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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I am so sorry to hear about your loss Corinne. I cannot imagine what you must be going through … I pray for the health of your dad.
I like what your cousin said, it is quite true in some situations, makes life less stressful. But the trick lies in finding the right balance.
Take care Corinne. Hugs!!
There is no harm in being a right fighter but it comes at risks like mentioned in the post!
I can be a right fighter at times but not always
You are so brave, Corinne. It isn’t easy to cope up with what all you are facing since the last few months. I can understand how you feel about having two sets of standards. Don’t we all have that though. Hugs <3
Alana Mautone (@RamblinGarden)
Perhaps it is all about the need for control. We all feel that need because without control, we feel helpless. Or we can accept and let go, which is a hard thing for me to do. Right now, I am struggling with a number of family situations. I would never dream that my personal problems could be great opportunities. I’m not there yet.
The Unknown Journey Ahead
Hugs, Corrine. You are in a difficult situation, as you well know. My condolences, first. And, I know you are doing what you need to do. Strange how family can be both a support and a large problem. It is for me right now. It’s hard to see the opportunity for growth and learning when you are in the midst of trying to “solve” the problem. Maybe one day, I’ll realize just what I’ve learned from the past few months of struggle. At least, I know there is no one “right way”, which is, perhaps, small consolation. I wish you the best.
Sanch @ Sanch Writes
It is a fine line between letting go and not standing up for certain things, isn’t it? And as for families, things are never easy with them no matter what. I have generally been someone who wants to be right in an argument but I’ve slowly been learning it’s now about that although with certain issues, I will still fight for ‘what’s right.’
Hugs Corrine! sorry to hear that…My condolences.
I thought of adding my link up here but is it closed
I agree with your reflection about being a non-conformist and do rebel at times but on the other hand, brush everything with a diplomatic face. This quote is so powerful Corinne and it’s such situations that help us to discover our inner potential or choose life to be business as usual. But, there is a sheer force that can propel us out of lethargy. May the force be with you in taking care of your Dad 🙂
Indeed tough times.. virtual hugs your way! So yes there is this fine line fighting for the things your believe and fighting to be right. And which side you need to stand by, also depends on situations. Somewhere there isnt a tried and tested formula in life.