Though I can be self-centered, stubborn, and mischievous at times, I am generally a quiet, humble, helpful person. I have the inborn gift of a sensitivity to the desires and emotional states of others, and I try to use that gift to do good. I like to help people make connections – to show them new perspectives that might help them achieve their goals.
What can I say? I’m the daughter of a social worker and a psychologist…
Anyway, my point is that, generally, people find me approachable and just plain nice.
Sometimes too nice.
I’ve actually been told, multiple times, by different people: “you’re too nice.”
What does this mean?!
It’s not a compliment. It’s a warning.
Some people think that they need to remind me about dangerous people and they games they play.
Unfortunately, I am not so naive. I know that people can be cruel and selfish. That gift of intuition, it shows me the bad in people too.
And I’ve lived through many hardships: I’ve been hurt and abused. I’ve suffered traumatic losses. And I’ve fought my way back to myself and to peace over and over again.
And yet, I can still be nice. I can be trusting. I can honor and hold an optimistic outlook.
When we suffer we often have two choices: try to learn and keep moving forward, or dwell and become bitter.
We’ve all seen people who have cut themselves off from joy because of some long-ago inflicted pain.
Fear is the true culprit here.
If you fall in love and your lover hurts you. What do you do? What if the pain was so bad, the worst you’ve ever felt? Wouldn’t you want to protect yourself from feeling that again? Should you choose to never love, to never trust, again?
You’d pick up the pieces, try to figure out how to do it better next time, and get back out there. There is always another opportunity to find joy in this life.
Is the pain worth the gain? Who knows? It is up to each person to make their own rules about how to live their own life.
But for me, the key is to trust myself. I know that pain and failure are inevitable, but so is joy.
You can’t have one without the other.
If you choose to shut out pain, you lose out on all the good stuff that comes with it.
And these thoughts, they don’t feel so naive.