When chatting with people they often express the feeling “miss you”. This is a sentiment that in all my years I have never been able to process well. While it is one I can share for others, each time I hear it my brain searches for an ulterior motive. This is foolish I know, but something I’ve done nonetheless for as far back as I can remember.
Why? I ask myself that each time I begin questioning someone’s motivations at what is a seemingly harmless and honest emotion. How can I experience this emotion and yet always question it when expressed by someone else? Why do I hold so little trust in others that I believe they’re trying to pull a fast one, or that they want something from me?
Just thinking of it now raises more questions then it does answers for me. It has taken me a lot of years to trust in people, to learn to take their honesty at face value and accept the truth they share with me. Trust is something that is earned, and despite there being a number of people who have earned their weight, I still question. What did they mean by that, what do they want, why am I all of the sudden uncomfortable and on edge?
That’s the other piece of this question that infuriates me. My brain doesn’t simply question their motives, my physiological response is to send my body into fight or flight. I feel uncomfortable and don’t know how to respond. Without knowing their motivation I fear that a similar, albeit sometimes true, response will garner a path down a slippery slope I’m more comfortable circumventing.
When did this come into place, when did I start to question people. Does one liar in life really taint the water for everyone else? I’d like to think not but experience has me questioning that as well. My brain wonders if this feeling came up when I started dating, learning very early on that ‘miss you’ didn’t mean my sense of humour or intelligence. Again one bad apple turning the bushel rotten.
I’ve realized over the years, perhaps as I get a little older and a little wiser, that I had pretty terrible boundaries in my early years. Being a people pleaser, a yes woman, a perfectionist overachiever. This I believe helped to fuel my fire of mistrust because when people did approach me it was to ask for something, all because I would never say no. Or when I asked about them and they shared a problem I went out of my way to fix it, I hated to see people in any form of pain. Needless to say for a lot of years I took on everyone’s issues as my own, invested too much of myself and had a bit of a ‘saviour complex’.
At the time I thought was being a good and responsible person, I never realized that I was hurting myself long term. It took many years, and the end of some relationships with toxic people in my life, for me to value myself and my well being enough to say no. For me to recognize that I couldn’t fix everything for everyone, and that sometimes I had to remove myself from situations and people that were always in need of something.
It took time for me to be okay with things going wrong, for me to learn that even if I could control everything sometimes it wasn’t healthy for me to do it. With patience and practice though I have learned, and it’s become much easier. It has also been more rewarding to have people in my life with respectful and healthy boundaries, people who can say no to me when I forget life lessons and try to help too much. People who can hear no from me and don’t disappear from my life.
These humans I cherish dearly. I understand that their love isn’t unconditional, but it is always respectful. Their opinions are honest, coming from a place of light and love even if the words sting sometimes. Friends who understand when I disappear from life for a while that still check in and say hi. People with busy, full lives that still reach out to me when they want to share a win or need a shoulder to cry on, or simply thought of me that day and wanted to say hi.
My life has greatly improved and been enriched the smaller my circle has gotten. These people are my family, no matter where they came into my life, all because they are themselves and they treat me how they wish to be treated with kindness and respect, love and gratitude. It’s the Aloha mindset…
Aloha also means love, compassion, kindness and grace
Has this appreciation for the people in my life changed my feelings on being missed, well unfortunately that answer is not really. For now my mind continues to question motives and make greater meaning out of simple things, but I’m learning and will get better with this. Just as I have gotten better with so many other things.
It turns out saying no is what has made me a good and responsible person, having boundaries and knowing my self worth has made me these things. Not chasing around to make sure everyone was okay all the time. Learning to sit and comfort a grieving friend because that is all that can be done, it can’t be fixed, that is enough. Understanding you can’t undo someone’s past but you can make their present a brighter place.
Knowing that I’m a little too honest and that ‘miss you’ means something entirely different to me than it does to others. Learning that its okay to be uncomfortable and that I’m under no obligation to respond in kind to those whose motivations aren’t as subtle as they think.
At the end of the day I just have to remember its important not to believe everything I think, and sometimes lead with my heart instead of my head.