All things Considering

Hello blogosphere. By now we have probably all walked into the New Year like we have walked into a booby trap. I am feeling two things that really resonate right now, nobody make any declarations to avoid tripping any wires, and don’t get sucked into diet culture or any wellness industry that guilts you for your current station right now. We are all doing just fine, and here it comes …drum roll please…all things considering.

So this is my take on the current state of affairs, everyone I know is showing signs of wear and tear. This person has let their yard go, this person is hitting the bottle more, this person fell from grace, this person fell into New age spirituality, or conspirituality, this person is hitting the pipe more, this person appears to be aging more rapidly and aren’t what they used to be. I see this in that sense of “place” too. Like, WOW. This place has really gone downhill.

I see facades slipping and leaking everywhere, and is that such a bad thing? Let’s get real. Then there’s this, I don’t have the stamina anymore for facades, scavenger hunts, riddles, and needless horseplay. If this no longer serves for whatever reason, I am over it. Ain’t nobody got time for that. I am getting out of dodge, and am I gaining or losing something here when I discard relationships or places and decide they are just too much work?

Right now, I am going through this regretful process of deciphering if I have the energy for red flags anymore either and yes, I have been weak minded, and I thought I could mow right past them while ignoring the mayday, maydays. In essence, I have slipped back into negative patterns because self work can be exhausting and old patterns are easier.

I have now returned back to Rachelle, and that painful epiphany of being the voice of reason in the room. I’ve reached a new threshold when it comes to boundaries, and why I let them slip in my weaker moments.

I have processed troublesome events in life by being over generous, pleasing, or accommodating with myself to my own detriment. I want to believe in the greater good and the human heart, and I am empathic, meaning I have empathy, I feel others pain, and I take it on sometimes to my own detriment and sometimes to the detriment of those around me. Just recently, I saw a meme that said, “Empathy without boundaries is self destruction” and I really felt that.

Then there are the people who prey off of the empathy of others and the bottom line is damaged people damage people but mostly they damage themselves. I am going to cut to the chase here, I need to reestablish new boundaries when it comes to toxic people and how to spot them in my life because apparently Covid brain impacted my judgement as well as my cognitive skills so I need to revisit some lessons. I write this for myself as much as anyone and I am not a psychologist, I repeat, I am not a psychologist. These are just lessons learned the hard way.

Lesson one. If someone comes into your life hard and fast and oozing with charisma be careful. Be very careful. If their presence is so captivating and powerful others are immediately starstruck, stand back a little. If the voice of reason leaves the room, and you find yourself and or others handing out yeses when they would normally be handing out nos be concerned, be very concerned. Toxic people are masters at handing out initial feelings of euphoria. They may even be over complimentary to the point of elevating others on a cloud, especially those who aren’t used to walking on them so they can drop them from them later.

Initially you may admire these people for their self confidence and exuberant sense of self, or commandeering presence. You want that stuff to rub off on you as if to say, “I’ll have what they are having, it most certainly seems to be working out for them.”

Here is another disclaimer, before that initial feeling of euphoria, your gut will tell you something is off, and you will convince yourself it’s just you, I mean, what you are seeing is at odds with what you are feeling. Are you misunderstanding? you may even be confused, and that’s a trap too because these people can keep you on the line while you investigate your own confusion to come up with a conclusion.

For many of these people it’s not their first rodeo. They blaze in like a hurricane claiming a new start, or beginning, they romanticize their station in life like it’s all fresh and exciting or self chosen, when really they are just trying to reinvent a new persona because they burned too many bridges or people with their last one and Identities are interchangeable.

These people immediately feel out who they can use, bamboozle, or who will take them to places, that will get them to other places and then they discard. Most of your conversations will be about them. You find reciprocation becomes less frequent as you give more and they take more, in some ways you are even punished when they push your boundaries or you state that the favors they are requiring have become unreasonable.

There may be withholding as punishment and they make you question if you are the one being irrational and unreasonable. They may even throw tests in front of you to test your loyalty or pull you into smear campaigns against others that seem heartless and over the top while they claim it’s for the higher good of everyone.

These people claim to have higher knowledge you don’t have, that you can only garner from them. You may notice your other relationships are becoming strained, or that they are taking too much time away from other things that really mattered to you.

