Tuesday, February 1, 2011

A decision that saved *My Life*

For years I lived confused.  Wondering who I was supposed to be, and what it is exactly that others wanted of me.  I had a preoccupation with expectations.

So many people would tell me that I was too hard on myself.  I was defensive.  I knew no other way.  If it was imaginable, I was pretty sure I could do it.  If someone said I should, then certainly it was possible.  I was a good girl and I did what I was told, and because I didn't like being told what to do, I often stepped up and did what I thought was expected of me before it was even asked.  Because, that's what *good girls* do.  Right?  If I waited until being told, then I'd always be one step behind and that definitely doesn't imply responsible.

Then those people said I was wrong.  I was working too hard.  And I thought, okay...now what?  I didn't know what to do.  Just how am I supposed to live?  

And oh by the way, who am I?

A product of divorce.  A statistic.  The black sheep of my father's family.  Am I even considered a sister to those who share the same father as me?  What do they think of me?  Why don't we have a relationship?  What did I do for him to go his separate life and only appear to look back on occasion, busily going about his important life of child rearing (those he loves more than me...because he knows them more than me).

Rising above.  I'd rise above it all.  I don't need him.  I have a Dad, and he has always been to me.  And my mom, she cares about the details of my life that no one else seems to notice, she encourages me and she's my biggest fan.

Still, though, I waffled.  I wavered.  I teetered and tottered through life, painfully trying to navigate where I should go and what I should do and who I am supposed to be.  

Then I got married and while unpacking for our life together, somehow my groom was placed up on this pedestal and I just looked at him in awe.  I'd be jealous and envious that he seemed to have it all together.  In spite of his own painful up-bringing, he seemed to be so much more assure of himself.  He is so wise.  So thoughtful.  A complete super-man in every aspect.

I continued to stagger and stumble through life, wondering if moving away from where I was brought up might help me to find me and who I am supposed to be.  So by my prompting we made a costly decision - one we're still paying for, in effect.  And the should's only became louder, and more confusing than ever.  Because it's hard to find me when I'm so worried about what others will think.  And it's those same people who would tell me not to be so concerned about what others think, and yet I was smart enough to notice that when those people weren't happy, I wasn't happy.

Then, one day, seemingly out of the blue, I was faced with a decision.  A decision that's made all the difference.

My life - who I am, not who I am supposed to be - was saved by the decision I made.

I decided to forgive.  Completely. Forgive.

My parents failed my own expectations.  I didn't feel led by them toward who I am.  I only felt their own insecurities.  Anger rose and I realized that I had my own set of expectations.  I expected my parents to have it all together.  I expected my parents to know the best way.  I expected my parents to have made their mistakes, and that by being parents they were too grown up for mistake making.

As I live, I find similarities between my parents and me - {we're not perfect, and neither of us is any better than the other}.  In choosing to forgive (my father for his lack of attention to my life, or my mother for all the multitude of things she said or didn't do), space was freed up for me to just live.

Just. Live. 

I'm still trying to figure it out sometimes - just what it is I'm supposed to do.  But most days, or at least a lot more of the days than used to be, I just let myself live, and I let them live, too.  I can't control what has happened or what will happen.  And I can't control the reactions of  my parents, my husband, or even my closest friends.  But I can control me.

No comments:

Post a Comment