I love this song by Julia Michaels where she says, “I got issues.” I’ve been saying this for some time, cuz, well, I do. I mean I think everyone does. You’re either dealing with them or ignoring them or you’re just too dad-gummed busy to sort them out. I think I’ve grown more since my kids left the nest than all the other years of my life put together. Largely because I had time to think. And I had time to begin to ask myself some super tough questions.
Having been on this earth a good while now has helped, too. There’s no teacher like time to bring experience and wisdom.
I saw a meme on Facebook earlier that said, “If someone really loves you, they’ll never leave.” Everyone was typing “Yes!” and “Amen!” and I had to type, “Nope.” SOOOO not my perspective anymore.
People in relationships each individually grow and if they don’t learn to grow together, then a split is inevitable. Some are in abusive relationships. That doesn’t mean they don’t love each other, but you don’t stay in such a place. You just don’t. Sometimes love isn’t enough. There are many circumstances I’ve seen in my life and/or the lives of others, where that meme just didn’t prove to be true. It’s a young perspective. It’s fairy tale land.
I’ve had a lot of love in my life, and I’ve had love leave. I’ve left. It sucks, but it’s the way it is.
As for my other issues, well, they’re probably too numerous to get into. But I’m learning. I’m growing. I’m sorting through the luggage and tossing some things out. I’m facing some hard truths about my own life in a way I’ve never done before; head on. I don’t know exactly why it’s taken me this long, except to say, it was my time to do so.
And at the risk of writing yet another post entitled, “What I’ve Learned,” because I have enough of those now to write an entire book, I will list some more of the things I have learned here. Some are just too personal to share, but some I can.
1) People can love you with all of their ability but not know how to love you right or well.
I didn’t really know love in the way I do now, not for a very long time. Having kids taught me a lot about how to love. Having unconditional love in my life was life-changing for me. Transformational. And it helped me learn a lot more about what love really means. You’re not born with the ability, it is hard fought for.
2) Many people in our world today do not know how to confront, inwardly or outwardly.
I used to think I was the world’s worst at confrontation, and at one time I probably was. I didn’t know how to face the yuck on my own insides, let alone deal with someone else’s. I’ve learned a lot about boundaries, and that people treat you exactly how you allow them to. This a very powerful truth for me. I have also learned to confront others in love and respect, because I have been confronted that way and I’ve been confronted harshly and even unjustly, and I now know which way it should go. It isn’t easy and it isn’t very fun, but I’ve learned to maintain relationships, you MUST be able to confront when needed.
3) Nobody wants to come face to face with having been wrong about something in their lives.
One of the most powerful things that has happened to me in recent years is being brave enough to admit that I’ve been wrong about some core beliefs in my life. Now, that’s painful. It can feel humiliating, or off-putting and just plain yuck. But we are each responsible to grow past the yuck when we find it in ourselves. I’ve had attitudes that were hurtful, I’ve been narrow-minded and short-sighted about some things, and it’s been hard to change, like turning the Titanic. But this ship is turning.
4) Just because something ends, that doesn’t mean it was wrong. You learned something.
In my life I’ve had people jump ship on me. I have to remind myself of the times when I was the one that left something or someone. I am learning not to judge and to realize that people are where they are. I am where I am. If that doesn’t mesh well, that’s okay. It really is. God Bless and see ya later.
5) You’re stronger/better than you think you are, AKA, We ALL Have Issues.
I spent many years dealing with some personal issues that helped me believe I wasn’t worthy of love. I wasn’t good enough. Low self-worth and low self-esteem are epidemic. For some it could be due to harsh up-bringing, or some kind of abuse or trauma, or bullying… but whatever our individual reasons, I think most, if not all people, struggle with their self-worth in some way or another. If you find yourself in any place around any people who hold you down and try to stop your personal growth, please, GET OUT. People who love you for you, will encourage your growth and finding yourself; your self-awareness.
6) You are under NO obligation to be who others think you should be, or hold their “stuff” as your “stuff”.
Don’t adopt your family’s belief system as your own, or your friend’s or anyone’s. Part of knowing who you are is fighting out things for yourself; coming to know and understand fully and firsthand what you believe and why. If your only reason for holding a core belief is because someone else said so, it’s time to really examine it. Examine your own heart. If something feels wrong, it often is. Have the strength to set those boundaries. We have to say “You can come this far and no further.” I will listen to you tell me this or that, but at a certain point, only I know what I truly believe, deep inside to be true, and that I will not negotiate.
And as for me, these are the things I have learned, and maybe you have or haven’t, or maybe you have a different list. If you don’t have a list, it’s time to get one.
Happy growing, beautiful one!!