Sunday, September 19, 2010

Live and Let Live

We are in a really good place right now.  I have read that there is positive energy all around and that if we can tap into that and think positively, that we will be caught up on a wave of positive energy.  I feel like that is just where we are.  One decision opens the door to the next good thing, and the next and so on and so forth.

I have been thinking a lot about growth lately.  And how I have grown.  My friends and family always criticized me for worrying too much about what other people thought.  There have been some events these last few years, a relationship was lost and then mended, two other relationships were severed and in all of the conversations and examining, I realized:  there comes a time in your life when you realize who will always matter, who does matter and who never did matter. So, don't worry about people from your past. There's a reason they didn't make it to your future. ~ Anonymous I know that sounds kind of cliche, but when I really started to think about it, I realized that I need only be concerned with the opinions of the people that I respect...and in further thinking about that, I realized that those people that I respect would be fine with whatever I did, as long as I made educated decisions, accepted responsibility for my actions and treated others well.

Here's another great quote about almost the same thing and something else that I realized over the last year:  There comes a point in life when you get tired of chasing everyone and trying to fix everything, but it's not giving up. It's realizing you don't need certain people and the drama they bring. ~ Adam Lindsay Gordon

I have come to realize that not all situations are going to be the way that I want them to be and that I need to accept that.  Not everyone is going to act the way that I want them to act.  Some people are not going to pay their bills and are going to take advantage of other people; some people are not going to accept responsibility for their actions and are going to blame others; some people are going to make up stories about other people and try to convince others they are true.
They can rationalize and justify anything; there is no reasoning with them.  I have come to realize that if I am not comfortable with the way people act, I can go my own way and leave them alone.  

I try to be a good person, although I fall short.  For years, I tried to be there for people who I believed wanted a stable life, but had been dealt a bad hand, because I thought that was the right thing to do.  Time and again, I observed inconsistencies between their actions and their words and it made me uncomfortable, but I felt like the nice thing to do was to stick by them.  Their lives, their blogs, their facebooks are negative posts, threats aimed at others, hurt feelings, disparaging remarks.   I had heard of toxic relationships, but I don't think I really understood what it meant until I went to speak with our pastor, who told me: If someone is drowning and you are not trained in life-saving techniques, you should not jump in to save them, because chances are good that they will pull you under and you will both drown.

Our pastor, Lou Kilgore, is such an amazing person, a wonderful pastor and such a blessing to us!  His words really made me think.  I have come to a place where I can accept that things are not always going to be the way that I want them to be and that I can not make them be the way that I want.  I believe that we all fail sometimes, but we need to make amends and get back on the path.  Maybe my way is best for me, but not for others.  And if it is not best for others, they may choose to go their own way. And if the words or actions of others often elicit feelings of discomfort, turmoil, upset or negativity in me, then I don't need that in my life.  God gave us all free will and we all have the right to exercise it; it is not judgment or being a bad person.  It is our own free will.
Understanding all of this has made me not worry about what other people think of me. It has given me the strength to make my own decisions, decisions that are right for me and for my family. It has been empowering to know that you don't need to cling to things that are not working in your life.

We have made the decision to homeschool our girls, which has opened us up to some terrific new friendships.  Amazing, creative, interesting, diverse people that I love spending time with.  I am so happy that my girls are making friends with such a wonderfully diverse group of children who are bringing new interests and ideas into the foreground.  These are not kids who are obsessed with cell phones, texting and video games or the latest Justice fashion.  In fact, A has stopped asking for a phone and now wants a hamster or a guinea pig.  She will definitely get a cell phone when she gets older, but at what other point in her life will she want a hamster or guinea pig?  I see my girls spending more time pursuing their interests, not what other kids deem as cool. I worried what my girls' friends' parents would think, but they have all been supportive and encouraging, inviting my girls to birthday parties, the movies, to sleepover and on playdates.   This is right for us, for our family.  Maybe not for all families, but it is right for ours.

Although it has not been easy, I am grateful for the journey that lead us here, because I feel we are exactly where we are meant to be.