Don't Sweep It Under The Rug
Hey Peeps! I hope everyone had a happy and healthy Thanksgiving. I used my break as a time to be present, to be appreciative, and to express gratitude for the people and things around me.
That was my mature way of saying that I had to adjust my energy so that I can attract positive things my way. We don't have the power to control what happens to us, but we have the power to control our reactions. When is the last time you got positive results from being angry and holding grudges? Just saying.
Prior to Thanksgiving, I had a semi-unpleasant exchange with my father. (He's probably cringing at me telling this story, but everything happens for a reason.) If you know anything about our relationship, you'd know that we have a very loving but challenging one. This is partially because we never invested the time to get to know each other's adult versions. When I was three years old, my dad knew what I was going to do before I did it. He could even predict when I had to go to the bathroom before I started the wiggle dance. After my parents separated, my brother and I moved with my mom about 45 minutes away. Of course we had abandonment issues, because at three and five years old, you don't understand why daddy doesn't live with you anymore. You wake up to mommy and get tucked in by mommy everyday, but where's daddy? This is inevitable unless you take the proper precautions to ensure that the presence is still felt.
While the bible tells us to honor our mother and father, I will admit that the Lord is working on me, heavily on some occasions. Don't get me wrong; I love both of my parents at all times but sometimes the petty gene exposes itself. In the past, I have gone days, months, weeks, a year without speaking to my dad. I was a queen of holding grudges and treating relationships as disposable entities. Over the years, my dad and I have discussed my grievances but I still didn't know how to have a healthy relationship with him. **Don't worry, I've matured since then.**
Right before Thanksgiving, a seasonal family photo of my dad with his wife and her children surfaced on social media. While he has taken a number of family-style photos, this one struck a chord with me. Simply because my brother and I weren't in it. In the past, that would've been grounds for dismissal. BLOCKEDT. However, now that I'm a whole 29.92 years old (my birthday is in exactly one month), I had to learn to communicate my dissatisfaction. It's easier to run than to repair, but there is no reward in running. Plus, this is my father and I'll be tied to him for the rest of my life. Even when my concerns went ignored (Yes, he ignored me), I had to figure out a way to repair.
I was upset because I felt like I had to be the "bigger person" when he is supposed to be my example. I had to realize that both of my parents are human. If no one ever taught them how to parent, how to love, and how to effectively communicate, how can I expect them to know how to do these things? I had to also realize that I placed unknown expectations on him that he didn't even know. When we effectively communicate, which includes listening to understand and not to respond, we sweep the dirt in the trash instead of sweeping it under the rug.
I wrote this post because I know that I'm not the only one who is challenged in this area. Whether it be a parent, a friend, or a spouse, stop sweeping the mess under the rug. Learn to teach people how to treat you and communicate your needs. I challenge you to release your grudges. Too often we want people to judge us for our intentions, yet we don't reciprocate that sentiment. Release your finger from the block button and work on a solution, even if it means that you have to swallow your pride.