Tuesday, June 28, 2011

I hate being angry

“Consider how much more you often suffer from your anger and grief, than from those very
things for which you are angry and grieved.”

I suck at being angry, I really do. It's not something I can, or want to, sustain because it eats me alive. I guess my problem really is with holding grudges. I can be angry and find a way to vent it (there's always the gym) but I hate to have things unresolved, lingering, without a way to solve them. That's when they start to poison my life and block me from moving forward. There's always that little thing, that doesn't seem like much, but that is just there, getting in my way every time I want to make a move.

I usually say I couldn't hold a grudge if I was paid to do it, and that's true. Those who know me well will just let me flare up, leave me alone and know that by the time we meet again, I'll have forgotten about it. My husband has raised this to an art form. Something will happen, and it's time for him to do the dishes, go to the store, take the dog out, or whatever it is that he can do to get away and give me time to forget that something made me angry.

There are very few events in my life which had me hold grudges for more than a few hours (which is REALLY long for me). Those are time when I wasn't so much angry, but hurt. Each times has been about people I really cared about and looked up to, who made it clear that I wasn't lovable enough, intelligent enough, or simply just not good enough. I think those have dug so deep because they came at times where I was feeling very unsure already and felt like the guillotine had just come down.

“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.”
~Eleanor Roosevelt

There is no way you can ever be good enough for everybody. Often, people will look for somebody to blame for their own failures, sometimes people misunderstood or just don't understand where you are coming from. Sometimes you made a mistake and it got out of hand. No matter what the deal is, hanging on to grudges, anger and hurt only hurts you. There are two way out of this: let it go, or get away.

Mind you, both are valid, it just depends on what the situation is. There are things that are just not worth holding a grudge about. The idea of "don't sweat the small stuff" is a recipe for social and professional success (not to mention sanity!). You have to be able to learn what there is to be learned from a bad situation and then let it go. At worst, agree to disagree and make the best of a bad situation until an acceptable compromise can be met.

There are times though, when you either can't let it go, or when you know it's just an on going thing that will never end. If you know you can't right the wrongs, and that you can't live happily in a given situation, why bother? Looking at educations out here, this is why I have put my teaching career on hold, because I knew I would spend all of my time fighting the system, and the changes that are just not in the best interest of the students and the teachers alike. Facing the students, day after day, knowing that you don't have the tools, the resources to give them what they need is very depressing and exhausting. Trying to fight a losing battle is the best way to just run straight into a burn out.

No matter how passionate you are about something, you have to learn to let it go. You owe it to yourself, and to your loved ones, to know when to back away and look for another path. Either personally or professionally. There is nobody in this world that you can't live without. It might seem like it at a given moment, but when the situation is such that you can't live with it anymore, you will find that you can very well live without him or her.

No matter how paying or rewarding a job is, there is no job that you can't replace. It might be at a loss money-wise, it might mean turning your back on years of building up your place in a company, but you can always restart, reinvent yourself.

There is nothing, and nobody, who is worth your happiness, your self worth, and your peace of mind. There is nothing, and nobody, that is worth neglecting your loved one for.

There is nothing, and nobody, worth living in a constant state of anger, stress and hurt.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Love is not for wusses

“A loving relationship is one in which the loved one is free to be himself -- to laugh with me, but never at me; to cry with me, but never because of me; to love life, to love himself, to love being loved. Such a relationship is based upon freedom and can never grow in a jealous heart.”
~ Leo F. Buscaglia

Today I was sitting close to two teenagers on the bus and they were discussing love, and boys. One girl was telling the other what made a guy a "good boyfriend" and what makes a guy a "bad boyfriend". I don't remember the details, but I just kept shaking my head and wondering "Was I ever that naive?"

