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My favorite Maya Angelou quote is, “When people show you who they are, believe them the first time.”
It seems so simple right? If someone shows you that they’re kind or caring then they probably are. If someone shows you that they’re judgemental or temperamental, then they probably are. (If someone shows you that they’re batshit crazy then they probably are.)
Of course, somebody can be all of those things, but then we have to recognize that too. We don’t just ignore certain aspects of someone in favor of other aspects, because that means we’re willfully ignoring the truth of who somebody really is.
A big part of “believing” who someone is, requires listening to yourself. You’ve most certainly had experiences with people where everything seemed ok on the outside, but you kept getting this feeling inside, this instinct, or intuition, telling you that something wasn’t ok and pointing you in another direction. Something didn’t fit, or sit quite right. And every time you’ve ignored that feeling, you’ve probably ended up causing yourself a whole lot more trouble down the road.
I’ve heard so many stories about people who had no idea their significant other was having an affair or capable of doing illegal or violent things. I just don’t buy it. I can accept that they didn’t know it intellectually because they wouldn’t allow it to sink in, but something inside of them knew. Something inside of them kept presenting itself in the form of suspicion or anxiety or resentment and they didn’t know where it was coming from. Well, it was coming from their innermost self and it was trying to send them a message (Heads up! Train wreck ahead!), but they weren’t ready to hear it.
We get locked in sometimes to wanting something to be what we want it to be. Maybe we don’t want to lose that person or we don’t want to be single again or we don’t want other people to think that we don’t have it all together. Well, most of us don’t have it all together because that’s life. We’re all just trying to figure it out.
Listen to yourself. You know more than you think you do.
Have a beautiful week.