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In the last four years or so, I've done a great deal of work in the area of "my personal responsibility" for my general put-uponness. Granted, there are some things that one can't control in one's life, but generally speaking, the world looks cheerier when one controls what one can... having reached that plateau, however, has led me to a harsh realization. And that realization is that sometimes, no matter what you do, you're going to be on the outside. No matter how okay you are with yourself, no matter how hard you try to give, no matter what you do to try to be accepted, the fact of the matter is that sometimes, you won't be. And the challenge posed by this new face of the self-respect mountain is to accept one's self anyway - to realize that one's self-worth isn't based on anyone else's assessment. And then to remember that just 'cause someone doesn't like me doesn't make them a bad person, either. In other words, as my daily Notes from the Universe would probably point out, there ain't no good side, there ain't no bad side, there's only you and me and we just disagree.

That's been the journey out of codependency in a nutshell, and overall, it has been an amazing trip. I've been blessed with enough adversity in my life to teach me about compassion, and I've been stung by embarrasssment and exclusion just enough to give me the conviction to stand up for those who can't (or won't) stand up for themselves and the empathy to remember that every being matters, no matter how small. (My mom and Horton helped with that part, too.) So yeah... it's been mostly positive.

There's a point in here somewhere, though, I swear - not just wandering though emo-land wailing like a banshee... and that point is that no matter how hard you work on being okay with you and okay with others and just generally "okay," when someone who allegedly loves you unconditionally does something that tweaks your spiritual weasel, it still stings like lemon juice in a paper cut on your soul. But hey - it happens, and Jesus says, "Turn the other cheek," right? When that someone does something that tweaks your spiritual weasel, and then proceeds to rub your nose in it as though YOU'RE the one who's done something wrong, though, it can be enough to make you wonder why you bother. I mean, what happens when you're out of cheeks? Oh, I'm OKAY... I have a strong, kind, gentle significant other who validates me when I can't validate myself, and I have - literally - the two best friends that anyone could ask for, anywhere, with whom I would entrust my life without a second thought and who would do absolutely anything for me. In fact I'm better than OKAY... my cup runneth over, and it's spilling happiness all over the damn place. So I'm not whining so much as pondering where my own failure in this situation lies. And at the same time deciding what I can do differently in MY life to avoid making anyone else feel this way... which is why I'm avoiding the bridesmaid thing. Just not doing it. Sure - I'd like to... but because I can't include everyone, I don't want to exclude anyone.

*nods* I'm just fine... just a little more cautious for the wear now. Another lesson from the great and powerful Universe weathered and absorbed. Life is amazing.