Thursday, July 03, 2008
How'd You End Up Where You Are?
Yesterday my wife and I were discussing the smart decisions we'd made that allowed us to follow a life direction that led us to meet great people along the way, including of course- each other. To this she replied, "but what about so and so, she's terrific and her husband is an ass".
That is the purpose of today's entry... understanding your "lot in life". That phrase, by the way- is bullshit. It removes any ownership over your own actions leading you to where you are. Now there are rape victims who did not make a decision that they deserved to be raped for- in fact there are many injustices that do not flow from action-reaction or 'bad things happen to bad people'. That is far to general a rule and far too big a paint brush...
What we do have to understand, however, is the enormous impact our actions, inactions, decisions, and indecisions have on landing us where we are throughout our lives.
Let's use the aforementioned great girl. No names here because we all know a woman just like her. You know the kind- puts other people before herself, wouldn't hurt a fly, heart bigger than her body, always first to give others the credit, and married to or dating an asshole. Doesn't add up? Most of the time, it actually does.
Any great strength can also be a weakness from another perspective. The flip side of putting others first is never attending to your own needs. If this everygirl is so concerned with giving her friends advice, helping them out, feeling their pain as her own, etc etc etc... there is nothing of her own strength left for her. No wonder she finds the arrogance radiating from the asshole appealing. With little true self confidence of her own, she seeks that in someone else who has that, if nothing else, to offer her.
Whether this relationship is doomed to emotional or physical abuse- this is often (not always but often) the genesis of such dysfunctional relationships. Just as this girl enables others to keep sucking the life out of her by always coming to her when in trouble, she enables her partner to treat her like garbage little by little until it becomes a push, a slap or a punch.
This is not to excuse the asshole in the above example... he should have much worse coming to him- a wife who will wake up one day and leave him in the dust, never to see his kids again, and the realization that somebody was actually prepared to love him unconditionally but he screwed it up and he has nowhere to look but in the mirror and no one to hate but himself.
The point of sharing is to dramatically demonstrate the cost of our decisions if they are not made intentionally. That is, no decision can be a very bad decision. If your spouse threatens you, belittles you, or tries to break you down to make themselves feel better... no decision or action taken is the same as choosing to let the action continue through your expressed consent.
Just as my mentor can trace his happiness to a string of consistent good decisions and the choice to work hard for what he wants...
I hope that those who are unhappy with their current state take an active part in bettering their situation. Because we refuse to lend an ear to those who are unhappy with where they are, but won't actually DO anything about it.