Making friends and self love

I had a profound conversation with my son a couple of weeks ago. He expressed his sadness as to how his mates were treating him. He felt he was not accepted by them and no matter how much he tried to integrate and belong in their groups, they constantly ignored him and acted like he did not exist.

I listened to him with a deep pain inside my stomach area. I could not tell him how sad I was to discover that he felt that way and that he was going through such a painful experience. Deep down I wished I could do something to instantly take away the pain and frustration he was feeling and expressing. I also wished I could do something to those bullies, which is what they are, to make them change to caring, loving people.

Yet, I realised I really couldn’t do anything to change the experience of either my son or his mates. I could hope and pray that they all learn from their experiences and come out sooner rather than later, feeling stronger and happier than before.

As much as we cannot change others just so we can have better, more joyful life experiences, we can accept that we are all different and at different conscious levels in our journey back to source.

I was particularly sad to listen to my son complain about the way he perceived his mates’ behaviour because I had had very similar experiences. I felt guilty that I had unconsciously passed on my own fears and negative beliefs about myself onto him; that my subconscious beliefs regarding my self-worth had rubbed off on him through my behaviour towards him, others and the environment.

I asked my son why he felt he needed to socialise with mates like that; why did he feel the need to belong to people who clearly did not value him as a person, a human being? What was it about them that made him feel the need to be with them? I wondered whether he had accepted himself, just the way he was or did he feel by belonging in a particular group or by selectively choosing who would be his friends will help him value himself more. Yes, the people and everything else that we call around ourselves is a reflection of what we haven’t yet understood about ourselves.

I noticed that he did not respond to any of the above questions yet I was hoping that in his private moments, he would seriously think about the answers to those questions and internalise the answers.

I went on to tell him that each one of us was a unique being living a life of purpose and that it was only by loving and accepting who we really are that we could live purposefully. I suggested that instead of focusing on his perceived nasty behaviour of his mates towards him, he could focus on loving and accepting himself just the way he is. None of us is perfect, yet if we accept and love ourselves with our flaws and all and go about our daily lives with the confidence that in-spite of our flaws we are worthy and loving, we shall attract the same love and respect from others.

It took me a long while to come to this conclusion. A phase that included me shifting and changing my ways of thinking and behaving simply to attract and keep certain people in my life; people that I thought would be worth having and keeping as friends. And of course, they were subconsciously aware of my “shifting behaviour” and took advantage of it until they felt I couldn’t morph into any other shape or thing that they would be beneficial to them! What a shame! I could have just been “me”, insisted on being “me” and attracted those who loved “me” for me.

So what if people don’t like me? Do I like, love and accept me? How do I expect others to love and accept me if I don’t and can’t love and accept me? It is like a sales person trying to force some rotten, smelly product onto a buyer! Yes, just dump it on them and escape before they find out how rotten it is. Or better still, if they do accept and buy the product, then the chances are it is not that bad and therefore I can relax and mingle. Relax and mingle for how long?

We cannot allow others to decide who or how valuable we are. That decision is ours to individually make and maintain. At the same time we need to monitor ourselves to see how our behaviour to see how it is affecting someone else’s life.