Of course I was... I remember thinking that the man I was going to marry would be handsome, always in a good mood, he would be rich, and spend most of his time either doing something for me, or admiring me. Being around him would always be joyful and romantic HA! Over 20 years later, and with my feathers ruffled (or torn off) a few times, I have another vision of love and what it is supposed to be. Do I still believe in love? More than ever! I just have a more realistic view of the whole concept I think.

I can see a few eye rolls, and hear a few "Oh come on, you HAVE a fairy tale". See, I AM lucky, and I AM spoiled. My husband is fantastic, he's supportive and loving, he's on my side in anything that I chose to do, or not to do. I have a fabulous husband and I appreciate him. He's not perfect though, neither am I!

My husband is moody, he likes his space, and he can happily sit there, not saying anything for 3 hours. He's also the world's worst communicator. He once told me that putting make up on my face was a waste of time, "it won't change your face anyway". He later explained that he meant to say I was beautiful without the make up... huh huh.. whatever. He's also the most stubborn person I have ever EVER met. I do not back up easily, but I will back up eventually. He once told me that he had not said something wrong, it was me who had not heard it correctly…

I, on the other hand am the queen of mood swings. I can be laughing hysterically one minute, and totally discouraged the next. I get bored on average every 3-4 minutes. I love to talk a lot, I cannot stand to be on my own, and I feel a deep seated need to talk things out ad nauseum. I know it drives my husband crazy, but I just can’t help myself. I do not feel the need to be right at all cost, but I do need for things to make sense to me, and if they don’t I will keep at it until they do… Did I mention that I have an enormous amount of energy? I can keep going for days! Poor husband!

Here’s where I’m going with this: We are deeply in love with each others. I adore my husband, I know he’s the man of my life, and still some days he exasperate me to the point of insanity. I know it’s the same thing the other way around. There is no such thing as a perfect mate, and there is no such things as a perfect relationship.

I had to learn that sometimes he doesn’t feel like listening to my stories, and that’s ok. It’s not an insult, it’s not that he doesn’t care about me, it’s just that if he never puts his foot down, I will never run out of stories. Sometimes he just wants time for himself, to recharge his batteries, and to just do nothing. I had to swallow my boredom and accept the fact that his needs are at least as important as mine. I also had to learn to accept that he’s not the world’s best communicator, and to not take everything that doesn’t come out quite the right way as an insult. I had to remember that it’s not always about me. *blush*

On the other hand, he has learned to voice his needs, actually tells me what he wants, instead of just getting annoyed at me for not somehow getting it by osmosis. He has learned that if what he says doesn’t go through quite right, maybe it’s not that I’m looking for troubles, but rather that his communication skills might have failed him again. He has learned that 1 word is not a sentence, that I need the whole thing to know what he means.

Little by little, one thing at a time, we’ve worked out ways to deal with our differences, and each other’s quirks so that we can coexist in a peaceful loving relationship. It took 9 years! And we’re still learning! There are still quite a few face off, we are both dramatic and strong willed, but we have learned to talk things out, to take a step back, to put aside our pride and work together to make things work. There have been many times in the last 9 years at which it would have been easy to call it quits. Financial issues, personal differences, professional stress getting between the two of us. We didn’t though, we love and trust each others enough to know that it’s worth fighting for.

There has to be selflessness, an ability to see beyond your own self and put yourself in the other’s shoes trusting that the other person is doing the same thing. That means opening yourself to being very vulnerable, and that can be frightening. It is a lot of work to make a relationship successful, you have to put your ego aside and risk being hurt, at the same time you have to remember to take care of yourself and stand on your own two feet. It’s a tough balance to maintain.

Are there days where I wish I had a more expressive husband? Of course! A smooth talker might not have his quiet loving way of looking at me though. Are there days I wish he wasn’t so stubborn? Yeah, but then maybe he wouldn’t have this strength of character that I admire so much. I’m sure there are days he wishes he had a more laid back wife. With two quiet people in the house though, life would be so dull!!

I once heard somebody explain that love isn’t about finding someone with no faults, but rather finding someone who’s faults you can live with. I agree!