To return to the OP -
I keep finding myself in a similar situation in regards to friendships. I meet people, I like them for a while until their baggage comes to the fore and then I find I cannot tolerate them. Sometimes they have turned out to be alcoholics whose personality becomes ugly and aggressive when drunk, sometimes its that they have anxiety issues and so every little thing becomes a big deal for them, sometimes its that they display selfish or self absorbed behaviour. There are many more instances I could think of. Its like everyone who comes into my view is a complete and utter basket case.
I feel like I am trying to awaken to consciousness but Im surrounded by people who aren't, by people who are projecting their shit outwards all the time and Im finding that very difficult to tolerate and so I isolate myself hoping that one day Ill meet some people on the same path who may have baggage but at least they are aware and having a bit of insight about it.
Friendship is a VERB - a doing word, not a NOUN, a naming word for a relationship.
All doing is in this moment only. Absolutely yes we can habitually do, and we can unconsciously do. Waking up to the potency and the legitimacy or not of the 'doing' is key in becoming a master in self discipline. Ironically discipline leads to freedom, self discipline leads to personal freedom.
One might notice in the para quoted above that there is more than a little that could be seen as 'why do you mention the splinter in your brother's eye, when you fail to see the log in your own eye?'
No one is creating the 'drama' in your own mind, but you.
No one is holding a barrier up to your experiences in friendship - but you.
No one is this mythical 'like minded' - you only think it so, imagine it so, desire it so and so find fault with what IS.
No one is this 'basket case' ---- but you.
When we judge our own mis-takes and mis-adventures we have the benefit of being in the experience and having intimate understanding of the factors and situations that led one upon another within our awareness, capacity and willingness to take personal responsibility for our choices.
An example, you choosing who and when and what to bestow compassion upon.
No choice is wrong, bestow compassion and feel at peace within what is, withhold compassion and YOU - no one else but YOU create the experience of feeling cut off or at odds with what is.
Using Hitler as an example is a bluff to maintain a sense of rightness for that choosing rather than being honest about the experience of righteousness. No choice is wrong, you are just creating the experience of that. The quality of the experience directly relates to the quality of the choosing.
- Without sounding like a fan of sociopaths - they know
no better. It will be determined that chemically and biologically they do not have the capacity
to feel or experience empathy or compassion for another - it is a physical inability to process oxytocin - the 'cuddle' hormone that gives birth to feeling love for another. For those of us who do have the capacity, who can process oxytocin and choose not to - that is a totally different experience. That requires justifying our choices. To justify our choices we create enemy, obstacle, means to an end and create distances and differences as if they are solid, we argue our 'rightness' whereas it is really righteousness.
If we were to indeed make Hitler only responsible for the ACTUAL crimes of violence that he committed, and equally made all others who 'in his name' or even 'against his cause' (and indeed anyone before or since who has deflected their personal responsibility for their choices in someone else's 'name' or 'cause') we would find that the crimes were committed by many, and attributed to one person in the name of 'righteousness'. All a far cry from actual 'rightness' and all deflecting personal responsibility.
So..... what does that have to do with the quality of your experiences in friendships?
YOU are creating the quality of the experiences and deflecting your personal response ability within them, in effect 'blaming' others for your experiences rather than looking to your own, and others, actual awareness, capacity and willingness to be in an experience of friend-ship.
To greater and lesser degrees and for longer or shorter times we all do this. We all are human, we all are wonderfully and perfectly flawed - we are all growing in our awareness, capacity and willingness to the best of our individual abilities.
The opportunities that present them self to us are the GIFT of the PRESENT. (ee gads, I'm capitalising - must be important in my own mind/thoughts/imagining
A possible 'key' to seeing the gift that is wrapped up in your experiences and sitting waiting or representing itself to be unwrapped by you is already 'known' to you - ----- Forget the excuses and deflecting and see what it is that you KNOW about your self and your journey into self awareness >>>>>
I have ((always had difficulty maintaining friendships because of)) an inability and lack of desire to deal with conflict, ((maybe its conditioning as I come from a troubled background where home and school were chaotic..))
Say it out loud to your self and feel the resonance of truth or not of it in this moment
- forget any thing outside of this moment - we only have our own personal power to choose awarely within our awareness, capacity and willingness in this moment, and this moment does not depend on any moment that has come before it, nor does it dictate any choice beyond this moment. It is self encapsulating honesty, bare, raw, naked truth.
I have an inability and lack of desire to deal with conflict
Well, 'conflict' is an inevitable experience - how you 'deal' with it is absolutely within your choice.
But ask yourself these honest questions
---- What is your actual
ability - are you truly incapable?
Could you enhance your skills in this area rather than blame others for your experiences or deflect your actual ability to respond awarely and honestly in a situation of conflict?
No one gives a hoot about the answer but you.
Ask yourself now ----- how much of my 'incapacity' is actually as stated at the end of your statement - how much of it is unwillingness - is it really just empty of 'desire' or is it playing out in reactive resistance strategies - avoidance, blaming others, fuelling contempt, bigotry, righteousness masking as rightness - all those yummy yucky feelings that let us know something is not quite 'right' in our thought processing, something is 'off' in our perceiving - unless we truly believe as a sociopath does that we are the be all and end all of everything and everything and everyone should behave as we would have them behave.
................. muse on it in the safety of your own compassion for you.
Im trying to just accept where I am at right now. Im thinking maybe I should find a group or sangha so that I may meet some likeminded people
The second sentence here is defeating the first.
Either you want to be at peace where you are, wherever you are, whenever you are - which will require honest appraisal of your awareness, capacity and willingness, or you can keep running around trying to find these mythical people in the mythical setting that isolates you from the real relative world and relationships and people and friendships.
No choice is wrong, it just brings a different experience.
Every and each time you have a righteous thought about another - look inside and you will see yourself clothed in the very same thing you are cloaking over another.
We ALL fail to notice this at times, and the unfolding experiences are more than evident, even in this little thread . We have folks here who ARE like-minded and fairly well developed in self awareness and self discipline, at times none of us see it for the logs in our own eyes.
So... hi friends I love you all just as you are, and I am grateful for the blessings in raising awareness, capacity and willingness that you all individually and collectively provide in experiences with you. Namaste