I recently found myself in an awkward interaction with someone. She was determined to give me pointers on marketing my out of town speaking engagements, and, as I’m always open to new ideas, I was excited to hear her thoughts.
We were standing outside a Starbucks (she was too busy to actually get coffee), and just as I started describing the genre of my talks, she got distracted by a woman wearing a long orange sweater.
“That is the most awful color of orange I’ve ever seen. Do you see that sweater?” she pointed to the woman, and I nodded my head.
“And it’s unraveling. Doesn’t it look like it’s unraveling there on the side? Don’t you see that long thread?”
“Ummm…” I didn’t, and I didn’t care.
What I had been saying came unraveled much faster than this orange sweater ever would!
“You know, if you are busy, maybe we can do this later?” I said.
“Oh no, no, now is perfect,” she smiled at me, for like a half a nano-second. “That thread is a mile long! How can she not notice her sweater is unravelling????”
I was invisible again.
And, I know you’ve felt this too.
There is nothing quite as wonderful as the feeling of being truly connected with another person. Conversations are stimulating, and the energetic flow is one of giving and receiving. Within this vibrational relationship, we feel heard and understood. We are seen.
Often, however, this is not the case! We come face to face with someone who can neither see us, hear us, or make any sort of a connection with us. When we are this out of sync with someone, it may feel like nails on a chalkboard trying to make that connection.
Our lives are about being in relationship with others, but that doesn’t mean we have to make a deep and lasting connection with every person we meet. I will admit, it’s been a tough lesson for me, because I love when I make a connection with others. But I’ve come to see relationships as recipes for brighter living; not every ingredient we try to add will work, and some ingredients will even make things worse!
Luckily, that afternoon I was more fortunate than the woman in orange sweater; I got to walk away.
However, we can’t always walk away from those relationships. They may be family, co-workers, or neighbors, so that’s out of the questions. We can, however, choose to let those relationships be what they are instead of trying to force them to be what we want them to be.
Then we free ourselves up for those connections that matter; those connections that make a difference.