We start this lifetime at a certain point, the product of our family’s upbringing, and then when we become “adult” we expect ourselves to know “everything”. As adults we make our choices and live the results of those choices. No one is perfect and everyone makes mistakes. There is no one out there walking on water and turning bread into wine and yet somehow, the majority of humans beat the hell out of themselves for NOT being perfect.
Instead of berating yourself for not being perfect or deriding those in your life who are also not perfect, let’s try breathing and stepping back. Let’s give ourselves time to have our emotional response by ourselves, and then go back to the discussion as a rational, respectful human being. When we look at others, it is imperative that we recognize that they too started out life one way, they have also made many mistakes along the way, and so they too have changed as a result of their choices. No one stays 100% who they were as a child – that is not what life is about.,
Our feelings are important, they are necessary for growth of the individual as well as they help us recognize boundaries and when things are not correct for us. But when someone uses our emotions against us and tries to intimidate us by name calling and insults, it is time to take a break from that person’s presence in our life – either temporarily or long term. Only when we stop reacting to emotions created by manipulative individuals can we recognize the manipulation.
2017 is only going to get more “interesting” as it progresses. Emotions are going to overflow and sometimes ugly words do get said. Emotional maturity is necessary to move forward during those times, and to exhibit behavior that is adult instead of childish is important to do when you are an adult. It is ok to disagree with someone’s point of view, but not ok to have a temper tantrum because they don’t switch to your point of view. It is ok to be passionate about something, but not ok to be hurtful to those who don’t take your POV as “TRUTH”.
Change can be ugly. Change can be painful throughout the process. Once these turbulent times are just a memory, the changes wrought will be assist with self examination and to examine those we have chosen to keep as part of our “family”.
Change helps each of us shed the chaff we have smothered ourselves with over the years. It keeps us honest and helps us see where we are and where we are not living our values. It helps us see how often we do not “walk our talk”. Living by the ethics and morals we spout is so important – for ourselves, not for anyone else.
Everyone is going to be physically alone at some point in their life, if not many times. When you are alone with yourself, can you be still and quiet or do you have to cover it up with noise? Can you bear to hear only your own thoughts or do you have to be distracted by other drama in the world? Can you be content knowing that you have done your best every day, regardless of whether that best is equivalent every day? Can you look hard at yourself and say you have lived your life according to the values you quote to others and be at peace with yourself?
Life is hard. It is harder when we lie to ourselves, but we only recognize we lie to ourselves when everyone else we have lied to is gone. Surrender to the quiet, to the peace, to the solitude. Allow yourself to be brave and to confront that individual inside of you. Everyone has emotional warts. Everyone has difficulty being human. This is not new. What is new is that you are now experiencing it in a way you have not done so before.
Now you may even be experiencing a sense of betrayal at what someone else has “done”. Look deep within yourself. Look closely, look honestly. Do not flinch away, do not find “something else to do”. Until you love yourself – warts and all – you will never truly love anyone else. Not your children, not your partner, not your friends, not your grandchildren for if you offer them love it will be a lie. If you tell them you love them, you will know exactly how conditional your love is. And conditional love is not love.
© 2017 Julia Knickerbocker ALL RIGHTS RESERVED