Wednesday, June 16, 2010

I can't let go


Hey, 

Here's my question. I've had trouble letting go of the past. I've kind of been fucked over by people in my family. I want to move on from it, because I know its really affecting (is it effect?) my life. I just don't know how to move on effectively. 

Getting fucked over by people you care for is painful. You need to figure out what you have to say to them to move on and forgive them for not living up to your expectations. What you say is up to you. Even if I knew your situation, I couldn't really tell you what to say. But I can give you a few suggestions on what it might look like. 

It needs to be something you say from your heart. It needs to come from a place of calmness, understanding, and Rest, rather than desperation, drama, and hostility. If you've been used to fighting with these people, then coming from a calm place might seem very foreign. You may not even know what it looks like. (I'll help you with that.) And you may think "why should I be mature when they can't?" The reason is that their maturity no longer matters. This is your life, and even if they can't get their shit together, you will. Someone needs to step up to the plate, and right now, that's you.

You can get in the right mindset--calm, understanding, and open-hearted--by contemplating the life and upbringing of these people who disappointed you. We're used to automatically blaming people who disappoint us by focusing on their mistakes and replaying them over and over in isolation. But that's actually an inaccurate way of seeing the situation. When you think about it, the people that have let you down have problems of their own. I'm not talking about problems in their other relationships or marriages; I'm talking about problems with relating to you. They never received the guidance and support required to build healthy relationships with people like you. They're missing something. Maybe their parents never taught them, maybe their friends made them feel alone and defensive, maybe their teachers never made them feel adequate. Maybe they got the education but didn't really internalize it. Whatever it is, they didn't choose that. They didn't choose to have shitty teachers or shitty guides or shitty friends. Even if there was a time where they had a choice, they may have lacked the strength (again, not their fault) to make the right decision. So as much as we'd like to blame them, blame doesn't make sense. Just as it doesn't make sense to blame someone who grew up in a destitute village for not being rich, it doesn't make sense to blame someone who grew up in an emotionally deprived environment for lacking social skills and empathy.

Now's your chance to think about this stuff. These aren't bad people. No one is. The real enemy isn't people; it's ignorance. These are people who, like you, suffer. They have things in their past that have blocked them up and prevented them from being open and available. Think about it. Reflect on it. Go sit alone somewhere drinking green tea and ponder it until your anger at them for failing you turns into understanding. When you reach that point, ask yourself gently if there's something you really need to say to them to move on. Something like "I don't want to fight with you anymore, I just want to tell you that when you said _____ 4 years ago, you really made me feel unwanted. I'm not demanding an apology, I just want you to know, and I hope that someday we can have fun together." If they try to argue, just remember that that's part of their own pain, and respond accordingly ("I get that you're angry, and I'm fine with talking about this, but maybe when things aren't so heated."). 

The effect (n) of this exercise will be huge: peace with your past and closure. You'll also see how closure with the past can affect (v) your entire outlook on life and your relationships. I <3 grammar.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Your advice is incredibly astute! You are a wise man. K.