Accepting Kindness

I was thinking last night about those people you meet who seem to be important in some kind of fateful way.  Like you are supposed to learn something from them.

That always fucks with me, that feeling, because I don’t believe in fate, at least not fate in that way.  I don’t believe there is some predetermined path we all must walk.

I do believe the path we walk ends up being determined by the kinds of lives we’ve lead and our ancestors have left us.  Call that fate and I’m all in.

But occasionally you meet folks and it seems clear that they’re going to teach you something.

Maybe that’s not fate.  Maybe that’s just luck.

Or maybe it’s not so much that they are supposed to teach you something, but that you’re supposed to learn something from them.  After all, the world is not made just for me and all the actors in it are not characters in my play.

I don’t know.  I was just thinking that I think the two hardest things for me to learn in my life have been to grow some balls (ha, for lack of a better term)–to act in the world instead of reacting to it–and to trust the people that show genuine care towards me.

I’ve been thinking lately about the ways we’re all fucked up and what our responsibilities towards our fucked-up-ness and how it affects our interactions with others is.

I had a discussion with a friend, recently, who was going through some major shit and all of our mutual friends were offering to help.  My friend was weighing whether to take the help or to resolve the problem in an unsatisfactory way in order to keep the folks who wanted to help from potentially getting hurt.

I said, easy enough, “People love you.  Let them show you that.”

Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha.

Who the fuck am I to say that?  Whew, that’s funny.

It’s nearly impossible for me to accept good things, to trust that, when something good is happening, I’m safe.

Part of that is, I’m sure, my Midwestern Protestant upbringing.  We’re surely taught, even if not in so many words, to not stand out or Fate will humble you.  So, to me, when good things are happening, when all is right with the world and everyone should feel safe and well-loved, that is precisely when you are in the most danger of getting fucked over royally.

This is fucked up.  I know it’s fucked up.  And I know it hurts people I care about, when they’re trying to be kind and generous to me and I stand there like a suspicious, uncomfortable blob.

I’m trying to be better about it.  I’m really trying to learn from the people who are trying to teach me to accept kindness.

But it’s hard and, frankly, it sucks.

I was thinking last night about the Two of Swords in the Tarot Deck.  It’s a woman, holding two swords (obviously), and she’s blindfolded.

As I read her, she has to do with those kinds of friends who don’t need to know all of your deepest, darkest secrets to feel close to you.  When I was younger, I’ll admit, I didn’t understand this type of friendship.  But the older I get, the more I get it, I think.

Anyway, I was planing on spending the day drinking in honor of Cinco de Mayo, which, looking at Wikipediaseems to be nothing more than an excuse to drink.  Which seems a little circular in its logic–let’s drink in honor of a day dedicated to drinking–but it’s the kind of circular logic I can get behind.

But, if I’m going to do that, I need to get in the shower and brush my teeth.

9 thoughts on “Accepting Kindness

  1. I hear ya…
    I am just so thankful that there are friends who are so patient and kind and give you the benefit of the doubt you need to work out the fucked-up-ness in your head…those are true friends.

  2. I swear, if I could pin SQ down I would drive up to drink with you this very day.
    I’m having sort of transitional time myself and it’s pissing me off.

  3. So, to me, when good things are happening, when all is right with the world and everyone should feel safe and well-loved, that is precisely when you are in the most danger of getting fucked over royally.

    Yes, indeedy. That is the case, isn’t it? The good is only ever an oasis from the bad–or so I was taught. It’s this wrestling match with yourself to realise that life is more like fudge ripple–good and bad all mixed together and you have to appreciate the kindness no matter what.

  4. Have you ever had the thoughts like, “what if I’m the only person that exists”?

    Since there is not real ‘proof’ that others are independent individuals. What if they are just parts of a ‘program’ for lack of a better word?

  5. Friends coming over in 5 minutes, must be quick.

    My Southern background has a different myth, with different dangers. Do well and the world rewards you. Advantage: there’s always a good reason to treat other people well, and give them an opportunity to do well. No reason not to be friendly all the time..

    Disadvantages include some forced smiles and believing that wealth is inherently justified. But on the interpersonal level, I like it.

  6. I’ve come to believe that I can live best if I think we’re equally capable of love as hate, good as bad, and that we can choose the good and to love. We can, that is, always choose how we’re going to act or respond, rather than feeling pushed around by life, the universe, and all that. Doesn’t fix the car, but there you are…

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  8. I was going to come in and say almost exactly what Jebbo said. It’s time to get a little more Southern in you.

    It is more of a Southern thing to look for light at the end of the tunnel and we are fairly sure that it is something positive instead of an oncoming train. If not we will go eat or drink or sit on the porch and wait for the next positive thing to occur, because we are sure that it will. It is important to be polite (to everybody) and smile and look like you’re listening no matter what. Frowning, abrupt language and hurrying is considered rude(so is showing up on time). The art of Southern Genteel Poverty is to always be clean and neat and look your best (even if worn or patched). You may desperately need help but you cannot look like you need help(this may be the dangerous crossroads between pride and positivity). Laughter and friendship costs nothing and sometimes that’s all anyone has and it is shared with everyone. Learn the motto-“How are you? Come in, sit down, did you eat yet?”

    I wonder if this difference in outlook in based just in the regional cultures or if it has to do more within the ethinic populations from these regions?

  9. I, too, am always wary when things are going well. It makes me nervous, as in, “OK, when is the bottom going to fall out?” I believe, there is something or someone in this world, that will not allow me to be to satisfied or happy – I will always be humbled and reminded that at any time, I could lose it all. I call it karma, for lack of a better term.

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