September 02, 2010

Lesson Learned

For one week I committed to simply posting one thing I am grateful for as my Facebook status. As simple as that may sound, I wasn’t certain I could do it for seven days. However, I just posted my seventh day. Seven, actually eight things I was grateful for. And there are so many more. And unequivocally they aren’t all that hard to see….when I use my eyes of appreciation. Blessings are abundant in my life, despite the many losses I still grieve.

Just yesterday I was talking with someone I haven’t seen in sometime. She didn’t know about mom passing away but had heard of my job loss that followed quickly after. She said, “that just isn’t fair”. And the truth? No, it isn’t fair. But it is. And I can’t change what has happened. But, I can change what I look for in what has occurred.

There are so many lessons in life. Even in loss.

With the most recent loss of a friend I experienced a few weeks ago I believe it felt a little different because they moved away from me, they didn’t die (while there is some figurative therapeutic value in that concept). With my mom and the company I worked for that folded, that loss seemed out of my ability to control. I had the idea in my mind that I could somehow control the behavior of my friend. The truth is that I can’t control the behavior or feelings of anyone….ever.

Can I have an impact on others? Without a doubt. My behavior can impact the world around me but it can’t cause someone to change by sheer attempt alone. And I am metaphorically hitting myself on the forehead saying, “uh, duh”! Isn’t that something I became skilled at early on when working with drug addicted clients? Absolutely. So, what gives me the power to change anyone in any other scenario? Nothing. Categorically – nothing.

While I believe in hard work in relationships with friends, family members and romantic partners I do not think it is my job to fix them. I have lost someone in all categories this year alone (wow….maybe something else to look out there…the common denominator issue and all….but not today). And when I love someone I believe It is my obligation to work hard and give to them. But a major lesson learned is that I cannot be the only one giving and working hard. It will never work that way. At least it will not work for me.

Looking for more lessons.

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