Getting rid of people

Friend or foe

Friend or foe

In our world it’s often so easy to get rid of a person we don’t like.

Perhaps she’s offended us.  Perhaps he’s acted inappropriately.

Off you go!  we think, and we un-friend him, we toss her away, we attempt to regain our peace and equilibrium.

But what if this person exists–in his or her perceived current despicable incarnation–to teach us something about ourselves?

What if this person reflects something to us, some part of ourselves which we can’t yet embrace?

What if this person comes as teacher of the Unspeakable, the Unclaimable, the Unmentionalable hidden beneath our mask of acceptability, of civility?

Too often we throw away our enemies prematurely.  We don’t wait patiently to see what they’re reflecting of ourselves.

We don’t want to claim how we’re judgmental, angry, stupid, fearful, painful…fill in the blank…and how we can’t bear this part of ourselves and refuse to friend it.

Only when we can look at our enemy squarely in the face and see ourselves will we be free.

Only then can we leave him or her without rancor.  Or choose to stay waving the flag of peace.


19 thoughts on “Getting rid of people

  1. I like what you wrote…until and unless it becomes a way of the individual ripping oneself to shreds, attempting to ferret out one’s own defects of character, when perhaps, there are none and the situation is just abusive. (I think that even in an abusive situation that once one is safely away, there are things to be learned about the self, though that does not mean we must continue to deal with the abuser.)

    I suppose this might sound like I am correcting you. (frowns) I meant to share what I have noticed in my own life when doing as you say. Another form of identification and of reflection.

    Another thought (so as to prevent libra-like freezing indecision). In every moment one can choose, one does choose. In the next, one can choose something else. A friend, a good and healthy person to be around, will understand this, no matter what outcome or choice, or momentary personal pain.

    • Good morning, Elisa. Oh I truly liked your comment. I like that you said you weren’t correcting me, too. So often it’s so easy to leap to the defense of the opposite viewpoint. You and I both do that at times, don’t we?

      You know what you got me thinking about this morning? The inner abuser! And when and how we should come to terms with the inner abuser within us. And, yes, of course, there is a time to leave an abuser. And I think some of us tend to stick with abusers (inner and outer) too long, while others tend to not stick long enough to get the message.

      There is a time to leave and a time to stay and only we know which is appropriate in the moment. Thank you again.

  2. It can perhaps be useful to observe that – in relationships – we do not react, respond, or relate to the self-image of the other, but rather to our own image of them. And these can be profoundly different images, yes?



    “The world you see has nothing to do with reality.
    It is of your own making, and it does not exist.”

    …from ACIM Workbook For Students, Part 1, Lesson 14

  3. What do you mean? That I may be boring, conniving, shallow, desperate, antagonistic, judgmental, clinging, immature, self-centered, and dishonest? Probably — to see it and know it in another means I must be able to recognize it in myself first.

  4. Kathy! “Too often we throw away our enemies prematurely. We don’t wait patiently to see what they’re reflecting of ourselves.” Made me wonder how many many times I have done this and lost several friends.. why? why didn’t I be more patient… How immature I used to be.. not anymore.. I get your message. It hurts, for now its all over.. or is there still a chance? I don’t know.. but today, I am more receptive.. more acceptable.. more matured.
    I missed you Kathy, its been a long time I came over here & to you.. Hope you have a wonderful December which is just around the corner now.. looking forward to see lots of snow pictures from lake superior… *hugs* 🙂

    • Sonali, I’ve done it before, as well! And am still sometimes immature, even when I know better. Threw away a perfectly good friend about 1 1/2 years ago trying to make her into someone she could never be. She was a wonderful mirror and I couldn’t stand the reflection. Love it that we can continue to mature and grow up and know that a new chance dawns every day–every minute! Wishing you a happy December, too, and will hopefully take the camera out one of these days and show you snow pics because you love them so.

  5. Is that mirror reflecting again? Who is that person and why are the getting on my nerves?

    We may dismiss a person because of his or her actions, response’s sometimes too soon, only to find those same dark corners show up in the next room. These people or situations do not leave us until we learn or discover who we are within those moments.

    I think your recent blog is a pure example of that.

    • Jeff Stroud, good morning!! You and I are up very early today, aren’t we? I woke up at 4 a.m. and couldn’t sleep. Love that we think along the same wavelength so often. And grinned to see that you understood how both blog posts were dancing together to express the same thing. Happy day and thank you for existing.

      • There was a stream of consciousness there Kathy, I just followed it through.

        I was awake at 5 am, so about the same time.

        Thank you for inspiring. Have a great day, stay warm. It is 27 degrees here this morning! Burr!

        • Still 28 degrees here in Missouri at almost 8:30am. Some light cloud cover may have kept it from getting colder. It never got above 30 degrees all day yesterday.

          I wondered if the 2 blogs were related – now I know.

          Also clicked with Elisa about abusers; and with the insights from you Kathy about the inner abuser, which is the worst of all. It starts very young too. It pains me when I see my boys doing that and I try to talk them through with hugs as well. I’ve mostly come to peace with my own imperfect perfect self and have reached a deep acceptance that sometimes even the worst serves some purpose.

          Just look at how an accusing commenter turned into a great blog !!

        • Deb, Happy Thanksgiving to you. Always appreciate reading your thoughts. Especially fascinating with your insights about your children and dealing with their own inner abusers. Much food for thought!

  6. Ah such a difficult thing, one that is keeping me awake at night. Stay in this place rent free, risking being yelled at and put down. Oh do I not put myself down enough? Wearing blinders as I walk through certain rooms of the house, I do not see clutter I do not see clutter I do not see clutter. And managing another’s behavior, you do not need to order two appetizers for yourself, you do not need a second plate of turkey dinner, you have just had 14 inches of your bowel removed, you do not need a new winter coat you have four others in the basement. Is it a reflection of me? My reaction is to stand with a critical eye in my closet, I only need two skirts, two pairs of pants two dresses, two pairs of jeans and two pairs of yoga pants. That’s it the rest of this is just more clutter……I have been standing on a rock in the center of a stony brook for over a year now, because a year ago I went into work in tears because of something he said to me that was insensitive and rude and a direct insult to my person. How many times will he tell me he is happier without me before I actually move out? I have made my decision. I second guess. Now at night I am awake wondering how to deliver the news. But here I am back to second guessing. Do I stay? Should I stay?

    • Meg, here’s what I think. Some day you shall wake up and leave. Or some day you shall wake up and decide to stay. I have learned that the thoughts are not my best advisers any more. There are way too many thoughts to be reliable lately! You inspired me to write a new blog post this morning, attempting to explain this.
      Not sure it’s explainable, so maybe failed, but tried to put it into words. I can so relate to the dilemma of the thousand thoughts and opinions! It can be hell…

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