This summer I have been doing a lot of reflecting. Reflecting on the past, reflecting of the present, and dreaming of the future. Among the enormous amount of information I’ve learned about myself and continue to realize about myself are :
1- I care a lot, my mom calls it “Over-Caring”
or in spanish
“Mostrando demaciado emotion” (showing too much emotion)
This isn’t a revelation to me. At least not a new one. I’ve always cared way too much by others’ standards. And as I get older, not much has changed other than I am more conscious of myself when I do care too much for something or someone. You might be thinking by this point, okay where are you going with this? Well…. I’m going to explain to you why I care too much.
Thanks to one my favorite bloggers/writers : Hannah Brencher and her weekly Monday inspiration emails I’ve stumbled upon the root of the so called “problem”.
I have ridiculously high expectations . Kind of like standards for….social interaction, circumstances, people, experiences, and things. Not in a fru-fru everything needs to be perfect kind of way. Rather in a “I care about this, I care about you, and I expect that even if not right away, you, and this, will reflect that same sentiment”. And it’s not because I’m a diva by any means…although there is a little bit of that in most of us if not all of us (you too boys)… but rather because it is UNFAIR to hold people to low standards….it is UNFAIR to hold life to low standards…
Now the scary part in over-caring is that people and things…will disappoint you. Where the “over” in the “over-caring” comes in is that despite disappointments, people like me will still care. I will still maintain that great expectation that some sort of reciprocating of the caring part might still be shown.
There have been times where I try to hide how I feel, and keep that part of me submerged so that I won’t get hurt. And it was 10 x’s as miserable to hide all of that than it was to deal with the consequences after being open about my feelings in the first place.
One of my favorite lines in this week’s email states:
Maybe life isn’t about avoiding the bruises. Maybe it’s about collecting the scars to prove we have showed up for it.
Often times you’ll probably find that tucking a part of yourself away is more painful than bearing the consequences after being 100% authentic. So when you pour your heart out, and the same isn’t reciprocated… you will forever be able to say that you were you, that you were authentic and proud of that part of you despite the risk you knew you were taking in the first place.
It’s empowering to think that something that most might call a flaw is actually a strength. I think that it is so so important to embrace these parts of ourselves. I know that I was given a huge heart for a reason, and I don’t plan on making it shrink for anyone or anything. And despite people disappointing me, to know that it was either good while it lasted, or that I tried to love them as best as I could… is solace in what can often be an emotional result.
So there it is. I over-care because I have expectations for people. Are they too much ? Sometimes yes. I just know that in giving folks the benefit of the doubt it’s my way of having confidence in who they and what they can be. And I’d rather bear my soul and know I’ve loved and tried than to wallow in the knowledge that I haven’t and didn’t try at all.
And in closing, I leave you with another piece of magic by Hannah Brencher:
Show up, and take the focus off yourself and just do the best to love people and go after things that steal your breath…… Believe you’re worth going after what you want.
None of this post would have come out the way it did if it weren’t for the wonderful words of Hannah Brencher. Please check her out at : http://hannahbrencher.com/