You notice their past relationships are complicated or non existent and they are either very unapologetic about it or it was the other person’s fault, or they are over complicated now because they burned that person in the past and that person rightfully no longer trusts them.

Being in their inner circle begins to feel more like an initiation where you have to tolerate things that make you feel uncomfortable while they explain it away like it’s something that’s wrong with you.

When you’ve had enough, they flip the narrative. You may feel sad the relationship is over or they discarded you for having a boundary. You will question if your time spent together was meaningful or meant anything at all and no it wasn’t. They will make it seem like they carried you when you carried them. They’ve discarded other people who were a lot closer, a sister, a spouse, a child, or many long term friends. Discarding has no depths. These people for one reason or other no longer served them. They moved on.

Lastly, these people are struggling, constructing a life of their own is hard for them, because really there is no sense of identity as they constantly take shots at reinventing themselves or changing the narrative where they are always the central character. It’s one big game of thrones. Everyone’s a character, and sometimes even the best characters, the ones you are super attached too get killed from the show. It’s nothing personal, just a neverending quest for power. It will never be enough.

These people will literally feed off of others and take over their lives if they feel incapable of building one of their own. They prey on the meek but take down the strong because they are really that powerful. The lines between powerful and good are obscure. Just because something is powerful doesn’t make it good.

These people are broken. These people break others. In the end, it’s a lesson and a look inward, on boundaries and red flags, but also self reflection. What is it in me that resonated with the shadow in them? How was I so vulnerable? What were my blind spots? I am not talking about blind spots in them, but myself also. Why was I taken down this path of self destruction where I have to forgive and trust myself and still keep my heart open?

There is no true release without Love. The best way to release someone is with love. I have thoroughly enjoyed the Christmas music from the Killers this year. I don’t know how this album slipped by me since these songs aren’t new but I guess the Universe brought them to my attention when I needed them.

It’s a Christmas album that’s new to me and honest. Probably one of the most honest Christmas albums I have ever heard because the Holiday season is multi faceted for a lot of people and it’s high time we stop pretending it isn’t, and sing Christmas carols that are honest and forthright and not just about pine cones and Holly berries.

This also wasn’t the year for putting on a complete happy face and jingling all the way. I jingled the best I could. I was a half assed jingler This year felt like a half assed Christmas but really that all depends on how you define Christmas. As a Merchant’s holiday my Christmas was way off brand.

On Christmas Eve Eve (yeah you got that right). I had so much last minute shopping to do. I abandoned it all and my daughter and I visited an elf village and fairy shop for no real purpose at all but to try and feel the magic. We watched a sunset in awe and tried to take a picture of a sunset while somebody honked at us to get out of the way. It made me realize I was in the way, but really Christmas was in the way, and so was my camera, some things you just can’t capture.

I lost a friend over the Holidays but not really and it felt good to pull it back to the basics. My husband bought me a new rug for Christmas and my sister and I laid on it New Years Eve and watched the ball drop on TV. We called it the magic carpet as if all the love, loss, hope, and mysticism of time were laid out in those fibers of some forgotten canyon landscape laid out on that Costco rug.

I hugged my brother at a family Christmas party. There were no words, just me and my brother acknowledging that we loved and cared for one another. We hadn’t spoken in almost two years. My mother made the girls in our family crocheted hand warmers.It was a gamble getting together, Omicron was coming.

In a way, I guess I can say my Holidays could be wrapped up in an honest Christmas album such as that by the Killers where Santa was heartless and cold and gave some poor misunderstood and troublesome boy a lump of coal and that coal was just a booby prize. The kicker being that hey, at least the boy wasn’t him, that heartless, mother f’er Santa. The point also being, that it takes the right variables to forge a diamond.

This Holiday season was a diamond in the rough. I forge my way to forgiveness as I ponder releasing what needs releasing with love and grace and gratitude for myself and others. There is a part of me that wants to hold grudges, I want to be bereft with hostility and anger, but mostly I just want to let the whole damn thing go. I want to let go in peace that others may forgive my trespasses and I them and to just be grateful that when I am wronged I am not the wronger, but when I am wrong I may have the grace of forgiveness as I must too must forgive and just let it go, let the whole damn thing go… all things considered.

Until Next Post!

Rachelle Whiting

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