I posted this quote from Maya Angelou about three months ago, and it seemed to resonate with Conjure readers: “When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time. People know themselves much better than you do. That’s why it’s important to stop expecting them to be something other than who they are.”
As we head into the final stretch of 2020 and the holiday season, I wish all of you nothing but happiness, health, and joy. I hope you are surrounded (safely) by loved ones, either in-person or virtually, and that you feel filled with love the next two weeks.
Sometimes, the best way to do that is to purposely not see those who bring us harm or hurt.
I wish I’d listened more closely to Maya Angelou’s quote when I was younger, because doing so would have saved me a lot of heartache and pain in my life. But as I’ve grown older, I have fully embraced that quote and it’s something that I’ve come to live by. Honestly, it’s one of the reasons I feel mostly at peace in my 38th year.
My husband and I were talking about this topic a week ago related to people in our lives, and he offered a poignant explanation, something along the lines of: “I remember how a person makes me feel. How I feel around them, how I feel when I think about them, and how that person makes those I love feel. Don’t get caught up in the details and what happened or who’s right or wrong. How did you feel, and how do you always feel around them?”
Often times, those people in our lives we were discussing told us who they were time and time again. When someone shows you who they are, believe them.
I’m sharing this story this week because I think we all have toxic people in our lives, and that for whatever reason, it’s just hard to distance from. And so many times those relationships come rearing their ugly heads during the holidays. But I think it’s important to distance yourself, especially if that person causes you nothing but distress and you’ve exhausted all other options. Sometimes, we as humans have a tendency to explain others’ bad behavior away or justify their actions because we want to believe they can change or that our relationship can get better. Once in a great while that can happen, but people are who they are. So, when someone shows you who they are, please believe them. They’re telling you for a reason. Now listen to what they’re saying.