You might love to hike and I might not. Your love of hiking doesn’t affect my life in any way, unless you’re wearing muddy hiking shoes in my house–now we have a problem.
And even then, the problem isn’t your hiking. It’s in the mess your hiking shoes make–the skid marks and tracks of dirt they leave behind.
And if I ask you to remove your hiking shoes before entering my home, I expect you to respect that and take them off. I don’t expect you to become offended and assume I have a problem with you as a person or the fact that you love to hike.
If you fail to respect my boundaries, I will stop inviting you into my home. The problem is still not about your hiking, it’s about your unwillingness to show respect and care.
Even still, I love you no less. Your love of hiking is still not an issue. You just can’t be in my home. We can meet outdoors. I might even join you on a hike here and there. The dynamic of our relationship has changed. How, when and where I relate to you has changed. My love for you has not.
We won’t be happy about every choice a person makes. Why do we allow ourselves to get bent out of shape about it if it isn’t affecting us directly?
People won’t be happy with every choice we make. Why do we allow ourselves to be influenced by their opinions and moods?
People have rules of engagement. These rules may change according to the subject. It’s not your job to decide what my rules of engagement should be and vice versa. If we can’t agree on the rules, we are allowed to disengage.
I’ve reached a point in my life where my peace of mind comes before everyone and everything. It wasn’t always like that. Fear of abandonment and rejection coaxed me into fostering relationships with people I loved but didn’t like–people with rules of engagement I felt inclined to abide by at the expense of my own.
I don’t care about pissing people off anymore. I don’t care if they’re angry because I don’t want to play their games. I won’t even defend or justify disengaging. I don’t care about being right. I care about being happy. I care about my freedom, and yours.
I believe in abundance. I believe there is no shortage of love to go around. I’m not hell bent on squeezing water from dry sponges and crying about being thirsty. I believe that all relationships are eternal from a spiritual perspective. But on the physical plane, people come and go. We play with people for a little while, and when it’s no longer fun, it’s OK to leave their sandbox. Shortage consciousness of any kind is an illusion. What I can’t or won’t give you, feel free to get elsewhere, and I’ll do the same. But if you don’t try to force me to love hiking if I don’t; if you don’t track your mud into my home; and, if I don’t try to force you to stop hiking because I don’t like it, we’ll be good.