Do you stand up for yourself especially when it means going it alone. Unconditional love can be hard to find. And when you give unconditional love, you may not get it back. Risky isn’t it? Condemnation comes more easily than acceptance. Do you want to hurt someone before they can hurt you? Babies and puppies and kittens can be very trusting and can give their affection without realizing that they might get hurt by doing it. Back in the teenage years and later as a young adult, a person may not have wanted to make the first move when dating for fear of being rejected. Rejection can be a very dangerous thing if you are small. Who can you depend on to meet the needs that you can’t yet meet for yourself? Do you know at that age that the rejection most likely won’t last and you will be secure again? What stock of experiences stored in his or her memory does a child have to depend on to be sure that he or she is will be safe and will be accepted and cared for once again. Love withdrawal because of this is a dangerous form of discipline. It is the act that is disliked not the person but the child doesn’t know that.
When a child starts having a peer group, that is another place where a child can suffer from rejection. Child often learn to quickly gang up on another child and by rejecting that child, make his or
herself feel more secure. Isn’t being ostracized or shunned often the worse thing that can happen to a person. How often do we look around at the people in the group that we are in to determine what is the safe thing to do or say? For example which is safest? being a Christian or being a Muslim or for being for abortion versus being against it. Isn’t it often that the person that says what other people are afraid to say is the person that is doing the right thing. Worse yet you can be killed by standing out from a crowd in this way and such uncalled for slaughter is often a satisfactory way of warding off dissent.
Sometimes aren’t animals more loyal and self-sacrificing than humans? In this case which one the animal or the human is more moral? Humans can be self sacrificing and share all they have with others in their group. Giving can be more satisfying than receiving. I have a wonderful spiritual friend who just bubbled over when it was suggested to her that the most fun in the world would be to be able to give people something they really wanted and couldn’t ordinarily have.
Even some murderers and many other wrong doers have some sort of a conscience and this is often what trips them up and gets them caught. There are, however, people out there often called psychopaths or sociopaths who do not even have a remnant of a conscience and can get away with doing horrendous things because there they have no conscience. Role models are important in the building of a conscience. If somebody does something for you that they don’t have to do and is even self-sacrificing, you may want to imitate them because when they behave this way they make you feel good.
Life for me is making a closer and closer approximation to a person who believes that other men are his or her brothers and sisters and that certain “truths” are worth standing up for and fighting for. I know when I am not living up to this standard and I believe I have been purposely put on earth to do this. Current studies of animal behavior also demonstrate loving and caring behavior in such nonhuman animals as dolphins and elephants as well. Here I stand, I can not do otherwise (Martin Luther).
Is this an either or question? Think of Life as a balance scale with yourself on one side and others on the other side. Too much on one side or the other and the scale won’t balance. It also can make you grouchy and resentful and possibly greedy. How about the person for whom nothing is ever right and who is difficult to please. Too much candy and then none of it tastes good. You work hard so you can enjoy life and then you never have any time to do what you enjoy. Rush through things and then you don’t have time to enjoy them. Best get-a ways I ever had were when we forgot about time and enjoyed the setting, the company, the conversation, and sharing the experience.
Savoring is enjoying what you do have. Whether it is clean sheets, fresh corn on the cob, a clean car, or unexpected, but welcome, company. Savoring involves being able to accept a change of pace when one offers it self. Remember when you were in schoo9l and had a snow day? It represented a free day to go out and play in the snow. Did you ever really miss having school on a snow day? Have you ever read a book while caught in a traffic jam after an accident on the interstate? I did and it was one I had already read so I reread it. Did I waste my time grouching and complaining about the jam or the fact that the only book I had I had already read. Time went faster as I lost myself in the story I had read before.
“Enjoy yourself. It is later than you think,” was a title of a song. Did the writer know what he or she was writing about? On the other hand are you too busy enjoying yourself that you have no time left for anybody else? Grandma or grandpa are you too busy to babysit your grandchildren because you always have a golf tournament, a card game, or a committee meeting. You may even rationalize this away by telling yourself that the grand children will be more fun and less work when they get older and then you never find the time then either.
Are you there for every meeting your social or church group has and have held every office over the years and some for several years in a row. Do people say that they don’t know what they would do without you? Are you tied up babysitting for family and the family always knows who they can get at the last minute. You! You tell friends that you would like to do something with them and then are unable to follow through with your plans with them because of family obligations. You have planned a trip somewhere on a special day and have made all the reservations and paid fees that are not refundable but don’t go because you have to do something for someone else and that is more important than what you wanted to do.
