The other day I had a little tantrum.
I know its hard to believe. (ha ha).
It was on the inside.
A friend told me how she was cutting someone else we both knew out of her life.
Like going on a gluten-free diet, she was going on a diet eliminating this other friend (someone I knew, but barely).
I said nothing.
My first reaction….A little nervous, but justifying the idea quickly.
Everyone gets to hang out with whomever they want to hang out with. People do that to each other all the time, right?
Who am I to say “you shouldn’t cut someone out of your life, you should use your irritation as an opportunity to connect, resolve something, learn something about yourself, work it out with this other person.”
But I noticed on the inside, I was thinking these things.
I remembered I had another friend once….
….who really reminds me of this current friend come to think of it….
….who was queen of chopping people out of her life.
And then she chopped ME out of her life one day.
At the time, I felt shocked.
But I suppose it wasn’t all that surprising since that’s what she did when she was threatened, or nervous, or unhappy with someone, or felt judged or rejected.
Oh boy, though.
I could feel the inner turmoil that showed it was time for me to do The Work.
“She shouldn’t kick someone out of her life”.
Is that true?
Yes! Of course its true! It’s mean, abrasive, attacking, and clickish!
Um. OK….come on back to inquiry now.
Are you sure? Is it absolutely true she shouldn’t kick someone out?
No. There’s a time and place for no contact occasionally with people. It seems to work better, or be the only solution for awhile.
Like baking soda and vinegar, sometimes two things together make for an explosion.
How did I react when I believed that thought?
As I considered this, I realized I held back my own opinion. I was terrified of being kicked out myself. I smiled fake-ish. I judged her without telling her.
I wasn’t real!
Wow, that all happened so fast, I almost didn’t catch how my own anger and irritation and judgment actually covered over fear.
Fear of rejection.
So who would I be without the belief that she shouldn’t kick people out of her life?
An amazing answer came forward, after contemplating this question.
I’d speak up.
I’d say, “Wow….that’s a big step. I feel a little frightened of the whole kicking-out-cutting-off thing you’re telling me about. I feel sad hearing this news. I feel like pulling away from you, I’m feeling uncomfortable. I’m anxious about being rejected myself.”
I turned the thought around: she should kick someone out of her life.
Well, that’s what she was doing. It really was her business.
But more importantly, I shouldn’t kick HER out of my life.
Which is what I was doing when I didn’t speak up, and let her know I felt uncomfortable about her report. Maybe if I spoke up, there would have been a greater opportunity for resolve, or understanding.
Another turnaround: I shouldn’t kick myself out of my life.
I’ve done this over and over again.
But especially sitting there in that moment with my friend, who I really do love, I didn’t share my true self, my true regrets and concerns about her plan.
I went right along with what appeared to be the easy way, and kicked out a real part of me feeling worried about rejection.
Now….I know a conversation I need to have soon….to connect, show up, stay in contact, express how I really felt then and feel now.
“How do you react when you think you need people’s love? Do you become a slave for their approval? Do you live an inauthentic life because you can’t bear the thought that they might disapprove of you? Do you try to figure out how they would like you to be, and then try to become that, like a chameleon? In fact, you never really get their love. You turn into someone you aren’t, and then when they say “I love you,” you can’t believe it, because they’re loving a facade. They’re loving someone who doesn’t even exist, the person you’re pretending to be. It’s difficult to seek other people’s love. It’s deadly. In seeking it, you lose what is genuine. This is the prison we create for ourselves as we seek what we already have.” ~ Byron Katie