#reverb14 Day Three: How to Love an Imperfect Life

Reverb BB (2)

It’s all too easy to put off loving where we are until everything is perfect.

What can you love about where you are now?

I would like to add that it is all to easy to put off LIVING in the space we were meant to be if things are not ideal.  We may have a hard time fulfilling our desires of ABC because XYZ is not going well.

There is something in life that I personally must accept and reevaluate and remind myself of every day — everything is not ever going to be perfect ALL AT ONE TIME.  This has been so true for me as of late.  When my (non-existent) romantic life was going perfectly (in that it was not existing ever-so-quietly and I was very happy with being single), I was not able to fully appreciate it because there was stress and imperfection and strife in other areas.

Something Goddess of Mindfulness has been saying for years — “this (XYZ) is not just a bipolar thing, it’s a HUMAN thing.”. As in, my reaction to a certain stressors is not because of my history with trauma or because I am bipolar — it is an average human reaction.  It is important to find these and sort through them, because failing perfection means failing to truly love where we are in the moment and guess what, Rosa… not a bipolar thing, when I had always thought that the case.

So what can I love about where I am now?  I have the strongest relationship with my mother, my dad, and my sister than I have ever in my life.  There was a lot of pulling together that came from the stress of the past few months.

I can accept that I am not “perfect” and still love where I am, who I am, because the people I care most about have made it so very clear that I am not broken, something to be fixed.  That I am human and deserve love and attention and empathy and support and assistance.  After building our relationship up very carefully over time, I honestly love that I feel as if I can call my sister up anytime, whether I am doing well or am in crisis, and that she will be there to listen and problem-solve with me.

And its the same with my dad.  We have painstakingly worked on our relationship, and while it isn’t perfect, I still love it, still treasure it, sometimes revel in awe of it.  And Mom — we’ve always been close but I feel like I have been able to be there a bit for her like she has been for me for so many years.  Not in the same way, but I can be supportive…I have that capacity now and it is nice that I, at times, feel like I am able to encourage her as she has encouraged me for my whole life.

So yes, family and family relationships are what I think of for this prompt.  Many areas of my life are imperfect in some way, even flawed and miserable.  What keeps me loving where I am at are those three beautiful people.  Even without this so-called perfection, my family makes my life sparkle and shine even in the spots that are dark and cobwebbed.

Let Sleeping Dogs Lie

Daily Prompt: I Can’t Stay Mad at You

Do you hold grudges, or do you believe in forgive and forget?

forgiveness destroying heart

 

I don’t fit under either of the two cute little categories that WP decided on when they put out today’s Daily Prompt.  I bet most of you don’t either.  Rarely can we apply ourselves, as humans, toward reacting in the very same way to a specific comment or act, or even an unspecific comment or act.  So much of how we react depends upon the person in question, and also, if the act was perpetrated against us, or another person.  Because of this, I’m going to focus on one person for the purposes of this post.

Growing up, I saw very little of my father, the one I refer to on this blog as “Dad.”  My biological father.  I think he tried the best he could to love me when I was young, but he wasn’t able to be consistent.  You really must be consistent with young children, especially if you are a parent.  So, not showing up to pick me up for the weekend, cancelling plans at the last minute, not remembering my birthday, being passed out drunk when my sister and I were over for Christmas (just tiny little kids, at that).  Thirty-two years later, I have forgiven him for all of that.  The anger and the hurt and the even sometimes, hatred, fell away when I realized that, by being angry with him, by holding that grudge, I wasn’t allowing myself to move forward.

So I forgave, I found compassion.  But I didn’t forget.  Thinking about those times still makes me sick to my stomach, and even now, when he is running a few minutes late, I’m convinced he’s not coming.  So no, never forget.  But I forgive…over and over and over.  So much that others in my life question why I do.  He became much better about things around ten years ago when he married my stepmother, but he has regular lapses in the behavior you would expect from a father.

He acts like an ass, he says something judgmental, it appears that he does not have the feelings and emotions of a human being.  All those years of hurt come back, and I feel like I’m six years old again, looking out the living room window for the car that would never show up.  I don’t hold a grudge, but there’s a big part of my heart that remembers, can’t forget.

