The challenge this week over at the Sandbox is all about acceptance and asks the following:
Have you ever tried to change someone in your life?
How’d that work out for ya?
Ironically, there has been a terrific little book making the rounds in my circle at work, which dives into those things we cannot control and how to deal with them.
“You should never hold yourself accountable for results you don’t control, but always for the strength of trying.”
My days of trying to change people or their behaviours are over and done with.
I have been struggling my entire life trying to fix people, which is a classic co-dependent’s way of surviving.
It began with my Dad, the lovable but totally unreliable alcoholic, then through two significant relationships, and ended with my brother.
I turned 50 and woke up one morning, realizing I didn’t know shit.
I had been picking up and fixing; scrambling to keep fragile plates spinning in the air for years and had failed every single one of them, but mostly myself.
I actually did them all a disservice, flying to the rescue every single time. Fixing all the problems, applying band-aids to all the financial boo-boos that occur when you have an active substance abuser in your life. Figuratively rolling out the red “fuck me” carpet over and over again, so they could carry on with their selfish selves, and leave the damage control to me.
What power I had! Sneaky little woman. In reality, moving all those puppets around, and having SO MANY brownie points and emotional debts stacked up and you know not a one of them ever heard the end of it from me.
I am shocked no one asked me to get off the cross, so they could re-purpose the wood.
“This can be a very sobering and humbling insight. We are so often taught by society that everything that happens to us – good or bad – is what we’ve earned and what we deserve. Thus, we constantly blame ourselves and beat ourselves up when we can’t make a change for the better. Yet that’s not how life works.
What we need to practice is a “radical acceptance” of life’s never-ending bullshit.
Bullshit never ends. Life will always make unpredictable turns, throwing us curve balls, and seeing how we adapt.
You’ll never reach a point in your life where everything is perfect and you no longer have any problems or obstacles. You will never reach a point in your life where the “bullshit” ends. So what can you do? Radically accept it.”
There is such a feeling of relief and weightlessness when you come to the realization that you are ultimately responsible for no one’s happiness/ survival but your own.
Our children will always be in our thoughts and most of us will do anything in order to help them succeed and feel loved, but even there, we must learn to let go the reigns and just accept them for who they work towards being. It is up to them to do the work required in order to be functioning members of society and by giving and giving and not making them stand on their own feet, we are doing them a disservice as well as ourselves.
I have accepted responsibility for how my life has unfolded and willingly accept that how the rest of it moves forward is entirely up to me and the choices I make.
I have also accepted that I am but a mere speck here in the universe, and although I may have thought I was omnipotent in the past, I must only focus on the small sphere of influence I actually have control over.