There are terrible people in this world who have done frightful things. Abusive, violent, psychologically detrimental things.
These people are not good.
They are seldom redeemable and these people should be dealt with accordingly.
This thought is not about those people.
That’s too easy.
As easy as thinking or believing your parents, siblings and or children are an awful burden you must bear out of the kindness of your heart.
Too often we marinate in misery and miserly memories of every slight we endured at the hands of someone who is “supposed to love me.”
Hate can be keenly cultivated by insecurities.
Let’s peer inside the emotional zone shall we.
Your older sister is confident and attractive; but you’re shy and reserved. Her ability to attain what she wants in juxtaposition to your awkward social skills and inability to foster the nerves to do what she does inwardly angers you so you begin to resent her.
You resent yourself. But that would require some self inspection.
Your mother does not agree with your life choices and she is vocal about it. You dismiss her as ignorant and keep a mental journal of every smart remark. You despise her.
You despise your own inability to confront her bias and have an honest conversation about what you choose and why you deserve her love.
Your Dad wasn’t there. You dismiss him as irrelevant.
You’re afraid you’re irrelevant.
Your sibling never calls, your parents don’t approve, your children don’t appreciate, the list is endless; the blame extended. The pain a blended concoction slipping into the marrow of negative bones; solidified, until it becomes the spine holding you upright.
It’s so easy to blame others for the misfortune of your life; it’s the low hanging fruit of indignation we pluck, suckle, chew as we spit our pitfalls at their feet.
Until they are gone.
Until their essence is sucked into non existence.
Then you’ll cry.
You’ll cry having forgotten how you took their love for granted when they were alive.
You’ll weep having forgotten how you conveniently scapegoated their kindness with your weakness.
You’ll grieve knowing you treated them with emotional contempt because anger is easy; resentment handy; loving hard and you chose the path which required no work; effort or thought.
Now y’all know I’m not a doctor, counselor or psychiatrist right?
I’m a blogger, woman, mother, sister, daughter, empath and writer. I’ve experienced some things along my journey and share snippets which may give you food for thought:
1. RECOGNITION: Understand emotions ARE healthy ALL of them. Laughter, Tears, Fear, Anger, Insecurity et al.
Being emotional builds character.
The emotion isn’t the focus; how you handle them is your first priority.
2. AWARENESS: Know where you are emotionally. I strive to be aware when I’m over reacting (chile…it ain’t pretty)
This will not prevent me from over reacting or being angry; but it puts me in a space where I can recognize what’s happening and deploy a mental disarmament. I know what my pulse feels like, what trigger words bounce around in my head, what my body language does when I’m angry or aggravated.
3. CRITICAL THINKING: Once I’m aware of the emotion I must pinpoint the source.
When I was a struggling single mother, raising three children, on minimum wage and the bills were mounting; I knew how easy it would be to take frustrations out on the little and the innocent.
I had made a vow to myself that I would never physically abuse my children.
You must handle your emotions in order to accomplish this goal.
One day we were walking home from the grocery store. I had no car and the stroller was full of children and bags. One of my children dropped a gallon of milk.
I stood there watching milk spilling all over the sidewalk and became unhinged – internally. My children were watching me with wide eyes, waiting for the meltdown which I truly thought was coming.
I knew I had only moments to get it together. WHY was I so angry? Because it was dropped? Because we were walking? Because I didn’t have a car?
No. It was because I could not afford to replace the milk.
That moment was an epiphany for me. The anger subsided and I smiled as I told my children it’s okay.
We continued our walk home and I understood the meaning of not crying over spilt milk.
4. PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY: Despite what you may believe, you are responsible for your own happiness. You do have control of your own happiness and you can be happy even in the face of calamity and despair.
Stop surrounding yourself with every gloomy slight, inconsideration, and perceived offense you’ve ever endured.
By definition you’ve already come through it if you’ve endured it.
Stop making excuses for why you can’t move forward or forgive.
Forgiveness has absolutely nothing to do with them and everything to do with you. (That can’t be new information but it bears repeating)
A Minister once told me “…the man who controls the circumference of your thinking; controls the diameter of your mind.”
5. EXCLUDE EXPECTATIONS: You should trust in people. You should believe in people. Trust people to be who they are going to be. Believe people will be who they are.
A dear friend once told me “I have a friend, he’s a thief, I know he steals. He’s still my friend. I just don’t leave him alone in my house.
Your life will be less complicated when you accept the truth of who the people in your life are.
No need to judge them.
Simply enjoy who they are and don’t have expectations that they’ll change.
Most of the time people don’t change; they do evolve and that’s to be celebrated.
Maya Angelou said “When people show you who they are, believe them.”
My Nana said “chew the meat, spit out the bones because tomorrow is not promised.”
Stop behaving as if you have time. This is your family. Blood.
Those who have “lost” loved ones will tell you what you will “find” is the dead cannot hear your pleas for forgiveness and you set yourself up for madness when you decide (because it is a decision) when you decide to take a Godlike stance and determine people, people with the same blood coursing through your veins, unworthy of your love.
You will stand over that coffin peering down on a shell of memories as regret fills your spirit.
Death is permanent; death is unpredictable; death will come swiftly and your tears will fall on the floor of discontent.
I suggest your gather your wreath of flowers now and lay them at the feet of your mother, father, brother, sister, sons, daughters and grieve with them now, the time you’ve lost.
Eulogize broken trusts and heartaches.
Bury the hatchet.
Because death will not care for your family and it cannot raise you to greater heights.
Iya Isoke is Poet Laureate, Emeritus for the City of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. She lives in Philadelphia where she works, plays and observes the subtle nuances of life. Then writes about it.
She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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