Is “wallflower” your middle name? Do you let everybody else take all the credit, get all the prizes, and celebrate all the milestones? Would you be surprised if nobody showed up for your own funeral and/or that your relatives didn’t even have a memorial service for you. In fact, while you are alive you even encourage them to do this when you die.
There needs to be a nice balance here. You are just as important as others are and others are just as important as you are. Giving and receiving are both part of the equation. Knowing what might really please you now may be the inspiration for something you can do for somebody else later. Parents of young children often know this as do members of families with a chronically ill loved one or a recent unexpected death in the family.
Giving is important. Gratitude is important. Giving as a form of gratitude is one of the most sincere forms of thanks. You give me some of what you have and I give somebody else some of what I have. It is the daisy chain of gratitude. I may not be able to pay you for the tank of gas I needed to get to the doctor, but may be I can mow the neighbor’s yard. Remember the old story about someone who gets out on the wrong side of bed and kicks the cat who scratches the dog who bites the mailman, etc. Start your day off right and who knows who the favor might effect?
Ever skip a meal to get something done (maybe even for someone else) and then wind up so hungry you bite someone’s head off? Was that a really good idea to begin with? Being self-sacrificing can lead to “gunny sacking” in which you expect the recipients to pay you back without you asking them to do it or to stop asking you to do things for them or to say, “No,” once in awhile when you offer to do something.
Old rolls or old roles? Which are staler. Have you changed even so you might fall back into old roles when you are back in an old situation. The expectations can still be there and you can’t resist them. Does everybody eat at the dining role table when you eat in the kitchen even though you are not a child anymore. Do you wait until everybody else has eaten before you even attempt to eat your food? Anticipating a family visit can take you back to childhood, adolescence and possibly young adulthood. and when you actually get there it can be even worse. The cues that used to set you or family members off, still do. Okay, it doesn’t happen for you. What about your partner when they visit their family.
Do we ever grow up in spite of our families? Daddy’s girl or mama’s boy are roles that are easily taken up again when around mommy or daddy again. Do you or did you have a sibling that used to boss you around, always got their way , or could beat you in a fight verbal or physical? Were you the “STAR”, the one always recognized for your accomplishments or were you invisible and if you you did anything that achieved recognition, did certain or all other family members ignore it or worse yet not even know that something like that happened?
Old habits die hard. Do family members that were used to giving you orders still order you around effectively when you are around them? Do you pick up the check, wash the dishes, mind the little children while the rest of the family doesn’t even thank you and may even go off without you. Enabling, double binds reassert themselves. Do they order for you, refuse to get you a drink, or comment on your hair or what you wear or even go so far as to pick out what you wear.
Worse yet do you become sick or somewhat spacey when planning to make a home visit. Worse yet can be family reunions where you are given no choice as to what happens or do you do the opposite and wind up planning the whole thing with everybody else’s wishes, preferences, and time schedules in mind, not yours, because it is easier for you to just give in. Do you find yourself not making a fuss even when you are grossly inconvenienced. If it is your partner’s family reunion, do you get taken along for the ride and have a miserable time. Do old dramas reoccur like Uncle George drinking all the spiked punch and getting sick and puking all over someone’s pants or carpet.
Do you wonder why you went. Was it just to go and put in an appearance. Did it even mess up your schedule and cause you to miss something else that you would have preferred to go to another family reunion, or a planned event with hard to get tickets. Do the people there smoke, drink excessively, or cuss outrageously even in front of children? How many of these events have you enjoyed? in the past ten years.
Are you still the scapegoat at these events like a school reunion, etc.. Or worse yet do you still get bullied or even worse yet emotionally , physically, or sexually abused. Some times sexual abuse by a family friend or member does not stop when the victim reaches adulthood. Do the people there go off into their own groups (old school friends) and leave you on the fringe. Or instead do you lapse into old negative behaviors deliberately talking about things and doings while openly leaving someone out and who has a miserable time.
I suggest a spa visit before to get ready or better yet after to pamper yourself. Aim to just live through it and give yourself some quiet decompression time possibly both before and after the visit. Reward yourself for getting through it even if you only went out of obligation such as “Honor thy father and mother.” You might even go so far as to do or not do one thing that that you usually don’t do or do (almost helplessly) on these occasions. Stand up for yourself, but be totally prepared for what might happen if you do this. These people can still push your buttons even if they have not been pushed in a long time.
Okay you are strong; you wouldn’t let this happen to you. What about letting it happen to somebody else just because this was the way it always used to be. You don’t want to cause any conflict. Worse yet then they might pick on you too. Have you really matured and do what you think is right rather than falling back into going along with the crowd. “The crowd” can exert a lot of pressure and you may be seen as spoiling their good time.
