In my family culture, when someone or something displeases you or interferes with your agenda, it is treated with the gravity of a criminal offense and the source is dealt with and diminished at any and all costs. Our family home was tense, reactive, hostile. There was screaming, hitting, name-calling, threatening–all standard responses to aggravation and disappointment. I assumed or was maybe assigned the role of the one– who was sorry for having/expressing uncomfortable feelings as well as for causing them for others. I thought if I was sorry enough, I could make it better. I was the sorry one. We all agreed to this. Once I no longer agreed to that, there was no longer a place for me. They will have to find a new asshole, a new person to take that seat, read from that script. My incessant requests for a third way are dismissed and have been reported to me as having been collectively assessed as “unworthy of response”. Oh Ok, then.
Accustomed to reacting, fighting back and defending, using any means necessary, I see how this mentality is at the root of much of the wreckage of my life. In my program of recovery and in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, I am learning and practicing the principals of The Third Way. I don’t have to be bad and wrong for who I am and neither do you.(Behaviors can be bad and wrong and can be amended) This is new thinking, a new way of being. The birth of my sister’s relationship and alliance to my ex and our kids has devastating affects on our ability to co-parent in peace and or harmony. This has the affect of attack regardless of her need or justification for behaving in this way. First sneaky, then defending her behavior by attacking me, because I caused her to make decisions that are harmful to my young sons and to position herself as a divider of my family. I get that Hurt people Hurt people…Boy do I get that. But at some point we have to own our shit. I can no longer take credit for hers or anyone else’s. And now I also realize that punishing people for displeasing you is unacceptable behavior. Big diff between being displeasing and being harmful. I am ok with being displeased or displeasing. I did not respond to efforts to bully me into reverence-until they interfered with my children’s well-being….not pleasure, but well being. Doing harmful shit is never necessary. There is always a third way.
Over the weekend, Sweet Greg stopped in unannounced, after I had openly dedicated MY weekend to to sifting through current circumstances, mining for truth and wisdom, and the courage to respect myself while offering grace and honor to my
sister “attacker”(and my mother who endorses her damage). When Greg appeared, I am not proud to have uttered these words while kissing him on the cheek: “I don’t appreciate your stopping in unannounced”, which is typically not at all the case. But for THIS particular occasion, it was. True to standard, he handled himself and me with something verging on God’s Grace. I texted my apology for being possibly harsh and definitely unavailable. His response, “Maggie, it is ok.” What?? What?? Baffled, I asserted “One of us must be wrong and an asshole though– .” He replied “Not true.” The emotional growth and safety I am afforded by having been blessed with him as my partner is God’s work and gift.
Thank you for teaching me baybee, and for loving me…love the verb. With you I feel loved, lovable and loving– and that can be uncomfortable, because new things are. The Third Way is for Badasses. 100% Wholesome.
I continue wishing my family would consider an interest in a third way. Big prayers. Painful truth. I am grateful for this way of being.
How will you apply the third way to a situation in your life?