What does fair mean? How can we live a life we consider fair and just? I think answers change with time and experiences. We all have thoughts about what's appropriate for a given situation. These thoughts are based on a combination of things: our upbringing and birth order; spiritual and philosophical views; and our ability to recognize and practice with healthy verbal, emotional, and physical boundaries. It can appear to overwhelm some systems to sense life as unfair. For these personalities, no one seems to notice or respond in the same manner as they do. Anger and impatience are common responses to a sense of injustice. It's natural and healthy to feel anger and impatience when our senses indicate that justice is awry. The balance is to recognize the discomfort and our thoughts about it. Both our emotion and intellect teach us in their own ways.
A couple of things on my mind here recently: money and friendship boundaries. If you have any input, I'm open to reading it.
The past few days, I've been grappling with my financial situation. I'd like to have it all, naturally -- the American dream and then some. Reality includes a couple of loans (student, auto) and a housing market so bubble-icious that I don't know if it's a good idea to invest in it. I have at least one friend with an idea that debt is ever present, so might as well dive into it. She maintains several credit cards, student debt, a home loan, and she's now pondering the cost to organize her body to bear children. One day, after I recounted to her my financial plans, she told me she'd never considered paying off one loan before she obtained another one. I realize it's a totally personal choice how much someone will spend to live out dreams, and so much of what I witness seems out of control. Another one of my friends sold her home to exchange it for a huge home in the country. Wow! I can barely relate to these financial choices. They seem outrageous and irresponsible. Money and how to spend it is not typically a topic that's up for comfortable conversation. So instead of discussing financial choices, I generally keep to myself about my thoughts on the matter when I'm face-to-face with the choice maker. I'd like to find a comfortable financial place for myself and not think much about the finances of others.
A former friend of mine once sat in front of me and talked about me as if I was not present. She told someone to not tell me something about a trip they took. She said this in a loud whisper, and then acted like I wasn't present to hear the entire exchange. It was pretty humiliating, really. I later told her how I felt and she told me it wasn't any of my business. This same friend later said she felt offended by things I did or said and needed to end our friendship. Woah! What? It seemed an unreasonable response. I didn't see it this way at the time, and she did the best she could. As it happened, I felt hurt and expendable. At first, I emailed her and said I hoped we could talk about it one day. A little while later, I emailed and told her to forget I'd ever said that. She responded, said she didn't ask me to keep her open for friendship, or something like that. She said more, and I didn't read the rest of her communication. I told a couple of people about the situation. One offered that it sounded like the former friend experienced past hurts that had nothing to do with me or our friendship. I think that was true for both of us. The friendship dynamic with her and a couple of others tapped into early patterns from my family of origin. The friendships weren't very reciprocal and were mostly awkward in their manifestations. My goal is to feel compassion and connection in all situations, and I struggled with how to balance my views after the person so abruptly and callously discarded me and the friendship. It's been worthwhile even as it's been kind of sad to explore this possibility in human relationships.
Well hello there.