It’s tough to keep up with a blog. It’s been a very long time since I’ve put anything new up. It may be a long time after today until I put up the next one. In any event, here I am today living in today and perhaps today isn’t the best day. Is a bad day the best day to post a blog? Maybe not, but maybe it is. Maybe it’s better to be honest than to try to be positive all the time. I positively know that today’s post will at least be serious, if not maybe a bit cynical. I know because I’ve already written most of it. I positively know that life is not always positive. To live like you can’t ever be negative is probably unhealthy. On the flip side, to live like nothing is good in the world and there is nothing positive is also unhealthy. I prefer truth over kindness – but maybe truth presented with kindness is a preference as well. The truth is though, that sometimes honesty is painful and uncomfortable.
Today. Living in the moment. It’s funny how today is one of the easiest places to be and at the same time, so difficult a place to be. It’s also funny, when it’s something good we’re thinking about it’s called reminiscing or reflection. Things that happened yesterday may have been exciting, happy and thrilling. Thinking about yesterday or another day in the past brings one back there, to that time emotionally. The events of the days past may be crushing, depressing, embarrassing or even shameful. If there is a word for that, I’m not sure what it is right now. It’s easy to replay these events over and over again in our minds. It’s easy but painful to feel ashamed and live in that feeling.
Either way, when we’re in either the happy places or the sad places of the past, we are not here today. The same can be said for thinking about future events. It may be a concert, a party or a vacation we are thinking about. It may be a court date, a test or an event that takes us out of our comfort zone. Where are we then? Why is focusing on something negatively so important a thing that we aren’t looking at what is right here, right now? Preparation for an event in the future might be similar to living in the future. To me, though, preparation is what makes the future a bit easier to bear. We can prepare today, in this moment and enjoy that part of today, right? Instead of obsessing over the thing that is planned in the future, perhaps preparing for it might be better.
It’s a time of self realization for me right now. Do I value my own ways over others? Is it okay to stand firm in a battle that might hurt the other persons’ pride? It has been so long that I have lived a life taking care of someone else, that I don’t really know how to be my own person without feeling selfish. Taking care of someone else is what I’ve been doing for my sons first 18 years and then the last 9 with my husband. It’s what I do. It’s who I am. I feel guilty when I have a feeling of my own that is not in agreement with others perspectives. Reflecting on this is something that seems to be taking more of my attention than it ever did before. There have been things to come up recently which lead me to question whether I allow other people to prevent me from living my best life. I’ve had moments in the past realizing this now and then. I’ve even made major changes in my life at the realization that certain people never actually cared about me but instead, kept me around because I had always been there for them. What a thing that is to wake up to. It’s okay. I played the role well while I played it. There is no ill will. Not from me anyway. I’m as responsible for that as the other was.
What does it mean to be selfless? Is it a personality trait or is it a cultivated, intentional action? I’m seeing now that one can be a selfless person by nature. I think that perhaps I am. But that doesn’t mean that it’s a good way to be. I think it’s a good thing to intentionally be selfless. Doing something for someone else based on what the recipient would want, need or would enjoy, is what being selfless means to me. Being naturally selfless, however, can cause frustration, disappointment and pain. When others make plans that involve me or are for me and don’t see or consider what is best for me, what might hurt me or make me happy, it doesn’t feel at all like selflessness. Here they are doing what they want, their way, saying it’s all for me; and all the while there is not one thing they are doing that even remotely feels like something I want, like or need. I’m feeling like I’m always doing what is best for the other people, their way, how they would want it; and then they don’t reciprocate in the same way and resentment grows. I think that’s on me. I can’t expect other people to meet my own expectations of myself. And that’s another thing I do all the time. I find ways to take responsibility for things I don’t like and I may be completely justified. Still, I’m sure it’s my fault somehow.
So in this frustration, what can I do or learn or change in myself to help myself evolve and grow? What can I do to help myself be okay? That’s what I’m just not sure of. I don’t want to be all that different than I am. I like who I am. I enjoy doing things for people and having them feel appreciated and seen. I want to live in a way that is pleasing to God and so being selfless is a very important part of that. I want to be who I am but I don’t want to be frustrated or hurt when other people are thoughtless and selfish toward me. When I try to do things that are new and different and I don’t get supported – I don’t want to feel hurt by that. I don’t want to let people walk on me. I don’t want the people who are closest to me feel like they can just discard me like garbage until they either need me again or they feel guilty for discarding me. I want the people closest to me to want what is best for us instead of what is easiest for them in the moment. I especially do not want to become a person who will disregard another person or disregard right to do what is easier and also happens to be wrong. What can I change about myself to make all of this easier for me and subsequently, easier for those close to me?
What DO I want? I do want to be part of the lives of the people I love. I do want people close to me to know me. I do want people to let me be myself. I do want to live the best life I can live. I do want the people around me to partner with me, or at least allow me to pursue that, instead of seeing me as an inconvenience. The trouble with my “I DO want” list is that I have no control at all of most of it. If people don’t want me to be with them, I’m not going to force myself on them and I’m not going to jump at their every beck and call when they feel they can fit me in. Those two extremes don’t work for me. I can’t control what people think of me. I have no control over whether or not people close to me will want to see me be successful or happy.
So where does that leave me? If I draw closer to God and seek His face, I truly feel like I’m loved and valued. It’s sometimes not my ‘go to’ response and that’s unfortunate. Did you think you would get to the end of this blog and have answers? Sorry to disappoint you. I don’t have any answers.
The only answer I have is the same answer I always have. I will pray and I will lean on my Jesus. After all, He seems to like me and He always wants what is best for me even when it’s not easy. I’ll let you know if I figure anything else out.
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