I’ve been looking into private schools for my 14 year old, who is struggling academically. Last night my eldest started chiding me for this. He said “the problem is that we just aren’t as smart as you think we are. We are like dad – we don’t think much. We are simple people”.
My first response was to be really pissed off. I am trying to do something good for my youngest, who looks up to his older brother and will take whatever lead he is given; back me up Dude.
My second response was Bullshit! There are so many problems with that story-line. To begin with, that story was created by ex to negate any “issues” I “manufactured”. It was his way of putting me down in front of the boys, and shutting down any effective communication; i.e reveal his lies. It was his way of letting the family know that I was “crazy”, that I made life much more complicated then it needed to be, and that his way was the best way. ‘An un-examined life is a happy life’ would sum up his alleged philosophy. The boys accepted that this was true, mostly because I lacked the energy and self esteem to fight it.
If this was true, I’d say ok, I’ll give it a go. Wouldn’t it be easier to not think? Wouldn’t it be much easier to sail through life with no complication? I’m on board for that plan!
Here is the truth about his life though: He fully examines every action he takes. Every action he takes is designed to elicit the best outcome For Him.
His whole mantra of “you’re too sensitive, you misunderstood, I never said that” is total bullshit that I bought, and supported as truth, for over 20 years. Now I find myself on a daily basis, reiterating the truth’s of life that were so misrepresented. These include:
- It’s ok to be upset/angry/moody. That’s not overly sensitive, that’s human. When people are authentically engaged in life, they experience a full range of emotions.
- My emotions don’t turn into your emotions. In other words, I don’t change the mood of the whole family. The whole “happy wife happy life” saying is bullshit.
- If my mood is changing your mood, we have a problem. Let me repeat – we have a problem. Why? Because if my mood is changing your mood, you are not living an authentic life with authentic people. It’s taken me a long time to wrap my head around this one. I’ve figured it out by watching my eldest come home from work in a pissy mood. He stomps around the kitchen, bitches about the mess or the terrible food, shoves some food in his mouth and goes to his room. Do we experience some stress while he’s there? A bit. Afterwards though, we aren’t in pissy moods just because he was. We aren’t walking on eggshells because he was momentarily unhappy. He gets over it, we all go on with what we were doing and feeling, and everything is fine. Bad Moods Happen. Bad People Destroy. Bad people bring their angst into the family with the clear intent to hijack others. They present themselves as being angry/tired/worried/depressed with the SOLE INTENT of getting those around them to leave them alone. They are up to something, and they are using their angst to manipulate other into leaving them alone so they can get away with something. There is no authenticity here; only lies, being lived by a Bad Person.
- Thinking, feeling, examining, debating, revealing, discussing are all part of an authentic life. We each have 2 choices every day: we can actively engage with ourselves and those around us, or we can retreat into ourselves and make all of our choices for ourselves alone. My ex, their dad, did the second. It is the wrong choice.
- Life is not always fun, easy, exhilarating or amazing. Life can be tedious, tiring, boring, and mundane. This doesn’t mean you have a bad life. It means you have a genuine life. If you need to look outside of yourself for fulfillment you will be disappointed. Life happens around you, living happens inside you. Even when everything outside of you is crumbling, you can be settled inside. You can maintain your sense of peace and satisfaction, if you are being authentic and genuine.
The bottom line is this: Be Honest With Yourself and Others. If you are true to your authentic self, and if you are genuine with others, your life will be good. It won’t necessarily be Great in the definition that our culture has set forth (i.e. wealthy, attractive, all the bells and whistles), but it will be Good and Satisfying.
If you find yourself with someone telling you you are crazy, overly sensitive, making too much of something, misunderstanding what they have said or done, RUN. They are using you and you will be hurt; you might, in fact, disappear into a realm of confusion and fear.
These are the only two things you can control and count on every single day: your own authenticity and your own genuineness. Everything else is a crap shoot. And having never been a gambler, I’m sticking with the tried and true: authenticity and genuineness. They are the secrets to a Good Life.