Do you keep a low profile. Do you wait for others to celebrate you life landmarks and they never do? Did you miss your graduation? because it was too much pomp and circumstance and you saved everybody the hassle of coming to it. I have my Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin; but I don’t know what my academic colors are because I didn’t go. I didn’t feel I should make everyone make the trip back as when I finished I was no longer on campus.
Only two people were invited to our wedding, the witnesses. I don’t believe I have ever celebrated my anniversary with a special date night on the town. Is it bad to blow your own horn? I bought my own birthday cake and my friends knew I was celebrating my 70th birthday last November but my family didn’t know it wasn’t an ordinary birthday (Don’t worry it has been almost a year and either I am getting used to it or getting over it (being 70)). Many achievements in college I didn’t get to celebrate with my family because they couldn’t make the trip but my mother did come for my graduation. But when my son and my son-in-law graduated from the training academy, we went.
If you don’t celebrate yourself, no one one else will. If you don’t think you are worth it, no one else will? Your attitude toward yourself communicates itself nonverbally to others and they treat you the same way you treat yourself. I can be very professional when I know I am right and have the responsibility to do what is right! But it doesn’t carry over sometimes to my family and friends. Even the grand kids have begun to question my authority. But I’m not going to back down for their sake.
I have a list of complements hidden on the back of my medicine cabinet door that I would like to get; but it is not posted where anyone could see it. Why are we encouraged to be so self-effacing? I am the opposite of a narcissist I guess. Stand up, stand up for what you believe in including yourself. I hesitate to share my opinions at home or at family occasions so nobody knows what I think there. I hesitate because I might embarrass myself or others like family or friends. Keep your mouth shut. Ever hear of that?
Self-help materials suggest that you associate with only supportive friends in order to keep your self-esteem high. Of course that can keep you in denial by only associating with people who agree with you. Is there a happy medium? Are you lying to yourself or do other people keep trying to put you down?
Taking a Rocket Risk ala Mary Mcellehattan’s book,. Going where my heart’s desire is. Fuflilling my bucket list. It may be my last hurrah; but I am going. Learned a lesson. Don’t wait for somebody else to do it for you.
Create your own happiness. Don’t wait for someone else to do it for you. It’s your decision. It’s your life. You don’t need somebody else’s permission even if you would like to have it. Don’t lose the moment. I am not going to let anybody else’s opinion spoil your day or days spent where you only dreamed of being before. Being yourself is not necessarily bad and is actually mostly or all good. Most of us have been raised to seek somebody else’s approval (and sometime it’s even the world’s!) before doing something.
Don’t cloud a life time experience by being scared, afraid, or unhappy because somebody else doesn’t want you to do what you want to do. Unhappy emotions are for the most part useless unless they are part of the grieving process. Yes, I may be scared when I announce my intentions. Just as people have different tastes in movies and music, they have different tastes when it comes to choosing a lifetime experience. Do you have a certain food that you dislike and you can’t even stand to see it on somebody else’s plate.? Liver (and onions) is something I enjoy, but I don’t have much company. Are you always eating where someone else wants to eat as you don’t want to make waves and it’s not that big of a deal. anyway. Move over Rover, there is a new dog in town.
Experiment! Campaign for your choices when you are with someone or a group. How often have you listened to yourself when deciding on something to eat. Do you wait to see what others are
going to order first? Have you ever thought, “My, wouldn’t that taste good.” I even eat snails and of course all kinds of mushrooms including those we pick ourselves during mushroom season. I have to agitate someone to get them on my pizza!
Planning a life experience like I am. Go ahead fantasize the best trip ever including every thing you want even if you are not sure how you are going to get it. It doesn’t hurt to be prepared if someone asks you what you want. It’s your trip, it’s your budget. What do you like best about visiting some other place? I like to get to know the people and taste the food. I like for my trips to be multipurpose and accomplish more than one of my goals. I want to be met by a local and showed around by a local. I want them or someone knowledgeable to set my itinerary. I want to really experience the place while I am there.
Do you want to go through life saying , “I wish I could have done something.” That negativity can last for a lifetime. Who is being negative about this. You oar someone else? Is it,”If I feel bad about what you are going to do, you should feel bad too and have a miserable time planning your trip, taking your trip, and talking about it after.” Secretly they may want to ruin your whole life by being this way about things you want to do. Does someone in your family have this power over you? To whose benefit is it? There was a cartoon character that always had a rain cloud over his head. This could be you if you let this happen.
“If I am not happy, nobody else is going to be happy!” Have you heard that before? Does it have to be true? How about having a good time anyway. Happiness is a choice and it’s yours. Don’t listen to this sort of thing. Don’t let this happen! Some people are self-sacrificing and if they don’t let themselves do or have something, they don’t want you to either!