“Do no harm, but take no shit.”

I did something really silly recently.

I let someone in my Inner Circle who didn’t really deserve to be there.

And, as a result, I am now feeling frustrated and betrayed.

Trust is something that is fundamentally crucial for relationships.  I need to know you have my best interests at heart, because that’s what I have for you.  If you break this fundamental principle – if you don’t hold up your end of the bargain, or go back on something you’ve told me – you get another chance.

And probably a third chance, and fourth chance.  People are fundamentally flawed.  It is in our bones.

This includes myself.  And I know I sure make my own share of mistakes.  When I do, I own up to it immediately.  I apologize.  I try to explain, and I amend my behavior to avoid those situations in the future.  Unfortunately, this means I also end up apologizing for your mistakes, too.

Relationships are my most valued asset, so I do my best to keep them stable.

This also makes me the brunt of many frustrating situations.  I stay in unfulfilling – even degrading – situations long after I should have left.  Because I see flaws in myself and see the good in people, I make excuses for why to stay.

Yes, I have spent way too many years in dysfunctional relationships.  Yes, I have stayed in jobs way longer than I should have stayed.  And yes, I’ve had friendships that have outlived their death.

My pattern, which I learned in Hala Khouri’s workshop, is to deny that a problem exists, to explain it away, and then, when the problem becomes unavoidable, to give up.

And so, I’m giving up.

Jobs that no longer serve me.  Friendships that have long expired.  Partnerships that were never really equal.

And, not to bring up old wounds, but this is what gets me about multi-level marketing.

MLM is, for me, a breach of trust.

I appreciate honesty to the nth degree.  And if you want to tell me about your products, tell me you are inviting me to your sales pitch, and not your girl’s night.  I appreciate you calling a spade a spade, and it relieves my internal guilt.

I want to support you.  I want to be your friend.  I want you to be successful, and to support your family, and have a job you love.  Please don’t abuse that by using my kindness for your personal gain. 

And, here’s a news flash. Trying to please everyone doesn’t work. I will have much more respect for you if you just tell me what you really think. I’m reasonable. I won’t judge you for your choices if you confide them with vulnerability and openness. 

And as your friend, I promise you in return, many things:

  • I promise you I will not be perfect, but I will do my best to make amends when I make a mistake.
  • I promise to be upfront and honest with you.  I promise to always be real.
  • I promise to give you second chances, and to see the good in you underneath the parts that piss me off.
  • And I promise, if you overextend my kindness, if you mistake my kindness for weakness, then I will be gone.

These situations and times I have been burned could very easily turn me into a jaded, protected person.

But I choose to trust, anyway.

I choose to believe you have my best interests at heart.

I choose to believe you are fundamentally good.

And if you fuck up, over and over again, and make no moves towards amending your behavior…  You’re either a sociopath or need some major soul searching. I choose to believe the latter.

So go ahead, figure it out.   Just don’t expect me to hang around while you do.

And if you find yourself in a similar situation, I urge you to reevaluate your choices. There is no need to put down others, to create more negativity – but know when to walk away.

“Do no harm, but take no shit.”


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