Daily Post

Meddle

Meddling and motherhood are as natural a combination as breathing. Often we plow headfirst into the lives of our children without allowing them the dignity to make their own choices. When this occurs with adult children, we are usually making the wrong decision even though it might be for the right reason (coming from a place of love). We want to prevent their dance with the devil and the accompanying third-degree burns previously earned from our own private lessons.

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It was hard to accept that I can’t possibly know what’s right for everyone else, even my own flesh and blood. Sometimes I might be certain I do and want to share against my better judgment (usually when it was a prior self-inflicted wound I’d survived), but I’ve learned making decisions based on emotions will lead to scar tissue for all parties involved. The best course of action (for me) is to allow the pain and consequences to occur, rather than to meddle and risk damage to our relationship. One thing for sure, pain can be an effective motivator!

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What I felt was coming from love, was really a boundary issue.  By not allowing children to make their own choices and suffer the consequences, I was really doing them a disservice.

Daily Post

Relieved

My heart overflowed with pride, admiration, and love the day my son left childish things behind and transitioned into being responsible for his own future. He was an anomaly, a high school grad voluntarily placing life on a temporary hiatus while holding down two jobs. In addition, he carried a full load and maintained the required G.P.A. (each semester) needed to retain his academic college scholarship.

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Over the years I watched his transformation from boy to man from the sidelines, learning to make decisions based on his long term goals instead of short term, temporary thrills. I picked up a third job to assist in his efforts to graduate college debt free and when he walked across the stage last year I was relieved! His life was just beginning and at 49, so was mine.

 

Bottle

Bottle

There was a season in which I valued other people’s feelings but selfishly bottled up my own.  My thoughts lingered, hidden just beneath the surface of my consciousness.  They accumulated on an over-crowded shelf while waiting for the perfect opportunity to make an appearance. I wasn’t aware that I had a voice, or that it even mattered. I didn’t yet know what I didn’t know and was literally being eaten alive by what I didn’t say.

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The dry humor in this is while I thought my feelings were safely tucked away, it was a sham.  They developed a mind of their own and fought back, refusing to be placed in a corner, punished for their existence.  Like a rebellious child, they reared their ugly head at inappropriate times and joined conversations in which they didn’t belong. Learning from experience that drama would always ride in on their coattails, I developed a plan of action.

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1. When upset, I need to surmise who or what the real issue is (sometimes that just might be me), and then act accordingly. That’s not always easy to figure out so often I have to often take a few minutes to reflect and retrace my steps.

2. My next step is to evaluate if something really NEEDS to be said and if I need to be the one to say it. This is especially important in the workplace for me. Sometimes something needs to be said (sometimes it doesn’t no matter how much my feelings are hurt), but it is received differently if it comes from someone else (took a few years to learn that one!!!).

While there are still times that I keep my thoughts to myself because it is appropriate (timing is everything), life is less stressful today because my feelings are no longer bottled up.