Amazing Parents

Sometimes it\’s AMAZING. Sometimes it\’s just A MAZE.

Did you think of that yourself?

I have this other friend. A young friend. A very handsome friend. He has always been good to me, too. I think there are just certain people in the universe that “get you” as a person. Maybe your personalities aren’t exactly the same. Maybe you don’t always laugh at all the same jokes. But on a level that’s hard to describe, you get him or she gets you. It’s not romantic love. It’s just a connection.

Recently my friend and I were standing at the front door to my house. We had jumped on the trampoline and laughed and talked, and now it was time for him to go. As he was walking out the door, we started talking about some things that have been going on in my life lately. Among other things, I told him I felt guilty about failing at certain things. Because the truth is, all the expectations are piling up on me, and sometimes it’s hard to see what my values and needs are, separate from those of everyone around me. So I just happened to mention that I felt guilty. I wanted him to hear me and validate that. I wanted someone to say, “It’s ok.” Maybe I wanted to wallow for a while in self-defeat.

He stopped and stood still and he looked me in my eyes and I’ll never forget what he said. He almost laughed as he said it. “Did you think of that yourself?” I just got a stupified, confused look on my face, because I thought, ‘well, obviously’. But then he added, “Or did they make you feel that way?”

Long, silent pause right there in the doorway.

I don’t know who “they” are. It could have been anyone. My friends. My brother. My own children. My church. Anyone who gives their opinion, anyone who feels a need to judge my situation. There have been comments made by some busybody-types, which have made my skin crawl, telling me to do this or to do that. Some even offer up what they would have done if they were me. The words they’ve said have echoed in my head as I lay silently in bed at night. They have made me question what I based my choice on: my own values. What they said has made me feel embarrassed, ashamed, confused, scared. And I hadn’t quite thought of this that way until their comments. It seemed so clear until everyone else got involved.

My friend, although much younger than I am, yet not nearly as immature as me, has taught me a valuable lesson in that question. It made me see that It’s ok to have feelings. Of course it is. But I need to make sure I’m not shifting into a place of victimhood by taking on the expectations of those around me. To make sure I still feel in control of my own life, of my own choices. Because I am.

In the end, I realize that maybe there isn’t a “right” choice here with what I am dealing with. Some people would have stayed, when maybe another might have gone. Some might have stood and fought, while others feel more comfortable backing down from what they truly desire.

In the end, I made a choice. The only choice I could make for me in that moment. And I own that choice and it is mine. I have power over that. I am not a victim. I am just me, and that’s perfectly fine for now. And yes, I thought of that myself.


April 6, 2008 - Posted by | A New Paradigm

1 Comment »

  1. I can really relate to a great deal of what you said here. I’m so glad you have someone to act as your mirror/sounding board. The most important review is ultimately the one you give yourself. And, at the end of the day, the one that matters!

    Comment by danny | April 13, 2008 | Reply

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