Above Shakespeare & Co. in Paris is a sign saying: “Strangers are angels in disguise.” Through my travels I have discovered many such angels. I have faith that wherever I go there will be someone to help me out when I need it, if I only ask and am prepared to give back in one way or another. It may not be the first person I bump into, but it will be someone.
The world is filled with angels, yet sometimes we allow ourselves to get caught up in dramas with people who are not treating us like we were angels in their lives and sometimes we forget to treat others like angels ourselves.
It is hard not to take your best friend, your family, your partner, etc. for granted. Some relationships have existed since you were born and it’s sometimes hard to be impartial and look on them from the outside. For a long time, my relationships with people just happened. I didn’t look upon them as a creation, but rather as just being. Today I take extra time to make sure that I contact people regularly, I give them compliments, I ensure they know I care. I didn’t always do that. To be honest, I often felt embarrassed to show I care. Now I make a point out of it. Until I learned to appreciate myself, it was hard to give compliments freely to others a) because it’s hard to give what you don’t have yourself and b) because I felt they didn’t want to hear it from me anyway.
There is this story Gary Chapman shares where he tells of a man who discovered that his wife’s primary love language was gifts and from that day on he would bring her new gifts every week. I mean small things like cookies, a flower, a hand written note, etc. I thought that was so cute. It was someone creating something wonderful, rather than just going through life taking a person for granted. And as we all know, I like people who spice up their lives – not just watch fairy tales on the big screen and oh and ah about them, but rather start refurbishing their living room, or cooking different foods, or going on different adventures, to live the life of their dreams. What’s the point of fairy tales if not to show us what’s possible in our own lives?
One day I was talking to my best friend. We were discussing friendships and what to do when friends “lose the plot” in one way, or another. She told me that she wouldn’t walk out on me no matter what happened, unless she was contributing to my issues. I had a shock. Now, my best friend and I are as tight as Siamese twins, but my whole life I have carried around this fear of being abandoned. It’s a long story, but sufficient to say people have threatened to do so if I fuck something up. So I’ve had this manic fear of fucking up and I thought that that’s that. You fuck up, people leave. Love is, in other words, conditional. Without realizing it, my best friend broke my model of the world. What she told me was the obvious, but to me it wasn’t obvious. If you don’t tell someone they look great, how are they supposed to know? You may think they know that because you are dating them, or buying them flowers, but it’s still different to hear something said to you. It should have been obvious to me that my best friend would never leave. Apparently it wasn’t, because people threatening to leave had, up until then, been frequent in my life.
OK, so apart from us not treating people like angels all the time, I’m sure you have bumped into a person or two who wasn’t too nice to you? I used to constantly date guys who couldn’t make up their minds about me. “You’re hot then you’re cold, you’re in then you’re out…” I mean it’s to the point where if a guy says “it’s off” to me, myself and my best friend make bets on how long it will take for him to come running back. Again, it’s probably due to my childhood that wasn’t all that great and a lot of people leaving, threatening to leave, etc. Needless to say – I had trust issues. Still, for me today to trust someone takes time. I need to really know that the person won’t just turn their back and walk away. In my ideal world a guy would hold my hand and tell me that he wouldn’t leave and no matter how much I wanted to run away from him, he wouldn’t let me leave (because of course I try and push people away when I get scared – better alone and unhurt, right? FALSE. You feel more hurt from being alone because you keep thinking no one loves you – I was a pro at this in my childhood.)
Anyway, I kept dating guys that didn’t know what they wanted and that’s a sure-fire way of having your heart-broken (and an equally sure-fire way of never having to commit yourself and never getting so close to someone who you’d get truly hurt if it went wrong). I worked on my internal issues and worked and worked… Things got better and better. Then I had this dream one night that a guy sort of liked me, but not quite and I woke up thinking that I was clearly still not through with it all and it bugged me…until: *light bulb going on* If a guy was not sure he liked me, I would leave him. No matter how great a piece of candy he was, bye, bye. I mean I couldn’t eat the candy when I felt like it anyway, so what was the point of drooling over it?
I’m sure you are all “that was the obvious answer,” but it took me years to work that one out. I just sat there feeling rejected if someone didn’t like me enough to know that he wanted to be with me. When I changed my point of view and decided to get rid of all the maybe babies, suddenly I was the one in charge of my own life again.
Truly beautiful people whom you really kick it off with are such a gift, but so is the woman in the grocery shop who actually smiles at you. Life is filled with angels and my mission is to be one and befriend other angels.