The longer I spend being a self-actualized individual, and the more work I put into taking responsibility for my own feelings and happiness... the harder it is to interact with more "normal" people. Unfortunately, it's human nature to place importance on protecting our insecurities, rather than confronting them and growing more confident as a whole. It's in our natures to shift blame for the negatives in our lives, while refusing to take blame for the negative things in others' lives. I understand these things when a person has not been exposed to any other way of thinking. The problem I have with many people, though, is that they refuse to grow, to take those responsibilities, to confront those insecurities. Even when presented with other options.
I have a problem with people choosing to remain willfully ignorant.
Recently, there has been a shake-up in my friend group. One friend has had insecurity triggered by my relationship with Ptah, and refuses to not only admit it, but take responsibility for it. This person's idea of "working on" their feelings is to suggest ways in which we can alter our behavior to better suit their idea of how we should be acting. If you're reading this blog, chances are you can figure out how well that goes over with me. If this (not the relationship, but the personal and emotional growth we've been working on) was a new thing, I could understand these feelings better. But Ptah and I have been vocal and clear examples of this growth for some time. Unfortunately, when we've talked about these things, we've been met with indifference at best, and hostility at worst. It can't be said that this person has not been shown another path by conversation and example; they simply choose to remain in their current mindset.
A mindset which refuses to take responsibility for reactions to feelings, expects others to mitigate their insecurities, and believes that they have the right to dictate how we express our relationship.
I am angry at some of this (and was admittedly very angry when we finally had a confrontation about this and a few other subjects... I regret how it happened, the attitudes we all took, but not the content), but for the most part I feel sad. Sad that they feel that a life of frustration at other people's actions is safer than introspection and self-improvement. Sad that I apparently have not been able to get through to them how much better life is when one takes the responsibility and power of determining one's own happiness. But I don't know how, at this point. I don't know how to get through to someone who won't listen, and won't see the wonderful transformation that has happened in their allegedly good friends. I've done what I can, and can do no more... but I still feel sadness over it.
One of the things that has bothered me the most through this experience is that I have been expected to hide and not recognize the progress I've made with myself. The inner transformation Ptah has made, in particular, has been impressive, and I feel he especially should be complimented on the work he's done with himself. It seems to me like a good friend should be happy for this, and happy to see the love we've found, instead of feeling threatened and only pointing out perceived negatives. It seems to me like a good friend wouldn't expect me (us) to play down our own happiness in order to help them feel better in the short term.
If I end up only having three friends in my life, I'm okay with that. I will not suffer that sort of negativity just to keep the illusion of closeness with people. I will do my best to be an example of what self-awareness and self-care and self-responsibility can do for a person. I will do my best to be kind and gentle when I can, and protect myself and those I love when necessary. I will try to not let anger get in the way of care and concern. I know that I will fail in these things at times, but I will keep trying. It's all I can do, and I can do no more.