Tuesday, July 2, 2013

I'm okay, you're okay

My mother could hold a grudge for years. She lived in the past and counted old hurts like gold coins. It's an easy way to live your life but, it's not a healthy one. Deep down I believe it was the inability to let go and move on that killed her not the cancer.

Sometimes we have to let go a bit even if it hurts. My eldest daughter has just turned thirteen, a tricky age for anyone. She no longer wants to come home and tell me about her day. I'm not allowed to look at any text she receives. If she buys something in town she doesn't want to show me what it is. I have to be okay with that. I need to step back while she discovers who she is while I hope and pray that she comes back to me in the end. I know the kind of relationship I want with my daughter. The only problem is that it's not all about what I want. She has an input to the relationship too.

I recently offered to buy a gift to an important person in my life or give a gift voucher so she could pick out the item herself. She didn't feel comfortable with the idea. I would like us to be closer, she doesn't want that. Again I know the kind of relationship I would like but...its not up to just me. The true is that we are always changing.   Just because something was right for us in the past doesn’t mean it still is.  

It happens to you slowly as you grow older.  You discover more about who you are and what you want out of life, and then you realise there are deliberate changes you need to make to keep up with the changes happening around you and within you. The specific people and routines you’ve known forever no longer align with your values.  So you cherish all the memories, but find yourself letting go and moving on. I find it much easier than it use to be. 

It's sad but true, no matter what you do or how much you explain yourself, some people will gradually evolve away from your core values.  As time goes on they will prove over and over again that they are committed to misunderstanding you and clashing with your needs. What was right for you then is not necessarily right for you now.  Sometimes the hardest part isn’t letting go but rather realising that you have changed, and then learning to start over with your new self. 

I'm a people pleaser by nature, open and chatty. I get frustrated by people who are closed. I hate one sided conversations, they want to know everything that's going on in your life but don't want to share what's happening in theirs. I have no doubt that my garrulous chat grates on their nerves. But these days I find more and more that I'm okay with who I am. Forgive me for saying this old cliche but I'm actually learning to like myself.

Some people come into your life just to strengthen you, so you can move on without them.  They are supposed to be part of your memory, not your future.  The bottom line is that when you have to start compromising your happiness and your potential for the people around you, it’s time to change the people around you. 

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