I was on the phone with a beloved friend this morning – one of those people who I describe as a “critical friend,” because I can always count on her to love me and tell me the truth. I do the same for her.
As we talked about a challenging relationship with her boss, I told her how frustrated it makes me that he doesn’t get her awesomeness. My friend agreed, but then she quickly and honestly owned up to some of the reasons why she might rub him the wrong way. It was a list of the things that she has worked long and hard to come to terms with, things about herself that she nakedly and bravely faces every day — some of the reasons why I love her so much. Then she sighed and said:
“Oh well, I guess I’m not everyone’s cup of tea.”
Not everyone’s cup of tea.
This simple line struck me as an incredibly loving, freeing way to find peace with a difficult relationship. No judgment of self, no judgment of others, just not a match.
There’s an important difference between an attitude of “if you don’t like what you see, then suck it,” and gentle, honest acceptance of yourself and others.
From what I’ve seen, self-acceptance rarely comes without Owning Your Shit first.
Let’s face it — self-examination is exhausting, and so is Blaming Everyone Else. It’s all hard work.
“You have peace,” the old woman said, “when you make it with yourself.”
— Mitch Albom, The Five People You Meet in Heaven