2011 was a really tough year. It was the year that I lost someone I loved deeply to cancer, my mother in law. As with the loss of a loved one, all manners of emotional chaos preceded and ensued after her passing. I wrote these life lessons four months after she passed away and I may sound a little bitter at times but it is all good. I needed to learn these and they have been the greatest gift.
1) Deep gratitude for a life lived really can assuage the grief of its loss.
2) No matter what my intentions or how well someone knows me, people can completely misinterpret what I say and do and judge me to be a bitch.
3) Sometimes I perceive a friendship that does not really exist. Some relationships in my life are very much on other people’s terms, they’re happy to take but don’t want to give because I’m not that important to them.
4) Just because I love someone and feel utterly loyal to them doesn’t mean they appreciate it or deserve it. Sometimes, you’ve got to accept that things will never be how you want them to be, no matter how hard you try to make it so.
5) I can’t blame or resent someone for their hurtful behaviour, if I haven’t told them it hurts me. How they respond is completely up to them and not my responsibility.
6) If I rock the boat, I should be prepared to be pushed out of it. Some people care about my feelings, some care more about their own and don’t want to know. It’s all part of life’s rich tapestry. Beautiful on the surface, with painful knots underneath. Just have to come to terms with it.
7) Some people really don’t understand that a relationship is only between the two people involved and shouldn’t be judged unless you’re one of them. A person’s perception of a relationship between two other people is never the reality. I was very disappointed and deeply hurt by the accusations leveled as a result of this one, but I learnt from it.
8) Even if you don’t agree with someone’s point of view, you can support them just by listening and being there.
9) Sometimes the anticipation of a painful conversation is often far worse than the conversation itself.
10) My perspective is my perspective. If I’m hurt and raise the issue, it’s because I want to resolve it which can only be done by discussion, mutual respect and open hearted listening. It’s not up to me whether you want to participate.
11) If I love you and something is important to you, that makes it important to me and I want to know, but I can’t be held responsible if you have decided not to tell me.
12) I really can not bear lying, false promises and deception. Tell me the truth. I can handle it.
13) My husband and my daughter really are the most important people in my life. I will hurt myself, if I feel I have to, to protect them.
14) I really have some truly lovely friends, my urban family.
15) If I make it a priority to spend time with you and you do not do the same, eventually I will change my priorities. I want to be a part of your life but only if you want to be a part of mine.
16) If someone sincerely apologises to you, it’s up to you to decide to believe them and let go of the associated pain. If you do, it really can heal years of anguish and improve your relationship dramatically. I wish I’d asked for the apology years ago.
And finally . . .
17) If you put too much on Facebook, no one needs to call you to find out what you’re up to. Have to stop using it like a diary and start being more private. This will make my husband really happy. At last, he’ll be able to have conversations with friends where they don’t already know what he’s going to say!
Since I wrote these, Mr G has actually joined Facebook so he is as much in the know but now I’ve started a blog instead! People will have to consciously choose to read my witterings, rather than being blasted by the newsfeed.