I Don't Have to Like YouI'm not kidding or exaggerating when I write this. A couple of weeks ago I had a thought that has revolutionized my life. Hahaha! Really, it did, sort of.
All of my life I've wanted to like most everyone. I mean everyone who is actively a part of my life. Not talking about strangers, no problem not liking them sometimes. But, the more intimate the relationship, the more I NEEDED to like you. Neighbors, coworkers, friends, to family. I like things to be peaceful, and right, and happy, and steady. I like jolly times and laughter and everyone getting along. I like you to be the perfect person I want you to be.
And over the years, people sometimes, well, kind of suck (!) Even the Most Revered ones. For whatever reason. Maybe they're old and cranky. Maybe they're going through their own things. Maybe they just, well, kind of suck.
There are a couple of fairly close extended family members who I used to basically worship. Especially as a child and teenager. They were a part of my "perfect family" fantasy. But over the last five to ten years (yep, that long), either they've changed, or I've changed. Grouchy, selfish, blech. And it really broke my silly little heart. I wanted to like them, for so long. That missing closeness, bond, just ate away at me. I wondered if it was me, if it was the planets, if it was some slight that happened eons ago.
And a couple of weeks ago, I realized, I. Don't. Have. To. Like. Them.
I still love them. I always will. But I don't have to like them. I don't have to try to make our relationship what it used to be. I can just accept that things are different, they are different, I am different, and that is that.
And my gosh it is awesome! It just makes things so much easier. You want to talk, play a game, skip around the yard? Cool, I'd love to! You want to sit at your house and not even say hello? Cool! Maybe next time.
I don't know. I hope that makes sense. It does to me. The principles kind of match those in the Serenity Prayer. Why'd it take me thirtysomething years to figure this out? Who knows? But man, I sure do feel a little wiser and lot more free.