There’s a quote from poet Pablo Neruda that speaks to me this morning:
“Let us forget, with generosity, those who cannot love us.“
I think I know why I ripped through my quote stash this morning…looking for those wise words. I’d paraphrased the thought in my head but wanted to find the source. Side note: I really need to organize my inspirational tidbits – suggestions welcome – but let me provide guidelines…
No – don’t offer a spreadsheet. I won’t do that. Too techy and cold. And I don’t scrapbook. Oh geez…I tried, once or twice and it was a colossal failure and I got kicked out of the crafty mommy clique. I don’t generally intend to offend but the level of seriousness associated with grown-up cutting, pasting, and lauding our creations bordered on something Stepford-Wives-ish. Sometimes it’s okay to get booted out of a group. I never looked back, even when ‘crafty moms’ gave me holier-than-thou looks at recitals, gymnastics, etc.
Which brings me to Pablo’s quote. More than once my fragility got the best of me. My invisible driving force. You know the one – the part of our DNA that pushes us to be LIKED? I learned – as a result of many moves as a kid – to morph and tailor my personality, as needed, to suit each new audience. New home…new school…new peeps and adults? Survey the terrain and adapt…adopt the prevailing behaviors of the alphas, the pack leaders.
At the time? I had no idea I was doing that – the shapeshifting, I mean. I’d change my hairstyle, pick up whatever was trending with the social group in charge. Not quite “Mean Girls” but I was a keen observer of what might add to the “Vicki list” of potentially ostracizing characteristics. I was already packing a crazy mom, disabled sister, and a tendency for extreme sarcasm. If I didn’t modify and seek to blend in, the odd girl label would stick.
Why did I care? I’m not sure…but I think it was this: We never knew how long we were staying in one place, so I assume the frightened girl inside me was fervently hoping we’d anchor for a bit…in which case…putting max energy into making nice with the locals was an essential task. Crossing fingers and toes.
As an adult who’s processed most of her garbage 😊 I see the behavior and wish I’d devoted less time to pleasing, more time toward releasing. Releasing what? The people who were never going to care…had no capacity to like/love/admire…but I still pursued them, in order to be accepted or acknowledged.
NOW I know. Not everyone will like/love/admire me and it’s okay to roll on by…with more consideration for myself than others. Many of the people who offended me did so without a shred of awareness. It wasn’t their job to fill me up. That was my task – to choose well. Too much futzing and putzing to ‘make it work’? My problem. And I think Pablo Neruda was right. A generous heart allows us to forget those who never mattered in the first place.
That’s my Saturday morning pondering…thank you for reading…and oh – yes! If you have suggestions about better ways to curate and organize quotes, I’m interested.