The parent I was raised by had a “You and me against the world. Screw them — you don’t need them” mentality. Recently I was with my parent, and he said almost those exact words to me all these years later. For the first time, I responded “No, I need a lot more than just you and me.”
I have carried this mentality through my life. When a challenging, hard time, or difficulty came with someone, I walked away. On the outside, it may have appeared hateful or arrogant with the “Screw you” mentality. Quite contrary, majority of the time, I cried my tears alone, and I carry the hurt of many broken friendships in my heart to this day.
Ingrained thought patterns are hard to break. I am an emotional runner. I even sleep in a running position; on my side with one leg and one arm up, ready to sprint. Challenge and conflict are situations I have walked away from or walked around. That behavior has resulted in the blue-eyed woman I see in the mirror who trusts few. Not a pretty image. The smile is there; it just doesn’t reflect in my eyes.
I am learning the hard lessons late in life called compromise and closure. The art of walking through experiences. Not backing away or walking around. But, taking a deep breath and risk, then walking into the experience. Recently I have been getting a lot of practice. Slowing my reaction and letting the emotion run its course. Making the choices of what is of value and worth the work.
I have to admit my running shoes are in rebellion. “Run, bitch, run!” are the old messages that haunt me along with “You don’t need them, it’s me and you.” Sadly, there is no me and you anymore. Just me. Standing alone.
I am learning some valuable lessons: that compromise is best when you use straight talk about what you need. Staying focused on a win-win outcome for everyone. And the reality that sometimes, you agree to not agree. Even in that scenario, by walking through the situation, you come out the other end with respect, understanding and a relationship stronger and intact.
My lifetime of running and ducking and dodging is coming to an end. It is time to walk into life and come out the other side a better woman than I went in.
Today I am thankful ..
- Our first significant snowfall — my view is beautiful
- My friend is letting me use her Charlie Brown Christmas tree, and it makes me smile every time I look at itistmas
- My Christmas music project
It is never too late to change the outcome of your life. The beauty of life is at any moment you can make different choices. As Louis Armstrong sings, “Its a wonderful world.”
affectionately yours, Laura