Knowing your place

I am not sure how it happened but my friend Linda agrees with me on this so it must be true:  we have often messed up a relationship because we did not know our place in the grand scheme of things.  We have given ourselves way too much permission to talk!

Here’s the deal: if we want to have the privilege of being able to speak into the life of the people we love and also have intimate connection, we pretty much have to build up to that status.  This capacity to give and receive feedback is VITAL to maturity.  It is a treasure to have a few people we can go to and tell everything we’re up against and ask for feedback.  As giver or receiver of feedback, both positions are a gift.

People who develop the capacity to embrace life and experience reasonable peace are those who can tell themselves the truth about their relationships.  They neither demonize nor idealize their family members, friendships and even enemies.

Knowing our place with respect to how others teach us they feel about us is crucial.  People who love us treat us in a loving manner.  People who care about us do not hurt us.  People who are safe and trustworthy are respectful even in disagreement.  People who can help us are those who have taught us that they do not hold us in contempt; they respect our boundaries; they treat us with dignity.

And of course - the reverse is true too.  Others are learning about the value we place on them by the way we treat them.  If we do not know how to love in an appropriately boundaried, respectful and dignified manner, we will not be the best candidate for intimacy.

Do you know your place?