An unforeseen lesson from an unexpected man
I met this guy half a year ago. Well, I used to meet a lot of guys then but this one was special. He annoyed me deeply. He had the looks, the money, the attitude and the brains. But all this didn’t matter.
It was strange: I was attracted to him and at the same time repealed. I found him fascinating and gruesome. I didn’t know why. I would praise and loathe him. It was not that physical passion one feels. No, it was something else. Maybe curiosity… I just wanted to look at him. Observe him. Understand him.
Andreea tels me that I am attracted to all that it is weird, paradoxical and odd. It is true, I am. I plead guilty. I am a misfit myself after all.
In the last months, we saw each other a few times in diverse social contexts. Short summary: he was wearing a lot of masks, egocentric, laisse-fair, manipulative, smart-ass and very assertive.
There were some moments I was frank about this and told him and some friends what I thought.
I was harsh, ruthless and shameless.
He was patient.
Never said I was wrong, never raised his voice, never told something bad about me.
There was one time he schooled me, and I deserved it, I said some things about someone and he pointed out that I was misjudging and labelling.
He was right.
He was also passionate about his work, eager to improve himself, brave to look at who he was, courageous to speak his mind, supporting with his friends and an idealist in disguised.
I couldn’t see that because I already named him. I defined him. I limited who he was.
Maybe he told me this, maybe I heard it from someone else, maybe I thought it myself… You can’t hate someone out of the blue: he either is doing something you always wanted to do but didn’t, or you see yourself in that person.
I realized only recently, after I grew up a little, that both were true for me when it came to him.
He doesn’t fit but he owns it. That is who he is. I knew I was an outsider and yet sometimes I was eager to obey unconsciously rules and customs that did not make sense for me. It took me some time to realise this. In the past months I learned that in order to live you don’t have to do something, to be in a certain way, you just need to be.
When I started coaching and meditating I began to explore myself more and connect to who I really am. I discover there are some not that nice bits of me I ignored but that are part of my way of doing things. Only when I had the guts to look at them and say: “Yes, those are mine too”, only then I could see the world more clearly. Once I allowed my shadows to be, I stopped judging directly or indirectly the shadows of others. Once I learned to love myself as a whole I could love others.
He had indeed something special, he mirrored me very well. Wearing masks, being egocentric, laisse-fair, manipulative, a smart-ass and assertive were things I would reject about myself. When you hate someone, judge or label you pose yourself on an upper level. However when you are true to yourself and see your flaws as well as your qualities you are able to be humble, gentle and kind- to see yourself as equal to the other.
This guy is now very dear to me, even if we don’t have a close relationship. He taught me what love and self-love really mean. He changed a lot since I met him the first time. We both did. Even if he might not be aware of it, he helped me learn many valuable lessons and for that I am grateful and I feel fortunate to meet someone as imperfect as him, as me, as you.