I can certainly relate to this, I mean I typically I stay away from clowns, but with people in my life. Before walking this path I operated by a lot of magical thinking. I would think that just by hoping someone or something would change it would, and most times I would be disappointed or hurt when the result was the same as it had always been, and yet, I would keep going back hoping for a different result. Now some of that was really me wanting to continue to tell the narrative of being a victim, or not being able to trust people or to tell the tale that everyone was against me, but much of it was expecting someone or something to be different than what they had always been and shown themselves to be in my life.
As I got better I still got hurt with these same expectations. I had a better understanding that I can’t expect people to be who I want or need them to be at any given time, but because I was changing and making positive steps in my life I would get caught in the thinking that perhaps they were to, could or wanted to. And so, I would most often get the same result, they would be who they’d always been, and I would get hurt. People show us who they are, and many times we choose not to believe them. We make excuses for them, we sugar coat their words or behaviors, but if we’re being honest with ourselves, they have shown us all along.
We can’t expect anything different from people than who they are. Sure, it’s possible people can change, I certainly have, but we can’t expect them to. We can express how we feel when they do or say certain things, or possibly suggest an alternate way to communicate or engage with us, but they may still revert back to the way they’ve always done things, may always do so. The only way we can protect ourselves is by managing our expectations. Or, not engaging with them at all. But, if we only expect what we’ve always gotten we won’t be surprised when we get just that. The best way to encourage or inspire change is by example. When we change ourselves we will naturally cause change in those around us, even if it’s just by expressing that we are no longer going to except certain behaviors in our lives, but we have an opportunity to show those in our lives a better way to communicate and interact by changing the way we do it ourselves. However, if nothing changes, we have to be OK with that too, we are only responsible for ourselves and how we act or react to who and what is around us. We can set boundaries, but cannot control anything or anyone else beyond that. For me, with certain people, it took a while for this to really hit home. There were times I would keep going back to the same well only to be disappointed when it was empty. I was reminded many times by the professionals I was working with, that the problem at that point was mine, I was the one who kept going back and looking for something that had never been there.
It can be difficult to accept the truth about someone or something and see it or them for what they are, that doesn’t necessarily make them bad, it just may mean they aren’t able to give you what you need or want, and they may need to be cut out of your life all together if their actions are harmful to you, or, you just need to stop continuing to go to them for something they can’t offer. As the title says, you can’t fault a clown for acting like a clown if you continue to go to the circus. Take people for who they are, not who you want them to be, and honor yourself by accepting that truth. SLAY on!
SLAY OF THE DAY: Do you you tend to continue to go to the same people for the same things, only to be disappointed? Do you realize you’re continuing to look and ask for something that isn’t there, or do you suffer from the hope of magical thinking that this time it’ll be different when it never has before? Why do you think you do that? Do you go to them to feel let down or disappointed? Why do you do that? What choices can you make that may be better for yourself? We all can fall into the trap of hoping someone changes and is who we need them to be, but we’re only setting ourselves up for disappointment, we need to be honest with ourselves about who is in our life and who they truly are, not to point fingers, but to keep our own intentions and expectations honest before we reach out for something that has never been there.
S – self L – love A – appreciate Y – you