I don’t trust people who don’t love themselves and tell me, ‘I love you.’ … There is an African saying which is: Be careful when a naked person offers you a shirt.Maya Angelou
One of the hardest lessons I’ve had to learn is that not everyone is like me. I am unquestionably loyal. When I love, I love hard and I give my all. Rarely will I turn my back on anyone who I consider a friend. And if you’re family? I’d lay down my life for my loved ones. I’ve naively gone through life with the perspective that everyone is like me. Loyal, often to a fault and true to the end. Not without mistakes, and not without misunderstandings, but there’s a foundational unwavering devotion that can be counted on. I’ve gone through life believing that whoever says they love me and they have my back, it means the same thing when I say that I love them and I have their back. I assumed we were all on the same page. Turns out, we weren’t…
Through much pain, betrayal, and heartache I’ve come to realize that people simply can’t give what they don’t have. And if they can’t give it to themselves, they damn sure can’t give it to you. Don’t expect loyalty from people who betray themselves. Don’t expect truth from people who lie to themselves. Don’t expect love from people who don’t love themselves. And don’t expect understanding, empathy, or concern from people who don’t know, nor care about themselves. It’s not personal. It’s spiritual.
Before you set expectations from people, look at their lives. Look at the way they care for themselves; physically, mentally, spiritually and energetically. Look at the personal standard they hold themselves too. What is their relationship with self like? To be able to discern in this way takes a great deal of self-awareness and intuition. To know others, you must first know yourself. You must be able to see beyond what meets the eye. You must see beyond the images and perceptions people put on display and see their inherent inner truth. I’ve learned to expect from people only that which they give themselves. It is a compassionate acceptance of people just as they are. I read a meme recently that said, “expect little from people and a lot from yourself. That’s the secret of a happy life”
Placing unfair expectations on people to give you what they simply don’t have will leave you hurt, frustrated and disappointed. Just learn to never take a shirt from a naked person. Don’t expect loyalty from people who have betrayed themselves.