I have realized lately that I have been living a life that consists often of “I should” vs. “I want to.” What does this really look like? It looks like me doing things out of obligation rather than choice. As I continue my journey in becoming a Totally Responsible Person, I have now realized that often I exercise my moment of choice in connection to what I think I should do vs. what I want to do.
Reality is… figuring out what I want is a new idea for me. I have spent much of my life trying to be “good.” The good friend, the good daughter, the good mom, the good wife, the good consultant. In my quest to be “good” for everyone else, I have lost a part of myself. I’m not blaming anyone for my current state. I’m not coming at this from a victim stance. Rather, I am finally waking up to the fact that I truly am responsible for me.
My awakening is allowing me to examine some of my closest relationships and ask the question, “Is this relationship healthy for me?” I fear the answer is leading me towards “no” for a few of them. I say fear because after so many years of living as the “good” one, I am a little lost as to what’s next for these connections. I’m also coming to grips with a new type of grief. I thought I had this grief thing figured out after losing my beloved infant, Kelsey. However, I’m now bumping up against a different type of grief – the kind you experience while still being in relationship with a person. This is the grief of: “I really wanted this relationship to be X, but in reality it will never be what I hoped for.” It feels a little like the quote that states that “insanity is repeating the same mistakes over and over again and expecting different results.”
I do not have any of this figured out yet, so dear reader if you were waiting for the “Now What Do I Do?” part of the story, I’m going to have to disappoint you at this moment. What I will tell you is this… the pain is real, it hurts like hell, and it is way easier to just run away and not deal with it. As you might imagine, I have tried to run from it for many years; I’ve told myself that if I just keep trying to be “good,” and it will get better. For me, this has not worked out. I am tired of running, and now I must stop and actually feel the pain. In this pain, I believe I will find the clarity to not allow myself to move towards should, but rather towards what is best for me. This is new and unchartered territory, but I am up for the journey!