“Ideals are like stars; you will not succeed in touching them with your hands. But like the seafaring man on the desert of waters, you choose them as your guides, and following them you will reach your destiny.”–Carl Schurz
We will not always get it right, but we try, we do our best, we work toward our goals. We stay focused, and make course corrections as we go along. We hope to do that with our readers, and hopefully commentators!
Here is an example that reminded us that the path is not linear, not finite and that we must pay attention to not get off course.
Mindless took a week off to spend Spring Break with the family. Then our children decided they wanted to participate in a day camp. Mindless decided to take the week off anyway and hang out with me.
He brought up something in the present and it brought me back to a memory in the past. I started to talk to him about that memory. I started down the “should have” path. He talks to me so much, so often about all of this, but I am usually the one who brings up the painful stuff. He listens, he apologizes, etc. . .But, when he brought up a topic he wasn’t expecting to instigate a painful discussion, his first response was to say, “sorry I brought it up.” That did not go well. In fact, fearing he was avoiding something, I started bringing up every hurtful thing that happened, from his skipping workouts to be with APs, to pretty much all of the other stuff he missed out on to be with APs. It wasn’t pretty.
We have come so far, I do see this. But, statements like “sorry I brought it up” made me fear that he filters his topics with me. He had to face that possibility and we are working on finding ways to ensure he does not filter out of fear, or for any other reason. We both are committed to being fully open and honest with each other. But, the hard things are hard things and that means they take work and constant attention. We would love to hear ideas from others on how they have confronted this issue.
As for me, I hate the “should’ve, would’ve, could’ve and if onlys” path. I’ve worked so hard on myself to not allow those types of thoughts to eat away at me because there is no going back, no changing the past. And, yet, sometimes they still get the better of me, but I can often pull myself out of it much quicker than I used to do.
For all my asking him to work on emotional honesty and maturity, I do see that I need to take responsibility for choosing to live in self-pity or choosing to find happiness within myself. It just doesn’t take much to set me off down that pity path. And, I do see, this is not just on him to fix, it is on me too. We are making progress, but it is certainly not easy. Then again, nobody said it would be.