Everyone probably knows the quote that says The worst distance between two people is misunderstanding. Sometimes it reads as the longest distance, but the sentiment is the same. Failing to connect because you can’t grasp what the other person is saying over your own point of view, especially if your view is tinged with strong emotions. It’s a calamity to let misunderstandings with someone you care about lie unresolved. Yet why is it so easy to let our emotions dictate our judgement? And sometimes so hard to extend the olive branch? Why do we sometimes persist in our stubbornness to the point of letting people go? Life is too brief to be unyielding. Pride is a false disguise for pain. It only makes the pain harder to bear.
I’m thankful today to have bridged the distance with someone I care about. It’s a weight lifted to have revisited where things went wrong without the burden of emotion and have an honest conversation about how to make things right again. To say I’m sorry and mean it and to hear the same back. There’s curative powers in being vulnerable. The relationship may not be the same as it was, but we have a different place to begin again and that’s the whole point. There’s no ending, just an evolution. And this time, the connection may be even better.
I had an excellent evening with some lovely women. A good friend of mine had a get-together that she dubbed Love Your Life…Get Inspired. She asked everyone to bring something that inspired them personally, a poem, a book, a quote, a recipe…whatever. The idea was to share inspirational tidbits with others. She’s the type of person who wants to lift people up and help them grow and become the best version of themselves. A great person to have in your corner.
I have to admit to something, though, and I didn’t tell her this. I was a little hesitant to go. Not because I didn’t want to be part of the inspiration, but because she had invited a lot of people–and many people I didn’t know. And not just people, but all women. I was intimidated by that. While I think I am more extroverted than introverted, I really shy away from groups. Anything more than 6 people, and my introvert comes out. And if those people are women, I will clam up. It’s not that I don’t get along with women, but a group of women can be a tough crowd to navigate. There’s a reason women have a reputation for drama. Because there’s usually drama. I’m not trying to perpetuate stereotypes by saying that. From my experience, I think a lot of women worry about what’s not being said as much as what is being said in a conversation…and that can lead to misunderstandings and hurt feelings. To protect myself, I’ve learned from a rather young age to either listen more and talk less, or avoid groups of women all together.
So, back to my evening. I love my friend and want to support her whenever I can. She would and has done the same for me. Therefore, I put on my big girl panties and went to her party, ready to share some things that inspire me. As it would turn out, several women had other obligations/parties/whatever, and it ended up being a smaller group than expected. Rather than be disappointed, my friend was thrilled that those of us who came embraced the whole idea of sharing. We ended up having some very real, open conversations with each other. In fact, we touched on the disappointment that as women, it is sometimes hard to connect in ways that are honest. We also talked about how it’s easier to embrace the notion that as we age, it’s necessary to cull through the relationships we have and let go of the ones that are damaging or toxic. I felt I learned something and contributed something and left feeling better about myself somehow. Certainly something to be thankful for. Not bad for a girls night out.