07 January, 2008

Every challenge an opportunity.

I received an email from a former friend. This person was detrimental in helping me to realize my potential a long time ago. Unfortunately we had somekind of a falling out; resulting from what I can determine to be personality conflicts. People come in and out of my life for a reason and she was really important to me when I needed her support and knowledge and “don’t take any shit” attitude. Once I developed a stronger personality, I changed…she didn’t. I really do not know what the final straw was, but only that she choose to end our friendship, and never being one to chase after another, I accepted it. The email I received was so shocking and completely out-of-the-blue that after reading it twice, I deleted it and blocked her address. It has been almost 4 years since our parting of ways, but she continues to carry around an abundance of unnecessary negativity, not only for me but for life in general. This is a woman who has the intelligence, street smarts, and skills to have anything she wants out of life, but instead uses problems from her past (real and imagined) to lead a life fueled by hatred. I always imagined her happy and fulfilling her dreams; instead the opposite is happening. My emotional internal reaction to her email surprised me. Not one ill feeling entered my mind, only compassion and I realized at that moment how much I have grown as a human being. Instead of pissy feelings, a deep sadness overcame me and I could only pray that she finds something to change her attitude and outlook on life.

My parents sent me a graduation card stating “every dream a possibility, every day an adventure, every challenge an opportunity”. These are my new favorite sayings and I apply them earnestly. Her email challenged me to send back a rebuttal, but instead I took the opportunity to send her positive energy wishes. Wow, I have come a long way! There was a time when I would have tried to reconcile; the thought that someone didn’t like me used to eat at me…my ego was large and controlled my life. What I thought of myself was dictated by what others thought of me; or how they perceived me to be. Consider the difference between one person’s thoughts about something and what people as a whole think. The wife of my very first love hates me. I have not been with this man (her husband) since I was 19 years old, nonetheless, if she saw my face, she would probably want to throw a beer bottle at me like she did 20 years ago. Think of all that pent up unnecessary anger that has a found a place in her heart; the ridiculous jealousy she has towards my first experiment with love. In the past, I have explained my position to friends knowing that word would get back to her; my fruitless attempts to reconcile with the wife. Why did I feel the need to do this? The overall picture of my life includes hundreds of people who were positively touched by contact with me (and most importantly, vice versa). A couple of people who think differently does not mean I am a bad person, it only means that they themselves have a problem, which in the end has nothing to do with me; they have deeper issues to deal with.

It took me a long time to realize that what others think of me is not nearly as important as what I think of myself. I love myself now! This is not a conceited or selfish emotion; it is one derived from years of looking into the mirror and trying to see the me that is not visible in the reflection. The true reflection of who I am is not dependant on what clothes I put on, when I showered last or whether I wear my glasses or contacts. Physically, I guess people would think I look unkempt, or “like shit”. I do not wash my hair everyday, or even every other day (it’s winter, I wear a hat), I wear the same clothes for about a week (it’s winter, I do not sweat), and makeup has not seen my face for over a year.

I am who I am.

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