"Each man's life represents a road toward himself." -- Hermann Hesse
As hurt and disconnected I may have felt at times throughout my life, I know it is part of becoming who I am. I know I get confused and use anger as an expression of hurt or I use blame as an expression of overwhelmth. But as I travel down this road.... called life.... I learn more and more each passing day.
Unless they have loved someone effected by the disease of addiction, people don't truly understand what it is all about. It's a disease that makes a person... well not a person at all. Yeah humans are selfish, it's in all of our natural ways of thinking, but an addict is truly selfish, an addict is so wrapped into what they are addicted to, even their own needs, like eating and self hygiene aren't even a thought.
Even though an addict continually does things that hurt the ones they say they love, they are not doing them to intentionally hurt that loved one.
He didn't forget my birthday to hurt me, he didn't forget to call me, because he didn't care. He was consumed... consumed by a disease.
And when that disease is under control, me (as a human) often forgets that there is a person under all that mess. There is someone that is trying to make what was wrong, right. It's hard for them, it's hard for me.
My dad came to visit me this weekend. I spent more time with him in the past three days than I have in over ten years. I saw that he is trying, trying to be there for me now because he couldn't be there for me before. It was a good visit. It is a blessing that he was able to come visit us, able to tell us stories from his teenage years, his life is a big story. But like us all, he just wants someone to listen, someone to care.
A few weeks ago my dad had a heart attack, I knew this would happen someday, I mean he hasn't been the kindest to his body over the past few years. I think situations like this help to put life in perspective for everyone and anyone that has to deal with it. We're getting old, and as I get old, my parents get older. And this all makes me look at life a little more precious.
One story he told me was about his high school reunion he attended a few weeks back and how he was once voted most likely to be a comedian. I thought "WHAT? MY Dad, a comedian? Um... he's not funny, he's just embarrassing" Then talking with Kyle, he could see how what other people think is funny, I think as embarrassing. This made me take a step back, and take a look at things, not from how I see them or how I think other people see them, but just how things are and how I don't really need to take everything so seriously. So what if an inappropriate comment is made out loud in the middle of a movie in a dark theater... am I really going to see these people ever again? Who cares!
"The beginning of love is to let those we love be perfectly themselves and not to twist them to fit our own image." --Thomas Merton
"Change your thoughts and you change your world." --Norman Vincent Peale
I've learned that I let the little irritating things get to me, when it fact it doesn't matter at all. And when that does happen I end up getting upset with myself for wasting the time I had on those little things. Since Kyle and I don't live near our family, when they come to visit, or when we go to visit I have to remind myself that I need treat these times the same way I have looked forward to them. I always look forward to visiting family, I'm excited, I miss them and love them - I'm just horrible at expressing it. In the moment I get consumed with all the little things that annoy me, but really, those little things aren't what I need to focus on.
"Today I'll use the slogan, 'How Important Is It?' It will help me think things through before I act and it will give me a better picture of just what is important in my life" -- Alateen-a day at a time.
It's interesting how as I get older I learn things (wow!, who knew that would happen?!), the interesting things are what I learn about my family and myself. It's funny to see how the way my mother is and then see the way my father is and it makes total sense about the way I can be. Getting married has opened up a lot of windows in my mind, as well. Kyle and I took a pre-marital class at church last winter and it was probably one of the best things we could have done in preparing for our lives together. We learned a lot about each other and married couples in general. My normal is not his normal, or is it anyone else's normal for that matter. But one of my normals that differs from Kyle's normal is talking... I saw this weekend that I was doomed to be a talker :-) Between my mother who loves to talk and give her opinion, I learned that my dad also loves to talk! Sorry Kyle ;-) but that's why he loves me, right? I also learned little things like why I find it necessary to log the miles I travel or time different routes and see which is faster. After spending a weekend with a parent I see ALL the things I do, which I had always thought were MY great ideas or habits, were really the great ideas of my parents! LOL. It's okay, we're family right? I have ever right to want to organize things, keep maps of all the places I've been, highlight the hiking trails we've used. But I can't throw it away, we might one day go back to that exact spot and want to know what trails were hiked ;-) or so I tell Kyle so he'll let me keep my room 'o' junk. Clutter... it's all clutter... but it's ME, it's my normal.