Wouldn’t it be wonderful if the people in our lives all wanted what we want, so we could just chase our heart’s desires, and they’d all be happy to chase them with us? Ahh. Let’s all take a moment to savor that wonderful fantasy.
But that’s not really how it works, is it? The norm for many of us is that with every decision we make, at least a handful of people are affected by it. For me, I have to worry about four children and a husband weighing in, especially when it involves major life decisions.
I used to strongly voice the opinion to my children that while I value their desires, they are currently living in my life, and will have to work around that. Then when they are adults, they can then enter into their lives and live differently should they choose.
But when we started traveling, that theory came crashing down on me. Their upset was too much for me to bear, and I knew I needed to find a middle ground. I had finally pushed them past their limit.
I realized that while I didn’t have to shape my life around them, they didn’t need to shape everything in their lives around me either. We could live separately and harmoniously if I just thought outside the box a bit.
And we are working on that concept as I write this, but I am still having to take some strong stances that not everyone agrees with in order to build a life that I love.Sometimes we must take strong stances to build a life we love. Click To Tweet
I am getting better at figuring out the difference between making someone uncomfortable, and causing serious psychological problems. Of course, sometimes it feels like anything and everything will cause serious problems in a teenage girl’s life, but I am assured there are many things they will just get over when they have grown up a bit.
Generally we bend too much, especially women. So I don’t usually address this side of the issue. But this side definitely exists, and it can become discouraging when you’re trying to come alive.
With my own kids, I can sometimes become so worried about their emotions that I forget that they can adjust and change. I also forget that it’s okay for them to have emotions on the negative spectrum, and if I bend every time they’re upset, they’ll stop feeling safe about having negative emotions, because something major always happens as a result.
Allowing them to disagree with my decisions and be upset, while still holding firm in my plans, has been hugely helpful. Instead of trying to get them on board or being angry with them for trying to stand between me and my dreams, I can validate their feelings and tell them I’m sorry they’re hurting. This has relieved not only some of their ache, as they want to be heard and known too, but my own ache as I release their emotional burden.
With Dan, I try not to fold too easily when he voices his concerns, as this allows him to process without worrying about crushing me. If I am sure about something, I need to stand tall, legitimately address his concerns, and offer my own view. I also need to remain vulnerable and open during this time, because I tend to get prideful and defensive if my plans are questioned. But when I am honest about my own fears and concerns, I notice that Dan will take my strong stances more seriously, because he knows I’m not moving forward blindly without having considered the possibility of negative side effects. In other words, I’m not living in a dream bubble, I’m just willing to push through the negative to get the rewards.
Overall, I stand by my conviction that the best thing I can offer those closest to me, is an alive version of myself. And if that means we all have to get a little uncomfortable to do it, then so be it. There’s discomfort in any decision we make. We cannot escape pain entirely. So to experience pain for the sake of alive hearts, is completely okay.
This week’s prompt: – Why is it important to be able to be able to say no?
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