Everyone wants to displace blame, and picking on the people who are the nicest and the most open is an easy trick. We are nice people and we are open and we do give others many more chances than they deserve. Whether we are talking about friends, neighbors, people at church, people in the school district, our kids, or our spouse, we will eventually come up against someone who just isn’t receptive to all of our openness. It’s really okay. It just means that not everyone else is like us.
And it also means that we don’t have to shut down just because someone else may be uncomfortable around all of our evolving-ness. We know what it is like to shut ourselves down and to close ourselves off, and we also know that this isn’t us. We don’t like being this way. We have had to go that route sometimes, but we know that anyone who wants to fault us for our openness may truly just be jealous of us or angry at themselves for not being able to be as open as we all need to be as the social beings we all are.
It is true, though, that we, in particular, are a special breed, and that has always been so. For as much as we have adapted in this life, we were simply born with a set of exquisite skills that has enabled us to thrive in almost any kind of environment. But it also means that we have had to learn what to allow into our sphere and what to keep out.
When other people are not receptive to our friendliness, openness, and all-around vulnerability, then give yourself points for putting yourself out there and then let them be. And let yourself stay free. Don’t let other people pull you down, get you down, or weigh you down. (This is how we break free from codependency.) With those outside our family circle, it’s easier to cut those proverbial ties because, well, they aren’t our “family.” Our actual family is what we have worked so hard to have—we’ve given up so much to position ourselves to have the opportunity of having a happy family, and we know that it’s all worth it and that we’d do it all again.
But even with our children and our spouse, it helps us sometimes if we can do the vulnerability thing and then let the rest go. No one owes us anything in return. This is how we stay free and how our kids and our spouse stay free. And it’s how everything stays healthy and light. It sure hurts when our openness is not returned (by anyone, even the check-out people at the store), but this is not a reflection of us. It’s a reflection of them. They are the closed ones. They are the unhappy ones. We are not that way anymore—because we don’t want to be that way anymore. We understand the value and importance of staying open. And we won’t let anyone accuse us of not being vulnerable when in fact we are the very definition of the word. (People like to throw stones to detract from their own flaws.)