As anyone who reads this blog knows, I have been a freely admitting and unabashed Pollyanna about humanity most of the time. My stance has been that I will, until proven otherwise, give folks the benefit of the doubt, believing that their behavior makes sense (at least in their little scheme of things) and that generally they are doing the best they can to get by, and that when they do things that are stupid, hurtful and thoughtless, they really don't mean them in the worst possible way. I excuse a lot, and let people get by with a fair amount. While in many ways this is a trait I like about myself, I think it is also a form of denial that has kept me in some rather insane situations longer than I needed to stay there, and that has allowed others to manipulate me right under my nose while I blithely went along in complete blissful ignorance. R will tell you right up front that he is far more pessimistic about humanity than "Polly" is. When we were first dating we laughed about that bell curve....he the outlier on one side, me on the other. So the two of us together....a good balance?
He has helped me attain some very important clarity about at least one instance of Polly being manipulated by someone. This was a very good thing as it had gone on way too long and it was way past time for clarity. The funny thing was....he didn't have to say a word. He simply witnessed an exchange between me and this person. That was all it took....me observing him observing us....a small mid-course correction, and suddenly I was balanced in a whole new way in that relationship, walking with clarity and confidence along that particular tightrope .
We have been having some serious talks this week about how and with whom we choose to spend our time and energy. Polly still wants to save the world, but she is very, very tired. And she is beginning to see that not everyone wants to be saved. Some of the starfish will persist in crawling back onto the shore no matter how many times you toss them into the ocean. They are that determined to self-destruct. So it is about discernment, too, I guess. I cannot work harder on other people's lives than they do. I have known this professionally for a long time. Perhaps it is a truth that needs to come out into my personal world. I think saving people has been one of my avocations as well as my job. I have been drawn to the wounded birds and the strays. To the needy ones. Yes, it had its payoffs....and its costs. And I think I'm done. After all, you can't walk the tightrope with any kind of grace when your pole is being gabbed by others. It is my pole and I need it for balance. Maybe it's time I take that a little more seriously.