Here is something I have learned in my life – you set the bar for how you will be treated and valued by what you expect and accept. When I was young and painfully shy, I did not even realize there was a bar to be set. Back in those days I believed that people just treated me the way they thought I should be treated and I just took what was handed to me. I’ve grown up a little bit since then.
These days I not only know about the bar, but I set it high – not only in regard to what I expect and will accept from others, but also in regard to what others can expect from me. You see I figured out somewhere along the line that what I have to give to others is valuable. It is valuable because it is a piece of me and I – well, I am spectacular and unique in what I have to give – indeed, aren’t we all fairly spectacular and unique? When I give someone my friendship or love it comes with a commitment and that commitment is one which I do not take lightly. In my mind, if one is going to give a piece of themself and they value themself then they value and honor the piece of themself they have given at the same level they value themself (I know that sounds a tad confusing – but read through it again and hopefully it will be clearer the second time around).
So…I value me and when I give my friendship or love to someone it matters to me…my bar is high. Over the years I have learned that part of valuing myself is expecting from others the same that I am willing to give them. Amazingly, most people will rise to the level of your expectations when there is reciprocity in a relationship…some will even surpass your expectations. There are those times though when expectations are not met, where reciprocity is not evident and where one’s commitment is not valued by another…times when the party who set the bar needs to evaluate whether the piece of themself that has been given is being fairly honored. The question then becomes one of what can you or will you accept?
Being a perfectly imperfect person myself, I understand that not everyone will always meet my bar and rise to the level of my expectations. It is at that point that I have to decide what I am willing to accept. That, my friends, is where life gets tricky. Too often we accept a substandard response and before you know it your bar is non-existent. There is a fine line between accepting less with the understanding that there is a growth curve and accepting less becoming a norm. I wish I could be more clear about where the line is, but really only you can tell that. If you hear your bar – the one that you set high because you understand how spectacular, unique and valuable you are – come crashing down you should be alarmed that you are allowing others to de-value you.
I am surrounded by phenomenal people who I have given a piece of me – family and friends who not only meet the bar, but blow over it with ease…folks who honor me with their love and friendship. This defines the quality of my life. I like that my bar is set high. It means that I value me and I value others enough to expect and accept only that which I am myself willing to give. I think that says something about me and the folks who are part of my life.
So, the bar is set…as are my expectations and what I will accept. It won’t be lowered for those who cannot deliver as to do so dishonors all those who are presently sharing in my life. I am spectacular and unique…the people that surround me are spectacular and unique…not perfect, not infallible – but each valuable and committed to the ideal that what we give and invest in others in life matters. Set your bar high.
Day three hundred and fifty-one of the new forty – obla di obla da