Tug of War

Life feels so messy today… like that build up of laundry that somehow multiplied over night into an enormous heap, things sometimes feel insurmountable. I know I am not alone in juggling all of the many things entailed in raising children as a single mother, working full-time, paying bills, buying groceries, doctors appointments, social obligations, etc. All of us cope with these things on some level. I don’t want to play the fibromyalgia and depression cards either. While not everyone copes with those issues, we all have something, don’t we? For some of us it is just more out in the open than others.

There are days and moments when I feel empowered and there are times when I work diligently to assert my confidence into the world. In fact, I work daily to feel the empowerment that comes from knowing who I am. Recently, I have attempted to do this in what I felt was a healthy way, only to feel “shot down” by some people very close to me. This kind of a set-back has me reeling.

I am working to re-establish my sense of self and power that I feel like I somehow lost in some important relationships. I don’t want to feel power over anyone else, just confident in my own. It seems that in order to do that I have to worry less about what others think of me and my decisions. I have to set up boundaries and I must choose to defend them. At the same time, I want to be loving and kind and respect the viewpoints of those I love. I also want only to make solid and healthy choices. This can be a tricky balance.

While I realize I am speaking quite vaguely here, I am hoping that someone will relate to the back and forth, tug-of-war if you will, between asserting your independence and self-confidence and the reaction from people with whom you are in relationships… family, friends, significant others, etc; meanwhile working hard to make the right choices and hoping that those you love can love you enough to allow you to learn from your own choices, rather than try too hard to protect you from them. And it sure can be difficult to know, at times, what the healthiest choices are! Wouldn’t it be great if all decisions were as obvious as picking fresh vegetables over french fries?

Seeking that inner knowledge and the guidance from God right now to lead me in the healthiest directions, to carry me when I am unsure and to lift me up when I need it most… and I wish the same for you.

7 thoughts on “Tug of War

  1. I think I understand your position, and the dilemma it can cause. Sometimes there is no way to please others and still be true to ourselves.
    I wish you luck with your empowerment; I hope that it gives you the inner strength you need.
    If you ever want to just vent or talk about empowerment and dealing with chronic health issues, my email is phylorsblog@ymail.com Please don’t hesitate to sent me an email!
    Good luck!

  2. It is an exciting journey, this road to empowerment. It comes first, I think, from a place of knowing who you are and what you truly believe. Once you’re there, there’s the comfort of knowing that you are acting in concert with your own beliefs and values, but that doesn’t necessarily mean people will agree with you. In some relationships, asserting your own empowerment means the other person feels less empowered, because they have less influence over you. Those are growing pains until two (or more) people can truly understand, respect and appreciate each others’ autonomy, and understand that you exercising your own best judgement means that you are valuing your own self more, rather than valuing them less. Occasionally a tough lesson, whether for a parent, lover, child or even concerned friend.

    You may strive to make healthy and best choices, but that’s a moving target. You can only do the best you can do, but oh always have the option of making a different choice if the previous one didn’t work out as planned or envisioned. No one makes the perfect choice all the time. As you learn more and better, your choices will reflect that learning.

    I believe you have great wisdom AND strength, patience and tolerance. And as long as you are willing to learn from your experiences, you’ll be fine. But don’t expect “the world” to agree with all of your decisions. There’s usually not just one answer. While many people would love to run your life for you, ultimately you are the person who has to live your life. There’s a passage in my favorite book — Illusions — that says, your only obligation in any lifetime is to be true to yourself. To be true to anything or anyone else is not only impossible, the the mark of a fake…” we’ll, the passage says “fake Messiah” but we can leave that part off in this case.

    Believe in yourself, my friend. There are many of us who believe in you, so you have good company. Have a blessed day.

    Kelvin

  3. Amy, I love your posts and yes, I can identify with you. I always look forward to seeing an e-mail notifying me of your latest post because they always remind me that I’m not alone in what I struggle with and maybe it’s ok to feel the way I do. Keep sharing your heart…know that you are making a difference and know that you are loved!!

  4. You are on quite a journey. I wish you well in your decision to create some boundaries. Maybe this old saying will help: ‘Be who you are and say what you feel because those that matter don’t mind, and those that don’t mind matter.’ It is always hard to make choices that will not be met with unanimous applause, but hey, what about all of those times you discipline your children, hard to do, but necessary. And when your children grow up to be fine adults, you can be glad you made some hard choices. I have had to put up boundaries because of mental illness. I certainly have not felt like ‘the most popular girl in school’ as I have done it but I am healthier as a result. There is a positive pay-off. Don’t give up.

  5. As always, Amy, I appreciate your honesty. “Life feels so messy today.” Yes, I know that place well. I too have struggled with balancing the day to day errands and chores of life with trying to carve my niche in the world.

    I too have had the experience of trying to be myself and being “shot down” but those I trusted (my issue for giving my trust and that power to the wrong people). As a matter of fact, that will be the topic of my next memoir. It was a hugely painful event, but turned into one of the most healing experiences of my life. It propelled me forward in amazing ways! I do understand your “tug-of-war” Amy! 🙂

    Dan

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