If you’re going to tell me that I need to learn to love myself (or ourselves, in a group setting) in order to love you with the love and respect you deserve, I can’t hear you if you aren’t loving me. I can’t hear you if you are coming from grudge (or anger, yelling, vitriol) vs. love.
It’s tricky, isn’t it? What I hear you saying may very well be the truth, or may certainly have some true parts. But it’s like giving advice to someone else on how to keep their house clean while you have cobwebs all over yours. Your cobwebs don’t actually make any of the truth less true. However, they make you less believable about what you know and want, so you are now suspect for motives, suspect as to what will be returned for changed behavior. Your intention isn’t coming from the same energy that you wish to receive.
Now, you will get a few on board who will hear you and see the truth in spite of your own cobwebs and adjust accordingly; and you will have some form of agreement from the few self-loathing as well. But you will not ultimately get the return you were going for, which is a transformed group.
What a conundrum. Sometimes we really need to be heard, or sometimes we really need to hear. How difficult it can be to express hurt, fear, or anger and be heard fully without losing humanity towards the other person our group!
Love is some tricky shit when you think you can out-maneuver it.
Or: Now that I Know So Much I Know How Much I Don’t Know
Or: I’m Highly Qualified to Know this Stuff; I’m Over 50!
Now that I am past the halfway point of my fifties (LORDY!), I feel mature enough and qualified enough to speak on these things. Here is what makes our fifties so interesting to me and other stuff I’ve figured out:
Feeling instantaneously compelled to take layers of clothing off due to a sudden rise in internal body temperature.
Feeling instantaneously compelled to put layers of clothing back on due to a sudden return of normal internal body temperature.
Feeling homicidal about anyone who thinks they are going to change the thermostat.
Feeling justified about feeling homicidal towards the thermostat hijacker.
When I say that I don’t care what people think, I mean it literally, not like when I said it when I was in my thirties as a spite.
Watching the evolutionary process of being an older parent with adult children as if I am some kind of an outsider to it.
Realizing on so many occasions that my children are just plain smarter than me, and possibly than I ever was at their ages.
Having friends that I have known for half a century or more.
No longer feeling guilt or compelled to hold on to family members that are chaotic, unkind, and disruptive just because they are family, and having the certainty that it is the healthy thing to do.
Not being sure how to do something, then figuring it out, then forgetting how I did it for the next time, and just not caring that I forgot and I now have to ask one of the kids and we’re going to laugh about it – even though it’s likely they’re laughing at me.
Yeah, I know some of these are run-on and incomplete sentences. And guess what… I don’t care about that either!
The thought I had when my grandkids were born that I should have just skipped the kids and gone to the fun part of being a grandparent, except now I know that I wouldn’t be the kind of Gram I am without raising those fabulous parents first.
The realization that if someone doesn’t value me, then they either aren’t paying attention or they are missing something in themselves.
Though my fifty-something body may not be in the strong shape my twenty-something body was, my mind and heart are stronger than ever in my resolve to be a co-creator of a world that works for everyone.
Wasting time looks different to different people.
Slow the f#€k down.
You have to look at the stars, and the sunrises, and the sunsets whenever possible. You may not get another one.
Barefoot is good — unless you are going to put them on the dashboard or window of the car. That’s just gross. Walking barefoot on the Earth is grounding. Besides being gross, the other one will get your knees shoved through your face if you get into an accident.
Take care of your feet. Wash them, for God’s sake. Don’t let your nails get gross and your feet get crusty. It’s not just gross, it’s unhealthy.
Don’t be the reason the person you live with feels lonely.
It’s easy to take the people that care about us and/or we care about for granted, but it’s not okay.
Be fearless. Say yes to things that scare you or have you stopped.
Get tattoos if you like them, no matter what your dad might say.
It really doesn’t matter if someone’s pants sag. What matters is when you think you are better because yours don’t.
If you can look the other way when someone is cheating or being deceitful, you are an accomplice.
Don’t let past regrets stop you. You have them because you are supposed to do better next time. That is the lesson from regrets.
I don’t for a second believe that everything happens for a reason.
I do 100% believe that there is a lesson to be found in everything.
When someone is talking to you, acknowledge them, and act like what they are saying is of the utmost importance. They are giving themselves to you.
As a parent, tell your kids when you could have done better with them, even if it is decades later.
I think most often most people do the very best they can. But don’t let that be an excuse to keep a terrible person around or excuse their poor behavior and choices. Sometimes someone’s very best may still not be a good fit for you.
Don’t think for one minute that you always know more than your children. At any age, child or grown, we should be learning from them.
Forgiving someone doesn’t mean you have to keep them around. It can; but it’s possible it can also mean “thank you for showing me who you are and where you belong.”
It is the job of our youth to challenge our ideals. Each generation co-creates the world for the next generation. We fall short only because we don’t realize in the moment that it is all going to change, and that is the way of things. If you are ridiculing their ideas, that says a whole lot about you and nothing about them. Remember, we raised them and we brought them up in a world whose systems were created before us and also by us. And what did we do?
We do see the color of people’s skin. Color blindness is only a real thing when you’re talking about the genetic disorders. Claiming color blindness when talking about another person is not actually honoring the person of color as you might think. It is actually dismissing a part of them that is worthy of being seen. It is dismissive and indicates you are not willing to dive past the surface to be not only inclusive of our differences, but it assumes that assimilation is key to equality. It is not. What you are actually blind to is your own privilege that you walk around in without seeing that either. You may think that by ignoring the color of another’s skin that you are making a dent in racism. You are doing the exact opposite.
People of color are not here to do all the educating for you on inclusion and what it’s like to be a person of color.
When someone tells you their experience and it’s different from yours, they are still right.
Teach your kids to read books, not screens.
I am never bored. EVER.
When someone mistreats you; that is who they are. There’s no reason under the sun to let them continue.
When someone tells you something about yourself that’s hard to hear, HEAR it, and move forward accordingly.
Don’t let someone talk you out of your dreams or convince you that you’re not worthy of them — big or small.
It’s okay to be mad. In fact, sometimes we should be mad.
It’s not okay to hurt someone because you’re mad.
Therapy. Do it.
You don’t have to do things like your parents.
Do NOT live vicariously through your children. You will be in their way.
Children are not tiny adults, and you are a parent first and always; then sometimes you can be their friend, too. When they are grown then you can be friends, and before you know it they will slowly take over, and they may need to. It’s that middle part that’s the sweet stuff, and if you cultivate it, they won’t mind having to take over at some point, and you will trust them to.
Don’t let anyone interfere between you and your children. That should remain an indivisible bond.
We all need quiet time.
Your kids do NOT need to be busy all the time.
Alone is not lonely.
Suspicion breeds suspicion.
Trust. Don’t screw it up.
Cuss if you want to.
Go out of your way to get to know people that don’t look like you or sound like you. You’ll NEVER be sorry.