Friday, January 13, 2012

Finding your peace....

I was emailing with a friend today and I was talking about how there are things in this world that you cannot change and I think it’s important to find your peace about those things. 
There are so many places in this world where this is true.  When faced with things that are hard it’s important to find your peace.  Be grateful for what you have and learn to deal with the barriers or obstacles.  It’s sure has shit not always easy.  But I think It’s important.  And I think challenges we face in life make us stronger and teach us important lessons. I think the big stuff.. the really important stuff… it shouldn’t be too easy.  You should have to work at it, you should have to find a way around and through whatever obstacles to your happiness exist and be grateful for the journey along the way.
Is this a weight loss thing too?  Like… do we all have things about ourselves that we cannot change that adversely affect our weight loss efforts?  Can we work to find peace about that accept that as something we can’t change and find a work around?  Don’t try to fight it.  Own it and figure out how to work with it.
That wasn’t the context of our email conversation.  We were talking about finding peace with members of your family.  I long ago found peace about the relationship I have with my father.  He’s a nice man, a good man.  He’s not mean, he never abused me, never belittled me, never was cruel.  He was just absent.  I say I was raised by a single mom, though he slept in our house until shortly before I went to college. 
Today if he and I are in the same room we get along great.  Lots of easy fun conversation.  There’s no tension.  We have some shared experiences we can fall back on.  He’s interested in what’s going on in my life now what’s going on in my kids’ lives.  I know he loves me and I love him but… we’re just not very involved in each other’s lives.  I probably see him four times a year and he lives maybe 40 minutes from me.  I doubt he knows when my birthday is.  I used to make sure I called him on his birthday but it’s not that important to me anymore.  I mean, I try, but sometimes I forget and that’s okay too.  But the thing is, I’m really grateful he’s In my life.  It’s sort of like we’re very good old business colleagues.  I don’t hesitate to call him if I have a legal question that needs some review or research and he jumps on it immediately and he doesn’t hesitate to call me if he has a tax or accounting question and I find him an answer right away.  But beyond that… eh.
This had come up because a friend had had a conversation with his dad.  And his dad is a bastard. He’s been mean and cruel to him for his entire life.  And now in his dad’s later years he all but supports him.  Making sure his bills are paid, making sure he has what he needs and what he gets in return is more verbal abuse; which hurts him.  He doesn’t really talk about it.  He doesn’t really say much about it at all, but it’s clear that it does.  And it hurts me to watch a good man be torn down by an ungrateful bastard.  I truly hope that he’s able to find his peace with his dad.  To be able to find a way in which he can exist can live with himself and the choices he makes and be able to take some steps away from his father. Maybe those steps will just be symbolic a way to be able to insulate himself from the hurt and abuse.  But maybe those steps will be actual; learning to be okay with doing less for him.
This is not unlike what Dan did with his family a bunch of years ago.  They used to be able to push his buttons like no one’s business.  And he could easily get sucked into their negativity and it made him miserable way down here in MD, several states away from his family.  But over time he learned to have better boundaries around his family.  They haven’t changed at all, but how Dan interacts with them has.  What he’s willing to listen to has changed.  What’s he’s willing to deal with has changed.  He still does all the things a son should do, but it’s at a significantly reduced cost to him personally.  My hope for my friend is that’s he’s able to find the same kinds of boundaries with his father that let him do what he feels is right for his care, while finding a way not to be mired in the negativity, not to have it weigh him down.

My wish for all of you is to be able to find your peace with your toughest issue this year!!


Lyla said...

Great post-- and peace right back at you.

Jen said...

Um. WOW is all I can say. You pretty much summed up what my life has been like for the last year or so with my fam. Good times. Thank goodness for my husband who has helped me learn how to insulate a bit. Changing my reactions to them. I'm still learning though. The peace is just out of reach at this point, but I'm forging ahead!
I wish you and your friend peace.
You are an amazing lady. He is lucky to have you. (So am I!) Squeezes.