I have been painfully documenting this minor cameo appearance by a very, shall we say, different woman who came into my life recently and I have to admit: I loved writing about it quite a bit more than actually living through it. If you’ve been out there trying to date, you know who and what is swimming in the dating pool, but this incident was way to the right of some kind of spectrum. I’m not really sure what, though.
Regardless, I did notice something extremely telling about myself in the process. Allow me to explain:
If you read my last article, you know that the woman in question went on to write something similar to a poem after we parted ways. I made a huge deal over this writing because it utterly shocked me how differently we both observed the same situation. The other part of it that I found distasteful was how incorrect her assessment of my motives was portrayed. There aren’t too many things in this life more difficult than to have to see someone’s perception of you aligning almost perfectly with everything you feel you are not. As a matter of fact, it wasn’t just everything I felt that I wasn’t — it was also everything that I despise about other people. Reading that thing was jarring to say the least.
Even more shocking, though, was my discovery the next day. The Sunday that I stumbled upon that classic piece of literature, I took a screenshot of it and read it three times. All three times, it made me spin off into a visceral and emotional state that bordered on nausea. The following day, I went into my photos to look at it again and realized that I missed an entire line. It was as if it the line wasn’t even there. It would have seemed kind of strange if I only read it once and missed it. To read it that many times and not see it meant something. The line said:
There was attraction.
Now, I am familiar with the sociological phenomena known as “confirmation bias.” Briefly, it means our tendency as people to seek out everything that proves our opinions and, at the same time, ignore everything that contradicts them. I sat there, probably with my mouth gaping open, when I had to admit to myself that I somehow — quite conveniently — disregarded the one line that said something positive about me.
It scared me. How could I be writing this self-help book if I need the help more than the people who I am writing for? Am I a fraud? Should I give back the advance? (Perish the thought!)
I immediately got on the phone with one of my most spiritual friends. He’s a hypnotist and he lives in Woodstock. That should do for a description, no? Needless to say, he’s plugged in. His response was classic:
“There is no better teacher than a student who just learned something. Who better to understand the nuances of what they are teaching?”
“Ok,” I thought. “Fair enough. I’m going to keep the advance.”
Conclusively, I’ve come to see it like this: it’s never a very useful thing to view the people around us that we can’t tolerate as jerks, narcissists, cowards or crazies. It’s definitely not a good thing to see ourselves as any of those things, either.
From this point on, I am going to regard myself and everyone around me as little bunnies just trying to work through our stuff.
We Are All Just Little Bunnies Trying To Work Out Our Stuff was originally published in P.S. I Love You on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.