There are many people that I’ve met in life prior to knowing “who I am” and as a result I may not have been true to myself and very likely, not true to you. Now, there are many people, those that I hold closest to my heart who were able to get to who I am anyway. These people are generally my family, my closest friends, and even others who’ve known me even though I didn’t know myself. This entry is not about them, it’s about all the others who I haven’t spent enough time with for you to get to know me and me to know you.
For those people, the first order of business is most likely an apology. Now, I wasn’t always a jerk to you prior to my knowing who I am, but the odds were increased considerably that at one point I may have been. So, I apologize. I hope that you’ll consider this apology deeply and accept it with my promise to be true to myself, to uphold my word regarding who I am, and to begin again with you. After all, I know now that I love you. That you’re perfect exactly the way that you are and exactly the way that you are not. Even if you don’t forgive me.
However, if you’ve read my apology and you’ve gotten all your questions answered about it, and who I may have been that had me being the way I was in our relationship previously, and you understand who I am now and that I can say with utmost integrity that it is who I am, and you can’t or won’t accept my apology we may be better off parting ways. To maintain the relationship in that state is to hold the past in place, to not allow me to be who I am in the eternal now (and now, and now, and now). I can be ok with that. But what I can’t be ok with, is you continuing to be who you were for me when I was who I was. Not forgiving and not letting that go holds who you were in place as much as it holds me in place. I know that you’re much more than that.
There are some of you out there and we’d only “met” in passing. There’s the guy in the parking lot at Peaches Record Store in Old Brooklyn when I was about 8 years old who drove by and asked me, “What are you looking at”? Or those kids that asked me if I wanted to go to Jim’s house because, as you said, you were going to go beat him up. There are also countless people I’ve passed in the hallways at work, or high school, or just out on the street. We had the opportunity, for one brief moment, to really be together. To take just a second out of what I was reflecting about and be with you, and share some space, and some time, and some love…that’s what I apologize for. That I wasn’t present enough to create that for the both of us to share. Me in your world and you in mine. Just for a moment.
There are others that I’ve met where no apology may be necessary. I may have been known to you as “that funny guy”, or that “really smart guy”, or that really persistent boyfriend who just couldn’t let it go, or that kid who was so competitive that even when you won you felt like you lost. But I was never really mean to you, not really. To you, the apology is still offered but it’s more of an apology for not really and fully getting to be with you. I was, essentially, a front or a mask or a facade. I mean, parts of the real me may have come out, but mostly I was pretty busy protecting myself (from what now, I don’t know). I wasn’t really authentic with you. Sure, I was funny and I told you the truth as I knew it, but it wasn’t coming from the place where truth comes from. It was coming from the place where people come from when they’re trying to protect themselves and survive.
I’m over that now. And I’d like to reintroduce myself to you.
“Hi, my name is Ed Malinowski, I have 3 kids and an amazing wife, and I work as an organizational consultant and coach. But what I really want you to know about me is that I just love people. So I want you to know that you don’t have to be any particular way with me, and that I already love you. I love you exactly the way you are and exactly the way you’re not. And, I want you to know that I know that you love me too, whether you know it or not, and it’s ok either way.”
It may be a little strange interacting with me now since some of the “ways of being” I’ll be won’t be what you’re used to or expecting. But I’d like you to consider that those weren’t me anyway and from how I was being you weren’t you either.
And if we pass in the hall, you may wonder what I’m so happy about, or you may get the feeling that I know something that you don’t know or that I’m up to no good. That’s just me present to love, with you. Strange as it may seem.
The true gift that comes from me being who I am is that you get to be who you are. I can’t wait to meet you.