are coming from and because I love them deeply) with the woman who "deserves love."
When I ask myself, "What does the Melissa who deserves love think of this?" the answer is very simple - it is often "BOUNDARIES - no more - I deserve better behavior- if you put up with this you will NOT feel worth loving." When I ask myself, "What does the Melissa who is compassionate think of this." The answer is often, "I understand exactly where they are coming from and I don't take it personally."
But recently I have discovered that I am afraid of being loved - truly being loved... and despite my fears I have the most amazing friends on the planet. And they have loved me. And in loving me they have HEALED ME. And by healing me they have shown me what friends do. They have shown me grace. They have created space in my life for options when dealing with people. And one option is that I don't have to consider badly behaved people friends even if I understand them. And I don't have to give them my FRIENDSHIP and loyalty even if I give them my LOVE. I can simply not take it personally.
But I also have to realize that there is risk and vulnerability when we give and receive love. There is an element of knowing the other person can act badly. Or they can stop being in my life. Or they can get sick. Or they can go away. Or they can misbehave. And so can I. And all of this is what happens when we navigate relationships. Not just romance but REAL people-ness.
What happens when we risk? What happens when I allow my compassion and my self-worth to integrate? Oddly- they work together. Because LOVE - real love - is self-compassionate and knows the value and worth of others. It expects reciprocal relationships and it is kind and it enjoys generosity of spirit. And it attracts joy.
So when people go away, it is a self-limiting function. And it hurts. But it is also ok to grieve losses and say, "I deserve someone who SEEKS ME and would grieve for me if I went away." It is also good to celebrate friendship and pay attention to who is actively in our lives.
I am perhaps not saying this as well as I want because it is tied up in the pain of watching my dad suffer. And I recognize that some things are minimized when we watch people go through illness or when we have gone through illness ourself. Some things just mean more to me. And some things just don't mean as much any more.
My friend V once put it best -- She pointed out that we should Call the people who are calling us... and spend time with the people who seek us out. That too often we think the people who are seeking us out are less valuable and the people who run away from us are MORE valuable because they are hard to get. But this is NOT TRUE. The people who are IN OUR LIVES NOW are the people who deserve our attention.
This goes back to allowing LOVE. Let people love us. And give people attention who deserve it from us. Stop pouring attention into people who repeatedly show us they are unable to reciprocate. Be good. Be kind. Be champions. Reciprocity of love.