F R I E N D How did you create your list of non-negotiables? I'm starting to become unsure of what to value most in other people... we are all broken in our own ways. Thoughts?
M E Eeeeeesh big question..
F R I E N D No worries if you haven't a clue. I'm sure it's very different for every person.
M E My non-negotiables are still changing. Because my worldview still changes... I guess instead of tangible things or certain behaviors, I focused more on intention, character, and how he affected me (my values, positive or negative traits, etc). I wanted to know he sincerely wanted me to be happy and to grow and to do the "right" thing.. While still understanding that "helping" isn't always pain-free, and that "right" isn't set in stone.
I wasn't exactly prepared for that question, but I'm glad he asked me. I love being asked to evaluate the how's and the why's of my decisions and I appreciated the chance that my friend gave me to reflect when he asked me about how I came up with my "non-negotiables".
It really is true, what I said. They've changed so much over time.. which makes me question the title of them at all. If a non-negotiable is actually entirely negotiable, doesn't that defeat the purpose?
The reasons that they've changed, however, are not because my values changed, but because my perspective did. I realized that what I was previously focusing on were end results, patterns of behavior that I had come to believe in some way meant something.
But then I met James. And, to a lot of people, he was just a huge bundle of red flags. Even to me, a lot of times. We were so different. I thought we were so different, anyway. So did he.
And all of the "things" he did that were.. foreign (wink) to me... made me pause and reflect and evaluate. and pause and reflect and evaluate. and on and on the cycle went.
The more I got to know him, the more I came to value authenticity, sincerity, courage in standing up for what you believe in, bravery in vocalizing what you want to achieve, compassion for every person, and so much more. And when I started to realize that the traits he possessed were ones that I wanted to see grow in myself, when I began to understand that his patience inspired me to be more patient and his trust inspired me to put my trust in him.. it just came to the point where the external behaviors that I was unsure of were just that. behaviors. or circumstances. temporary circumstances. They weren't markers of his character. I know his character. I know who he is. And he makes me want to be better.
So. My "non-negotiables", if I had to list them, would probably be full of "what we want to accomplish", "how we support each other" and "who we want to be" instead of "what he can never do" or "what I demand from him".
But, I'm pretty lucky in the sense that I know he adores me and I know he would do anything for me.
So, that makes the rest of it pretty easy.