Yesterday, I was telling my teenage daughter about having learned to say no to people that weren’t the right fit. I told her there was a time that I would hold on to something that wasn’t right because I was afraid that something better wouldn’t come along. I said, “I realized that this wasn’t very respectful to those people.” She responded with wisdom beyond her earth years by saying, “It wasn’t very respectful to you either.” The truth of that made my heart stir with recognition. I realized how far I’ve come on the journey of respect. I used to spend a lot of time in relationships trying to get people to:
I did this because I didn’t do any of those things for myself. Not so much anymore.
Through therapy, writing, performance, lots of practice, time alone, wise counsel, self-care and good, patient friends, I have learned to honor my own needs enough to learn to honor the needs and truth of others in authentic ways. In ways that don’t take anything away from me.
I feel freed up to hear, see, love, like and know others.
It’s kinda cool and reminds me of this poem by Hafiz:
The warriors tame
The beasts in their past
So that the night’s hoofs
Can no longer break the jeweled vision
In the heart.
The intelligent and the brave
Open every closet in the future and evict
All the mind’s ghosts who have the bad habit
Of barfing everywhere.
For a long time the Universe
Has been germinating in your spine
But only a Pir* has the talent,
the courage to slay
The past-giant, the future-anxieties.
Wisely sits in a circle
With other men
Gathering the strength to unmask
Like a great illumined planet on