being yourself even when it’s really hard and people don’t like it

For about the past month I’ve been trying to figure out why some of my relationships have been suffering and slowly falling apart. I don’t know if I can truthfully say conflict, because I haven’t been mad, but they’ve sure been mad at me. And the funny thing is they keep accusing me of being mad. Which has been really confusing.

I’ve tried to figure out the root of the problem, like what they’re actually upset at, because the things that they are claiming to be upset over are so minuscule and insignificant, that how could someone really be that mad at something that small for that long. To be fair, I guess you can be however mad for however long, no matter the issue. But it’s just seemed to me that something deeper was the real cause of the issue.

I know I can’t ever understand exactly how another person is feeling or why, but I try to guess so that I can have a better understanding for what the situation may feel like to them. I’ve tried and tried and I still couldn’t understand.

This whole time I’ve tried not to obsess, and just keep living my life, and stay open and ready if any answers happened to come my way. The funny things is it’s been one of the best months of my life! Which seems counterintuitive with everything that’s been going on.

I’ve been feeling the need for seclusion, so instead of socializing I’ve been hanging out with my son, reading a lot of books, and doing a lot of inner work. I love it! Ever since I really started to get to know myself and spend time with myself, I really enjoy my own company. Self love has been a difficult thing to practice, but I get better at it every day. And the more self love I’ve developed the more empathy I’ve been able to find for other people. We all have our own shit we’re dealing with and doing our best to make it through.

Anyways, after a lot of quiet contemplation and seeking I’ve realized that the number one reason why people are mad at you, is because you aren’t being who they expect you to be. We all do it. Love is conditional for most of us, and unless the people we love are fitting into our idea of how they should act, we don’t accept them and we push them away and we become angry and then we blame it all on them.

Growing up I dealt with that in my family a lot, because who I was and who they wanted me to be are two totally different people. It’s taken a lifetime, but choosing who I want to be and following that path has been, and still is a very painful process. I think that’s why so many of us choose to not do it. Or put on an act for the people we love and never show them who we really are.

When I’m scared of making a big change I always think back to that quote that says something like you’ll continue living the same way until the misery finally becomes too much and only then will you change. I think it’s that way with following our hearts too. We so want to be loved and accepted, especially by our families and partners and friends, that we continue to live a life not our own to feel the false security of their support.

It’s the hardest thing in the world for someone you love to withdraw that love because they don’t agree with how you choose to live your life. It’s a painful wound that might never heal, but what I’ve come to realize is that the pain of not living as your authentic self is so much worse. And if those people are really meant to be in your life, they will be. Life is too short to surround yourself with people who don’t want the best for you, even thought it may not be what they had envisioned.

photo by Miesh Photography