I would not call myself a superior judge of character. In fact, for a long time, post-divorce, I used to joke that I wouldn’t find myself in the situation I was in if I had even remotely had a bullshit meter. Honestly, it was no laughing matter. I kind of lived in this delusional ether-land where I just believed what I believed, all evidence to the contrary. So I got taken advantage of, a lot; and whereas a normal reaction might have been anger, I just felt like a big fat failure.
Ironically, my ability to detect when I was being lied to or manipulated did not change until I had really worked through the samskara, or scar on my heart, that caused me to be so attached to the concept of myself as a failure. I wish that I could tell you that it was an easy and pain-free process of removal. It was not! On reflection, however, doing the active work of awareness, acceptance and gratitude required to relieve me of the old me, pretty much proved to be the most significant act of empowerment, so far, in my life.
I still have, to one degree or another, some of the same bullshit players in my life that have always existed. Life has a way of continuing to offer up challenging lessons to confirm resiliency of character; the strength of my spirit. And I must confess, in the spirit of full disclosure, that I do feel some disappointment when one or two of the cast of characters tries to pull a fast one on me. The change though is that I really wish their behavior could be as significantly different for them as it now is for me.
And that’s the kicker, my response to being bullshitted, from the inside out, really is very, very, very very different for me. Because I don’t own other people’s bullshit. It doesn’t define me, in any way shape or form. And even though I am not able to allow manipulative and negative behavior to deflect off of me as if I wore some kind of special teflon suit, I am more than capable of taking care of myself and responding to my own needs in any of those bullshit situations appropriately and compassionately.
It’s not hard to be honest, in a gentle and loving fashion, about how I feel in any given situation, and communicate that feeling with maturity and love. I know myself as a result of lessons learned in adversity; plowing through the rough and gravely soil of resistance piled upon my heart, revealed a wide-open, creative and confident me. I act within the well-deserved framework of that loving person, failure is not a part of the package. That’s progress, not perfection, but it feels expansive, and is well and truly an awesome reflection of me!
It’s o.k. to be vulnerable; to reveal myself bravely in the moment, warts and all. And to live freely, in love with the most authentic me in this moment. I am fully alive, brazen, face turned toward the forward direction of my life; feeling all the feelings, no bullshit required.