Forgive me for sounding biased, but I firmly believe that women are indeed extraordinary. Many of us represent the sun around which the remainder of our families orbit. Whether it be lost PE kit, a last minute birthday card, or that elusive shirt (which was exactly where it should be), whilst striving to maintain our professional/home life balance, we also have in our arsenal the remedy to most of our family’s daily dilemmas. We assume responsibility. And though we may be tired or stretched, something within a great many of us feels that the day has only been a true success if we have we have found obvious solutions in places our relatives never thought to look. But herein lays a great problem. And though it may go against many of our nurturing natures, what we really should be doing, is standing back.
My lesson in being a ‘fixer’ was a toughie. I am glad to report that I have now emerged; perhaps a little straggled, but a whole deal wiser, from the other side of the obstacle course. Had I known now what I know then, I would have faced the climbing net, hand on hips, and firmly declared, ‘no!’ I would then have removed my trainers, and with a polite smile, handed them over. “Forgive me,” I would have said, “but this of your making and is yours to climb. I’m off to take my own, rather easier path. I’ll be cheering for you once you reach the other side…”
High insight; the worst and most unbearable of all life’s “told-you-so’s!”
Trying to find a balance between compassion and control is nigh on impossible when you’re in the thick of it. I thought that my actions, as daft as they appear to me now, would really make a difference. Looking back, my behaviour was so alien to my usual self, that I struggle to recognise the person I had then become. I strayed so far from my own path in trying to help another, that in the process and desperate not to lose them, I almost lost myself. At the time, I congratulated myself on what I perceived to be my unconditional love. Now, however, I accept that there was in fact only desperation. Love in its truest form, accepts another as they are, and respects that, as difficult as it often is to witness, they must be allowed to follow their own path.
We are all on this beautiful, challenging, storm-cloud and rainbow earth to learn. The school of hard knocks often places us in classrooms with others. What we learn by the end of our joint lesson either propels us onto the next wonderful, enlightened stages of our lives, or demands a resit. I had to endure several resits before I finally took on board what my life coach was trying to tell me. Wasted time, though? Not at all.
I woke this morning with urgency about writing this piece. Perhaps I needed to reaffirm it for myself, or perhaps I needed to do it for someone else. Whatever the case, I no longer try to ‘fix’ others. If my opinion is sought, I try to answer in a level, unambiguous way. But I always try to end a reply with, ‘but the decision must always be yours.’
And not because I’m copping out.
But because, their final decision will have either have positive or negative repercussions and these repercussions will mark the start of another lesson in their lives. If they are unwilling to take responsibility for their own actions, and I instead do it for them, they will forever seek answers from another, rather than from inside themselves. As a result, they will never become the magnificent individual they were destined to be.
Don’t try to control. Instead, lead by example. If your light is bright enough, it will illuminate the way for others.
But always remember, whether or not they choose to follow, is entirely up to them.
With love. Xxx