When you know better, you do better! Maya Angelou
This (photo) is the face of I don’t want to. The face of no choice.
A wise friend once said, “You get what you put up with.” He said it with a voice of experience. So I made some changes to what I was doing and walked away from a situation back then. And many other situations -and people- since.
After a long, continuing journey of further suffering leading to more growth, I have learnt that it serves no one to put myrself last to others’ expectations or demands nor accept anything less than respect. What our children experience repeatedly becomes their normal. I struggled with what was becoming our normal and as my children challenge me constantly, I started questioning my decisions -even more than I was already beating myself up for previous decisions. When I decided that I too, deserve respect and to be to be heard, and that didn’t happen, then my path really did need to be the ‘highway’.
If I didn’t have a voice in my relationships, then it has served me to leave.
One way to change the world is to teach and model a new normal.
I often challenge my own normal.
Is this what I want or deserve?
No? Then I change it.
Putting up with it only perpetuates disfunction. Trite such as ‘work on yourself and everything will be better’ (in the same relationships), as ‘celebrated’ by the eternal happiness brigade, does nothing to encourage accountability nor responsibility for owning our own part in the demise of relationships. It seems life throws me in to situations to challenge the status quo, and what I’ll put up with. Intentionally or otherwise.
So I learn what I need to learn and move on. Sometimes life throws us stuff to either learn the lesson or teach others what we’ve learnt. I model what I’ve learnt to my children, as best I can at any given time.
Often I model it badly (in my head, that's what it seems).
Or maybe I’m just human. I’ve come to accept it’s OK for me to fail, even in front of my kids. My most important effort is to work through things and help my work their out their issues, focussing on resolution, while holding true to our standards of respect and negotiation.
What I do know is that children need to feel heard and honoured too. They know what supports them and what doesn't. Children deserve to have choices in their lives about what they should and shouldn't be made to do.
I have no nugget of wisdom to impart on this, I’m too busy dragging myself out of the gutter of self-judgement and analysis to tell anyone else how they should do it. If I did have something to say on parenting, it might be: just do what you do with love. And flexibility. And humour. Always humour - when appropriate.
We’re all in this together, let’s support each other in our growth and understanding, eh?
*Using the word ‘relationships’, I refer to all relating; friendships, relating with co-workers, as well as intimate partners.