I'm sitting at the library with my kids. I haven't posted in a while, mostly because it's summer and I've both been reading a lot and playing at the pool. I mean, does it get any better then that?!
I have not been thinking about my book at all, instead I've been thinking a lot about perceptions. I don't know where I heard it or saw it but the gist of this sentiment is that you are a different person for every person who knows you. The YOU that you think you know doesn't actually exist for anyone else, nor the you that your best friend knows, or your parents, or each parent individually. You are hundreds of different people, depending on who you interact with.
Have I already talked about this? This feels like something I've talked about before but it's mind blowing to me.
The truth is that despite not wanting or needing for anything, and that's a great feeling to finally have in life, life is still hard because relationships are unpredictable. How long have I known any of the people in my life? And yet some of the closest people to me feel like strangers sometimes. How is that?
We never truly know each other.
Life has been a little difficult lately because of this. I don't want to beat around the bush but I also don't want to be as blunt as I normally am to save anyone from embarrassment.
I feel that I am surrounded by strangers.
People who don't know people who don't know people...
When once I was feeling secure, now I'm not so sure, both thanks to this sentiment and things that have gone down recently, but let me reassure you that I'm OK.
Perceptions are just tricky because perceptions are in OUR head. You can't see me the way I wish you could because of all that you have both lived through and come to believe in. You see me in the light and filters you've set in front of yourself. I can not change those perceptions, not for you or for anyone, and no one can for me. I have my own filters that color how I view another person. Every little daily thing that I live through makes my perceptions shift, and every new encounter we have makes me see you in a slightly different light.
We often wear masks with one another, we are like chameleons this way. We shift our behavior based on who we are around and cater to what we perceive to be their need from us. Sometimes we do this consciously while other times it's subconscious. That adds more complicated layers to our interactions and others perceptions of who we are.
This isn't a right or wrong scenario, but it was mind blowing enough to me that I really felt like sharing the seriousness of this. If we could accept that people have perceptions outside of who we are, could we not then accept them and support them better?
This always come back to support, and oh yeah, that's what I meant to write about when I sat down to write. I'll talk about support until the day I die, because as perceptions go no one understands how to properly support each other. If only we could, we wouldn't live in this backwards world that we live in but will it ever be possible? I feel that we are becoming less tolerant with one another as time marches forward and society progresses and we are ever more connected and all watching the world burn together.
I'm going to use my mother as my example here.
She hurt me, emotionally, sometimes physically, and really she just acted like a giant toddler not getting her way a lot of the time.
Ugh, that sucks. She sucks. Why does she do this to me?! I need out! I can't do this!
But... what I never thought about was, and that's a lie I did think about it, but you hit a limit where however you can help is not enough, never will be enough and you want out, but my point is what I didn't spend enough time thinking about was how to support her in the ways she needed. Let's underscore HER and SHE.
There's a lot on the surface that feels wrong and those are the problems that we constantly face, but if we could get over the surface problems, or under them as it were, we could actually start being what another person needs in terms of support.
Mom needed a lot but she was constantly pushing people's buttons in such a way that no one knew how to be around her. How to deal with her. All we saw was surface Mom, never what was below that horrible behavior.
I'm now in a similar situation (aren't we all?) when I never expected to be in a situation like that again. It's not as bad, thank goodness, but we are all hurting and no one knows what to do!
Because we make assumptions about what another person is feeling or needing.
To this I say: STOP IT. Stop guessing, and ask. Simple right?!
I wish more people would ask.
Not me, but the people around you (that might include me). If you find yourself saying "I'm not going to bother them for such and such reason" get off your butt and bother them. You don't know if they need to be bothered or not?! And I've encountered dozens of situations, hundreds maybe, where, when I reached out and said "I'm going to bug you, is that OK?" every single time they appreciated it.
So, people, go bug your people. Please. You don't know them, stop thinking that you do.
I know I'm a little cranky lately, you'll have to just forgive me for that and understand that I have my own reasons that you can't see for being like this.
There's a little girl here in the library yelling at another little girl named Alyse and it's starting to confuse me. Hahaha.