When we get to a certain age, our experiences, losses, disappointments and achievements have become part of our personality and who we have become. We all bring in our wounds from the past. How can we not ? It’s called living. The choices we have made have helped to shape our lives.
Most of us, if we have any awareness or insight into ourselves, know our deficits. They’re obvious to us and those closest to us. Hopefully, we have tended to the largest wounds and over time, their scars have lightened.
In fairness, we also know our strengths as equally. I know who I am today, limitations and all. The one thing I know as do my friends, is that I am fiercely loyal. I think I have always been this way. When someone’s in my circle, I go to bat for them every time. Whether it’s a recommendation, a referral, writing a letter, listening, helping to get them a new client, or just a back pat so they know they’re loved, appreciated and worthy of everything good in life, they know I’m there for them.
Those closest to me know my big issues and also know how important the loyalty factor is for me. Lately, I’ve been deeply disappointed and surprised. I think we all look at others through our own eyes. We can’t help otherwise. We can only see the world through our own perspective, so when I don’t feel my loyalty is returned by those I thought would be automatic, I’m hurt, confused and even a bit angry.
I’m beginning to think I’m sometimes loyal to a fault. I think it’s a great quality and only wish more people would work on having some. But at times it’s worked against me and has been a detriment.
You see, when I care about someone, I give them more breaks than they probably deserve. I excuse them. I dismiss my feelings when I feel betrayed. I overlook the idea that they may have had an opportunity to help me and didn’t.
Instead, I tend to look at all the good things about these people and let the forgiveness gene dominate my behavior, when I really should have said, “Hey, what the hell is going on and I thought you were with me.”
Instead of letting the fact that they didn’t have my back sink in, I let it go and told myself it wan’t a big deal. But you know what ? It is a big deal. And they know it is too. If you have a friend who really cares about you and wants the best for you, I believe they would do everything possible to help you, steer you, refer you or guide you towards success, whatever that success may be. It could be in the area of finance, romance, career, or health. It doesn’t matter. You would want it for them. Wouldn’t you ?
I want the people I love to be the best they can be. I want to see them happy, healthy, successful and joyous and if there’s any way I can contribute to any one of those processes, I would. I don’t want to see anyone I care about struggle or in any pain. I don’t do things with the expectations of a quid quo pro, but I always thought it would be an automatic response for friends to want to help friends.
Lately, I’ve been doing a hell of a lot of reevaluation, assessment and soul-searching. I can tell you first hand, it’s not comfortable. I won’t defend myself anymore. I shouldn’t have to at this juncture of life. I won’t get into why I might be more qualified than anyone else, when faced with a particular situation. I do not want to plead my case for who I am today and I won’t. They should already know this.
I think it’s fair to say, we all want to be appreciated, respected and acknowledged for the person we are, our achievements and expertise. The last people I would think to negate these qualities would be friends.
But.. sometimes life has a way of surprising us. People change. Circumstances change and maybe it’s time, after much contemplation, for me to spend more time at bat for myself than for so many others. Where I come from, loyalty isn’t something you should have to think about. It matters. It should be a given. For me it always is.
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First and foremost, I'm a baby boomer and damn proud of it. The ones reading this post survived. Some didn't..We are the generation that crashed through barriers, broke through the norm and made our own rules. We paved the way for others to follow their bliss. One of the largest breakthroughs was probably equal rights and opportunities for women. Thank you Gloria Steinem and Betty Friedan. We burned our bras, well, most of us did. We marched against politics we didn't believe in, staged protests not knowing we could easily be silenced by a bullet, experimented with drugs, meditation and guru's. We traveled with backpacks across the country and throughout the world..We had a voice. We had a choice. We had a mission. We had freedom and we were united. I am a writer, traveler, explorer, observer and participant in life. I am part of the expansion of baby boomers who still believe in the original message of peace and love. Take this journey.with me. Who knows where it will take us next ?
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