The dynamics in the group tonight were crazy. There was a lot of very interesting verbal fencing and such that touched on some old vulnerabilities in me. It turns out that those old vulnerabilities don't hold much power anymore. Learning that was great.
One thing that I learned in therapy, probably the single most important thing I learned for myself, was the idea of being selfish in a healthy way. As time goes on and I see that dynamic at work in other people and in myself I understand it and appreciate it more. Basically it is knowing when your shit ends and someone elses begins. To understand that you can only be responsible for your own actions and reactions and not for someone elses to you. Everyone processes things through the filters of their own experiences and you just can't hold yourself responsible for how they react to you when you are acting on your own behalf for your own good. That is being selfish in a healthy way.
That isn't to say you shouldn't care for others or show sympathy or try to help them, etc. The idea is to not let their stuff become your stuff. To not become vested and to be able to walk away. It's hard to do but it is very freeing.
Anyway, that current played out in a lot of different ways with a lot of different people, myself included. The other really interesting bit of the night was some verbal fencing I had with someone that took me a bit to realize he was being serious and not just trying to get a reaction from me. Basically the point that because I am very open with my views and opinions that I tend to alienate some people, rather than trying to moderate myself to get along with more people. The argument put forth was that when I get older I'll realize this. Ok, fair enough. Who am I to say I know what lessons I will learn in the future. Will I change? Hell yes I will. Will I change and learn the same lessons someone else did? Maybe, but who is in any position to know that? Everyone takes a different path and learns different lessons. They can be similar, sure, but it's going to mean something different to everyone. All I know is that right now I have never been more in tune with who I am at this moment and I am having a great time. When I'm out with people I know I feel safe enough to totally be myself and if there are some people that our offended, walk away. It's not like I'm making anyone listen to me or interact with me and I'm not interested in pleasing people just to please them. I am at Meetup for my satisfaction and fulfillment just like everyone else is in the end. Otherwise, why would you be there?
So, in the end it turned out to be a pretty interesting night and I'm glad I left my cave to enjoy it.
Oh, and Harold and Kumar 2 was pretty good. :)