Since writing Transition Points, I’ve been thinking about the lessons which I learned as I grew up and which I believed were absolutely true – lessons which I was taught by my parents, by other authority figures in my life, and which I taught myself as I attempted to make sense of my world and my place in it.
Today, I spoke MY truth to a friend. And in speaking my truth, I have let go of more of the learned lessons of my youth. I know that the aspects of others which I am no longer willing to accept are all aspects of me which I am no longer willing to wear and live out as the ‘truth’ of who I am and how I am meant to be in the world. I am learning new lessons.
I know that I have no patience with arch behaviour anymore. When I find myself defaulting to the place where I want others to pursue me to get me to tell them something, I now just shut up. I know that in the past being pursued has helped me to feel important and included. I’m learning now to say what I mean and to be direct and speak without a hidden agenda.
I know that I have had it with learned helplessness – the kind of helplessness which ‘guilts’ others into caring or helping. In the times when I feel helpless and don’t know where to turn, I now ask for help without waiting for others to see that I need help so that they are willing to drop everything in their lives at that moment to care for me and to help me. I’m no longer choosing to live being a martyr to my need and yet seemingly stoic to endure alone. If I need help, I ask. There is no weakness, no lack of being ‘adult’, in asking for help.
I know that I choose to no longer act from that place of wanting to ‘play nice in the sandbox’ with everyone. I did that because I believed that that was the social expectation. I believed that if I was nice to everyone, they would be nice back and I would feel included. I am learning to not blindly kowtow to the shibboleths of social expectation. I am now choosing to act and speak what I truly believe without worry about how I will be received.
I know that I will no longer bow to authority which expects blind acceptance and which tries to bludgeon me into accepting outside power and control over me and my choices. I’ve learned from parents and teachers and principals and others that questioning authority and policy pronouncements would usually lead to unpleasant repercussions. I’ve learned to ‘march in step, single-file, Indian-style.’ That way led to safety and predictability and security in knowing my ‘place in the food chain’. That way, I believed, I would fit in and be accepted and acceptable. I am learning at a quantum level that I am the only authority I need to pay attention to. The word is really ‘Author-ity’ and I AM the author of my life.
I know that I have no patience with others who take me to task for the choices which I have made from the best information which I have or who assume that I know all that there is to know or all that I need to know or who expect me to be a mind reader. I have no patience with those who have chosen not to share information with me and yet expect me to accept blame for any fallout from my choices which accrues back to them. I am learning not to apologize for my choices.
And in all of these new lessons learned, I have come to the essential truth underlying them all: Life is too short to play games.
I do believe that there is always more to learn about the world and, most importantly, about mySelf. I know that I need to be mindful of the lessons which I am learning and that, in learning new lessons, I will continue let go of old beliefs, values and attitudes. Choosing to do that will not always feel easy or comfortable. In being open to new lessons, I must be honest with myself and it sometimes feels that I must be brutally so. AND I know that being open to new lessons will open paths for me to explore and that, as I incorporate my new learning into the cells of my being, I will boldly go where I have never gone before.