We drift through life trying to learn who we are. We define our likes, our dislikes. We evolve ourselves to try and identify with a particular group. Somewhere on our quest to be our unique selves we lose ourselves. We become consumed with the need to maintain relationships and ensuring that bonds aren’t broken. We hide what we think or how we feel to avoid creating ripples in the water. We focus on the short-term relationship and fail to realize that we’ve compromised so much of who we are that the relationships in our lives have become artificial.
Over the past year, I spent a lot of time analyzing the relationships in my life, and decided to do a looking glass analysis of my life and conducted a couple of experiments. The lessons I learned are invaluable to me and will leave me with an ever changed person.
The first test I conducted was to not call anyone and see whose numbers appeared on my caller display. What an eye opener. People I thought would call never did. People I didn’t expect to hear from became prominent in my life. I learned that the people I held in high regards didn’t deserve it, and those I took for granted valued me. I started to re-prioritize the people in my life. It was a difficult process, but I’m a strong person.
The second test I conducted was to tell people how I felt. I didn’t hide my feelings about situations like I did in the past. I voluntarily shared my thoughts. Why should I have to hide how I feel? If people choose to be in my life, they should respect me enough to understand my feelings and thoughts. If they fail to take the opportunity to appreciate me, it’s their loss. The results of this test were astounding, but I am grateful for my strength. Opening up myself to hurt, it’s sad to say that after conducting my first test, I had accurately predicted the results.
Always afraid to leave myself open to hurt, I learned something about myself through this process. I’m not made of glass. It doesn’t matter how much venom is sent in my direction, I can overcome it. Through conducting this, at the time torturous experiment, I was able to create a richer life for myself. I know that when I pick up the phone to call someone, that the person on the other side of the receiver deserves to be there. I don’t have artificial relationships or relationships of convenience, they are real. They are great. Hopefully going forward they will simultaneously grow with me.