I’m seeking advice. Maybe.
I’ve heard before that when lessons aren’t learned as they present, they’re due to repeat until they sink in. Given that I believe in the concepts of karma and reincarnation, I can only assume as much is true. And since what I’m about to write about is something that visits and revisits me, I’ll go ahead and assume there’s a lesson I’m not learning as I should. Dear reader, please advise.
So… Where to begin? Allow me to set the backdrop for what’s in my head.
A characteristic of life is change, right? It’s been said that, in life, change is the only constant. People, being part of the cycles of life, are naturally creatures who’re inseparable from this. Further, being as much a part of these cycles as anyone else, it’s reasonable to assume that change will also occur within my own existence, too. Fine. Additionally, I think it’s safe to assume that in my early days I was rather typical. Don’t get me wrong: I was atypical in most ways. But in plenty ways enough, I was like any other guy of my age group. The point I’d like to make is that who I might once have been isn’t who I am currently, and the same can be said of who I am currently in regard to who I will be.
Here’s the catch: Whether you understand this phenomenon or not, if you’ve known me for as long some people have (I’m talking like 15years and 8years), you should understand that who I might have been isn’t entirely who I am. Better yet, whether you knew who I was, or not, after 8-15 years you should definitely know who I am. Ideally, you should also be changing in your own way, as necessitated by your own karmas and life circumstances-the implication being that you also are developing along the way and learning lessons.
With all of this stuff in mind, especially all the factors mentioned immediately above as “catches,” how is it possible that folks who have known me for 15 years and for 8 years can be so mistaken on their understanding of why I do one thing or another.
A recent example of this has to do with a dear friend of mine planning a vacation which involved a multi-day visit to out of state friends and a round-trip ticket there and back. When this friend mentioned these plans to me, my initial response was to ask why and whether this is possible or even smart right now. Truthfully, my response was such because not two weeks prior, the same friend was having a real crisis in his living room, which centered around a number of things –most of which could be traced back to money problems. Apparently, when my response was anything other than jumping up and down squealing in delight, he was disappointed and brought this disappointment to a mutual friend who advised him that I wasn’t enthusiastic because I had no control over any of it. Nice.
Later on, when the first friend mentioned this response to me, I tried reminding him of the reasoning which applied all along: In one breath I was told there’s not even money enough for daily living, and in the next breath I’m told of a round-trip flight to the shore. As a caretaker sort of personality (NOT the same as parental), and having been the one doing the consoling during the recent crisis, of course I’d question this. Further, it makes no sense to suspect me of desiring control over whether someone else’s vacation takes place or not because my life remains entirely unaffected either way. I neither lose nor gain anything, regardless.
And so you have it… One person who, next to my own family, should know me better than anyone else on this planet and another who’s not only a parent but also has had enough life experiences to be able to tell up from down. Still, neither of them seems to understand someone they’ve each known well for 15 years and 8 years, respectively.
Being misunderstood isn’t the end of the world. In fact, it’s been a minor theme in my life and it’s been partial impetus for why I enjoy writing and wordsmith-er-ing and studying languages, cultures, and religions. It’s all about communication and understanding and personal development.
While it isn’t the end of the world, it’s painful. But maybe that’s because I expect more from the ones I love? Is that the lesson I’ve repeatedly failed to learn? Maybe I’ll abandon any value found in challenging others to grow and develop. I’ve actually mentioned this notion before and the answer I met with was something to the effect of, “Don’t withdrawal! Some of us need you to do and say what you do!” I remain unconvinced of this, however, and the whole thing is proving quite painful for me. What lesson am I missing that calls for this repeat?