For years, if I didn’t hear from someone who I’d been close to, I would think that I’d done something wrong. Usually the scenario in my head would run like this, “I haven’t heard from ___ in a couple of weeks (or months), I wonder what is up with them? Are they OK? Are they sick? Are they mad at me for some reason? Have I done something wrong?”
Then my mind would begin to search for the trouble. I’d wish that they would call or write so I could feel better and if they didn’t, I’d either get more upset with myself, I’d try to forget them, thinking something like, “I don’t know what is up with them, but it is obviously their problem” or I’d call them and say, “I just called to see how you were doing.”
The truer statement should have been, “I just called to see how I was doing. If you’re upset with me then I am not doing well or you are an idiot or I am very sorry for being the inadequate being that I am. How can I make this up to you? On the other hand, If you aren’t upset with me, and you are happy to hear from me, then I am doing well.”
It took me forever to realize that the gift was not in letting them go, or digging further into myself to find out how inadequate I was and then trying diligently and humbly to correct myself. The gift was that every time this scenario played and I began to feel bad, I had the huge opportunity to see myself clearly and change a belief. This scenario was telling me that I fundamentally believed that there was something wrong with me. This was “my problem”. My belief about myself was the problem and the “other” was just a mirror. Whatever I thought they were thinking, was what I was thinking about myself and so it did no good to dismiss them, search myself for more inadequacies, or try to be a better friend to them.
I saw that I was unfriendly toward myself. My thoughts about myself were mean and cruel and critical. No person could change this but me. I started to feel genuine gratitude for all of those people who didn’t call or write but who held up the mirror of myself for me to see a hidden belief and to change it. It also became clear that if I didn’t change then I would constantly be looking outward to others trying desperately to affirm my worth while holding fast to the belief in my basic unworthiness.
We’ve all gotten the desperate-feeling phone calls or emails in which the caller is trying to mask their insecurity by seemingly being concerned about us or casually friendly. Yuk. I don’t appreciate it when it is done to me so I have to assume that others feel the same. It is dishonest. We know it and so do others. We’d be better off to admit our insecurity and say, “I’m just calling to see how I am doing” …and then we could both have a good laugh. But even better, I could see that I am feeling bad, thank god that I see it, and thank the other person (in my mind) for not calling or writing so I have the gentle and sweet opportunity to change my beliefs in the comfort of my own mind.
I am a divine being. You are a divine being. I believe that it is time to start believing this.