The past few days have been filled with a sad attempt to rebound from crushing nausea while meeting my work responsibilities (which went sorta well), new medications which are GENIUS, and some less than enjoyable discussions revolving around problem resolution – a personal fav.
These discussions are the result of some ongoing frustrations within the family. I have said before that there are many things I will not write about out of respect for the people involved, and this falls in to this category. What is important about these latest discussions is not the players involved or the history of issues, but the moment of clarity that was given to me the other night by my dad. A wonderful gift of clarity from a pretty smart dude.
You see, I had expectations of a person and situation that were clearly, well, not possible. And because I held on to those expectations, I continued to feel frustrated and hurt. What was explained to me so succinctly was enormously helpful: The other person involved in this situation just doesn’t care. There are very few things inside of this person’s world that are important – and our two lists of important things are completely different.
Wow. I totally get it now.
So, now that I get this, I can stop slamming my head and heart against a wall. This situation can get now resolved so simply. I accept this person’s limitations and release this person of any expectations. And, likewise, this person must do the same for me – because unequal expectations are, well, damaging – as I have learned. It doesn’t mean I don’t love this person, and I don’t think it means this person doesn’t love me. It just means I cannot expect this person to be something he has no interest in being.
In a perfect world, this is not how I would choose to have this situation resolve itself, but it takes two people with common interests for that to happen, and that is not the case. And so, for the sake of family harmony, I assume we’ll interact at the appropriate family occasions, shower the kids with the appropriate holiday gifts, send the appropriate invitations and announcements and be grown ups.
Perhaps one day it will be different. If as we get older, and if priorities change, I’d be happy to mutually broaden the relationship, but for now, the best gift I could give this person (and myself) is acceptance.
And there it is.