I feel that this particular topic makes its way through many of my posts; however, I never fail to understand its colossal importance.
There will be those around you who will ignore your preferences but you must understand it is a reflection of their own lives, practices, points of view and beliefs. At the same time, you have to wonder if anything in your behavior shows that you are also rejecting them or simply, if you are living a reality of wanting this person to accepts you which shows you already feel rejected by them.
Do you ever feel like this? Either of those two?
Such situation(s) can happen with absolutely anyone you consider close to you – your mother, father, boyfriend, girlfriend, friend, another family member… However, it doesn’t matter. None of it does.
You are the only one who has to approve of you. Even if everyone else did and you didn’t, you wouldn’t feel better. At the same time, as soon as you start to fully accept yourself, you will be able to accept everyone else just the way they are…and, whether or not they return the favor.
Today, someone who has known me my entire life served me food I’ve hated my entire life. They knew that but did it anyway because this food fits their idea of what I should eat.
That was how I saw it, anyway.
Later on, they apologized, saying they never would have served it had they thought I might dislike it.
I suddenly saw the situation differently.
A story like this is applicable to any situation. The very meta of conflict and rejection leads back to some version of rendering one’s needs unfulfilled. Any conflict or rejection can happen for that simple reason.
I had two choices – I could have felt rejected and gotten upset or I could have eaten something else, without putting a single thought into being served food I disliked.
Had I gotten upset, I would have had to remember the following.
- Not all who upset me had intended on doing so. Sometimes, one has good intentions but their mixed feelings about taking the action in question (i.e. being tired of preparing this food while unsure that I would like it) will lead to receiving mixed feelings in return.
- I attracted this event in my life, just like any other. The event in question describes at least a part of my everyday relationship with this person – in some ways, we get along perfectly while clashing in others. I probably continuously expect this person to reject my preferences, causing situations like this one.
Had I chosen to not be affected by the situation, I would remember that…
- The person in question probably meant well. They probably didn’t mean to offend me and had I observed them with love instead of assuming they were being suffocating, I would have seen that. Approaching something or someone out of love ensures one receives love in return. Approaching something or someone out of any negative source of emotion ensures unhappy communication.
- I could simply eat something else. Nothing was lost and no one would starve. No one even has to end up offended in a situation like this. Creation dictates you get what you give therefore giving energy to the positive, i.e. knowing there are other types of food out there, would have ensured smooth sailing.
- Even if they thought I should eat it, only my desires about what I want to eat matter. We all get to choose for ourselves. You can say, “Thank you but I don’t like it. I will have something else instead.” Same can be done when anyone disagrees with anything in your life. You decide. If you should choose to compromise your preferences just to make someone else feel good while allowing yourself to feel bad about it, you have made a choice that will draw even more discomfort to you. However, if you genuinely decide you want to eat the food and feel good about it because it makes someone else happy, go for it. Just make the choice that makes you happy!
I know some of you will wonder and here it is – the food in question was kale. Even as a vegetarian, I strongly dislike it.