Self-Care Tip#228 – If we choose to have someone in our lives, if we choose that it is better for us than not, than take what is good and leave the rest.
We’ve all seen them, or been them at some point through life. Those walk-outs. Either choice, leave or stay, takes immense courage to do well.
Tonight however, I’m thinking about the courageous who stayed. Those who stay despite the stink in life. Those who stay when there are bad choices by “the other” that spill over and touch us.
We choose to stay in the relationship but do we have to choose to suffer with them?
Mandy comes to mind. Her mom was old and disinhibited. She said inappropriate things and had mood swings. In their past together, Mandy’s mom was younger but had still said many hurtful things and done hurtful things. However Mandy stayed connected because she wanted her mom in her life. Many said,
I just choose to have her. I don’t worry, as much as I can, about the things Mom does that I don’t like. I take care of myself now. I stay emotionally as safe as possible but still be present in her life and let Mom be present in mine. As long as I want her. As long as I know I’m safe.
Mandy was like a mini version of the kibbutz I remembered visiting in Israel many years ago. The kibbutz’s members worked a thrifty irrigation system, had interdependent living combined with separateness in a romantic setting – something green and amazing in the middle of very dry hot and otherwise empty sands. I wanted, even then, to bring their irrigation secrets home, which brilliantly used, not misused, precious water. They lived in something that looked close to “plenty” in a place that seemed barren of natural resources.
But memories of the kibbutz in and out through the years brought questions too about connection. What would be enough to turn our choices to resemble theirs? Maybe at least some of the hardships many of them have suffered. Maybe something like abuse or terrorism would make me “walk” out on the connections my community or an individual offered. Others may also do it for temperament reasons but extroverted temperaments would never choose that unless they felt they had to choose to be walk-outs.
Why did Mandy do it – connectedness, interdependence combined with separateness? She chose to. She used but didn’t misuse her mother. For Mandy, misusing Mom would have held Mom responsible for how Mandy felt. Mandy preserved her precious connection with Mom by taking care of her Me, her own feelings, and her connections.
Questions: How have you stayed connected to the one(s) you love? When they made negative choices, how did you stay safe but still connected? Please tell me your story.
- Sharing Will Take You Out of Isolation (friendtoyourself.com)