Please don’t ask me to read you
I’ve spent far too long looking deep into other people
Slipping through the gaps in their expressions
Running down the spaces between their words
Looking for signposts in their sighs
And piecing together slices of them
What they say, how they say it
Who they love, who they hate
What they fear, what they crave
Bit by bit, I put together a picture of them
As I think they are under their pretences
Often, I’m right
Sometimes to my dismay
Reality isn’t always nice or agreeable
But it is meant to be experienced
I’m getting tired of experiencing other people’s realities
There is such a thing as knowing too much
And I’m losing sight of myself
From being so many people’s mirrors
All I’m left is feeling like cold glass
Broken and dry-eyed
Talk to me
tell me who you are and what you want me to see
And wait as I learn to close my ears and eyes so
I won’t be a tour guide into you anymore
This is from a blog I wrote over a decade ago (called Behind Cobwebs and if you remember it, please drop a comment – I’d love to reconnect with people I used to talk with in those days).
If you find yourself falling sick or feeling emotionally drained without triggers, maybe you’re absorbing too much of what’s going on with other people. We are in an age of over-sharing and not enough taking responsibility for one’s words. Many people online dump what they can’t/won’t examine themselves. It’s easy to get swept along in the toxicity. Thus the behaviour moves offline too and poisons us all.
I’m working on protective boundaries and also doing my bit to keep the digital streams clean – by only putting up the most positive or only things I can take responsibility for. This means nothing that ‘is just a joke’ or ‘I didn’t know’ or ‘who cares, it’s only online’. Sharing is not the same thing as dumping. Lashing out is not conversation. I’m focussing on being a gardener, not a dumper. The world could use more flowers.
This gardener will prune too.