I have often gone through seemingly impossible situations. In fact, I’m going through one now. Not only have we just laid our Mom to rest, we’re faced with taking care of our soon-to-be 92 year old Dad, who has had a stroke. I’ve been going through a range of emotions – grief, anger, frustration, giving up, walking away from it all, coming back. In all, this continues to be a great learning experience for me. I do believe, that we can choose to see things either as impossible situations or great opportunities.
Impossible Situations Or Great Opportunities
“We are all faced with a series of great opportunities brilliantly disguised as impossible situations”– Charles Swindoll.
Warning : Ramble Ahead
As in all families, there’s friction and misunderstanding that comes to the fore with stress. There’s someone trying to call all the shots, another one trying to take all the credit, there’s another who keep dissenting and still another who seems to sit on the fence about everything. Our decisions are sometimes not objective, and yet we don’t want to let go. Conflict handling styles to differ. We have the turtle, the shark, the fox, the teddy bear, the owl at play.
A Great Opportunity To Learn
Family – Two Sets Of Standards?
For me, this is a great opportunity to understand myself better, clarify my values and be more authentic about my feelings. Without getting into details, these difficult days have helped me to see how I continue to suffer from low self-esteem at times. I have realized more clearly how families, or any group for that matter, can label us and then do everything to make sure that we live up to the label.
I clearly have two sets of standards for behaviour I tolerate. What I tolerate from family is not what I would tolerate even from a friend. This is not authentic behaviour. Yet, when I stand up for myself in my family, I’m seen as aggressive, only because they’re too used to having me eventually fall into line.
Family – Conform or Not?
I realize that the family as a unit, as nice as it is portrayed to be, can also be what keeps us down. Every time I refuse to take nonsense from an ‘elder’, I know that I am reaffirming my right to be me. I’ve realized that extended family often does their best to make people confirm, but I’m a non-conformist, so it often is a mine-field.
If you’ve ever watched a Dr Phil show, you might have heard him using this expression : Don’t be a right fighter.
People who are right-fighters, (or those who are driven by the need to be right), have their value or worth literally attached to the outcome of being right. On a very deep level, a right-fighter believes that if she is not agreed with then she is not valuable, lovable and/or worthy. The “right-fighter” desperately believes (unconsciously) that others must agree with her to feel okay about herself. Being a right-fighter causes you to depend upon others for your self-esteem and worth.
I’ve been watching myself to see if I had the tendency to be one. And I do.
There’s such a fine line between fighting for what you believe is right and fighting to be right! I’m learning to make that distinction.
A cousin recently told me, “Life is all about going down hill, not about attempting to claw your way back up.” I was taken aback for a moment until I realized what she meant. She restated that a few days later when she told me that if we want to be happy, we should let go and allow life to take its course, not trying to control things. I talk about it all the time, but it’s a hard thing to follow.
Again, there’s such a fine line between letting go and being hands off about things. I’m learning to let go of the results of what I say or do, while continuing to be actively involved.
These reflections could go on and on…but I’ll call a halt to them here. Let me tell that I’m not blameless, nor above pettiness. I’m learning ‘on the job’.
Now, you tell me. What you feel about Swindoll’s quote?
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The prompt for the week is :
“We are all faced with a series of great opportunities brilliantly disguised as impossible situations” – Charles Swindoll.
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