One of human’s biggest dogmas are that we believe we have no choices when it comes to family. We believe, incorrectly, that we somehow owe our family something for our very existence.
So why is this wrong-headed? Well, as a father a few times over, I can tell you that my kids mother and I made the choice to have children. They didn’t ask to be here. Along with that choice came the huge obligation of helping them become adults. I gave it all I had.
However, as my kids reach adulthood there is no cosmic law that says because I chose to bring them into this world that they owe me someone in return. I raised them to be free thinkers and as free thinkers they are free to think I am a prick and disassociate themselves from me.
This is something to remember in all your relationships. Just because you give love, help, support or anything else you might give, does not obligate those you give to. You chose to give. They can choose not to return the favor.
So back to family – If we are committed to living a happy and healthy life and being in happy and healthy relationships, we have to make choices that help us reach that goal. If we have people we have chosen to associate ourselves with that are disruptive, filled with anger or hate, or otherwise make it difficult to lead a happy and healthy life or have good relationships with them, we have an OBLIGATION to ourselves to remove that person from our lives.
That the person might be related to us can have no bearing on our decision if we are serious about our goal to be a happy and healthy person.
I say this coming up on mother’s day – and the irony isn’t lost on me so I’ll end this with a direct example of what I am speaking of.
My particular mother was extremely mentally and physically abusive to me starting at a young age. I could have gone through years of agony trying to create an environment around her in which I could find some way to interact with her as an adult, but instead, I understood that this would be a decision working against my goals to be a happy and healthy person and have happy and healthy relationships – this was the opposite of a healthy relationship. Instead, I chose to walk away from the relationship. No hard feelings. No hate.
It was the single best decision I ever made for myself. I was able to then grow as a person without the drama the person brought with her. I was able to see clearly that it was possible to have healthy relationships with other people. I was able to become what I am today. I have never regretted the decision and would and have made similar decisions.
In short – You simply must make the best decisions for yourself in life about whom you chosen to have in your life. If the person is not adding to your life, it’s time to start choosing people that do. If they are taking from you – you must choose to walk away. Regardless of your relation to them.
In the end – one of two results come from walking away. You lead a less drama filled life, or the person comes to understand that their actions are the cause and choose to change how they interact with you and you can then choose integrate them back into your life. It’s a win-win for you.
Lastly – Happy mother’s day to those that chose to be wonderful supporting moms. You will reap the rewards of what you sow.