I realized not long ago, that sometimes I will have to tell my dad how to act.  For years, he would never call, but I would check in with him a few times a week.  I finally told him how much this bothered me, that he could never be bothered to give me a ring and I felt like I was doing all the legwork in this relationship.  As Dad often gets, he was baffled.  Had no idea.

I’m telling you, Dad does not have the normal emotional make-up of a human being.  He can be very distant and he goes through phases where it seems like he’d just as soon throw you in front of traffic than give you a hug or talk about the weather.  And maybe it’s this lack of humanity in him that makes me forgive him over and over.  I truly believe it’s possible that he just can’t help it.  His love, however inadequate at times, is the best it is ever going to be.  His follow-through sucks sometimes, but it’s getting better.

I think his wife helps him with that a lot.  Actually, I know  she does.  I don’t know how many times he has acted truly cruel, and then called back an hour later to say he has talked it over with his wife, and realizes now that he was very wrong.  She’s good for him, keeping him honest and accountable.  I don’t know if I’ve ever thanked her for that, for making my dad a better man, but I should.

After this last rough patch, we hand lunch today.  It went really well.  He was in a good mood and was chatty and told me how great I looked and how proud he is of me for all I am doing with work and taking care of DSB, and that’s how it should be.  It isn’t always, and I had to go a one month span without seeing him seemingly to prove a point, but we’re back on course again.  All is forgiven.  Again.

So DSB and the Queen and all my other supporters out there can keep shaking their head, knowing it’s only a matter of time until the next go-round.  Me, I’m going to embrace the fact that he’s my dad and he’s still on the planet and I’m going to keep forgiving every dumb thing he does.  Because I truly do think he’s oblivious, and I truly do believe he’s sorry when he hurts my feelings.

quote-forgiveness-is-a-promise-not-a-feeling-when-you-forgive-other-people

 

Thanks, Dad

Daddy-O…

We sure have come a long way.  There were years where I didn’t want to speak to you, nevertheless hang out.  You know what happened, I know what happened, and we have left it in the past.  Those years are clearly over now and I am so happy that you have found Karen.  She brings out the very best in you.

One of the best pieces of advice you ever gave to me were right after I started undergrad and was feeling incredibly homesick.  I don’t remember where you took me, exactly, just that it felt like you brought a piece of home with you and that you were the only one in the whole city who knew me.  We sat outside and drank coffee, I think, and I’m pretty sure I ate something.  That part I don’t remember.

What I do remember is you encouraging me to stay the course.  To see college through, to not come back to the small town without something to show for it.  With that conversation, you, unknowingly, sealed the deal that I was going to graduate from that little school in that big city, with plenty of knowledge, and a lot of hope.

You would come up to visit me often, and sometime you would give me money, more than I really needed or ought to have.  I don’t fault you for that, and nothing terrible resulted, except for maybe too much pizza and a clothing shopping spree.  And slurpees from 7/11.  I sure do miss those slurpees.

You always came to visit when it was crunch time.  Taking me to a fancy breakfast the morning I was studying for a big exam.  Taking me to dinner right before finals, with me accidentally ordering coffee that had alcohol in it.  Do you remember that?

When I moved to the yellow house on 16th, and couldn’t get out of bed and ready in the morning for work, you were at my doorstep for weeks on end at 6:30 a.m., just to have breakfast with me and get me waked up.  I didn’t realize at the time what a selfless thing that was, Dad, and I’m sorry I didn’t say thank you more.  You saved my job during that time period, and you saved my sanity, my pride.

For all the times you helped me cut my grass, cut my grass for me, helped me clean house, vacuum, put up Christmas decorations, and brought me food, I thank you.  I know I thanked you then, but I really want you to hear me say it now, Dad.  Thank you.

We are light-years from whence we came.  I feel like we’re friends now, like you would do anything you could to help me.  Driving me to therapy, watching our favorite basketball team, helping me get to the Rez to buy cigarettes, buying me a Sonic drink, talking about the books we’re reading.  You’re there and you’re present and you are a true joy to be around.

We talk a few times a week and see each other usually once a week, and I always look forward to our little excursions.  I hope nothing ever has to change that, or we drift apart again.  We have been apart before, but that doesn’t have to happen again.  I treasure our time together and hope you do, too.

I love you, Dad.  More than you will ever, ever know.  xoxoxoxo