I Love You But I Don’t Like You
I have a few powerful memories. They are memories where something happened and something in me changed. I’m speaking about big sweeping internal changes to my direction and focus, all internal, and mostly invisible on the surface. They are still vivid memories today like touchstones on my timeline, that I can tap and relive. Sometimes that happens on purpose but sometimes, some innocuous thing or event can activate them and have them pour unbidden into my present awareness.
I have this thing where sometimes I process a thought or idea out loud. I do it in conversation around people I can trust with this but also sometimes when I’m writing. I just get up and start talking out loud, imagining someone is there to have the dialog with. Sometimes there are real people there to see it happen and look at me strangely. On one such occasion, I was experiencing an ongoing problem with relating to and with my family. This had been a problem for as long as I could remember and I won’t get into the details of it here but I remember saying to my friend at the time. “Sometimes I wish I could disconnect from my family. I can’t disown them can I?” My friend said, “Can you?” BOOM! Right after that, I realized I could where before it was either impossible or an alien concept. It changed everything. I never did disown my family but I was granted the ability to say no and mean it, and walk away from foolishness, even in mid-conversation. I was changed.
These days, and this year especially for some reason, I have been called upon to look closely at the relationships I have and their value to me. This is not about casting people out and disowning them. It is about the energy I put into them and what I want and expect in return. More and more I am finding that for some relationships, it is not worth it despite my great love for the people in them. To that end, I have been disconnecting, more just pulling away, and taking people and relationships out of my daily, weekly, and monthly conscious thinking. This is not to say that these people are in any way bad, wrong, or have some other negative attribute. It’s just that they don’t fit in the world I am building for myself and in fact the relationships I had been having with them harm and frustrate it.
Other people don’t have to change just because it would be easier for me. It would be selfish, self-centered, arrogant, etc to even request such a thing. I don’t think real friends would do that. I remember one friend saying that they just wanted to be loved unconditionally and I took that to heart. Where I landed is, “I do love you and always will without condition…but I don’t like you and don’t enjoy this relationship very much so I’m not going to hang out with you.” I’m still available for catching up and reminiscing and if something happens when you really really need me but outside of those instances; out of sight, out of mind. I am moving forward on my plan and path, managing my happiness and fulfillment, and working to live my life the way I was designed to live it at a level and intensity that tickles me, scares me, and grants me the greatest joy. I release you and if you choose not to take part in my journey, I understand, accept, and honor your choice. Moving forward I seek to only put relationships, conversations, and adventures on my calendar that empower, enrich, and entertain me in a way that I eagerly look forward to them. Whatever that may mean to you, know that I wish you well.