I believe that in one form or another everyone of us has at least one relationship in their life where we wish things were differently.
Maybe you constantly fight with your mother over the same old stories. Maybe it’s one of your friends who does stuff that you disapprove but you just can’t let go of the friendship.
I have one of those challenging relationships in my family life. Without going into too much detail, I want to share some thoughts on this.
I used to fight this relationship with all my heart. As a teenager the interactions were filled with anger and pure hatred and later turned into indifference. And while physical distance to this person helped with not getting outraged at every.single.one of their actions, I still felt some amount of guilt and reluctance.
Every now and then I would catch myself saying to friends: “I wish it were all different. I wish this person would be, think and act differently.” And while I would imagine what a better version of them would be like, I would get a really icky sensation in the pit of my stomach that can be best described as a mix of pain, remorse and sadness.
What I have come to understand now though is that there is no sense in thinking like this because I am not able to change this person. I tried for the past 15 years, but I am just starting to really understand that I won’t succeed. And while this thought used to leave me feeling defeated and like a failure, it’s time to accept it for what it is. There is this polish saying: “Not my monkeys, not my circus” and although it might be tempting to make it my circus, I won’t.
And this doesn’t say anything about me. It’s not my fault.
It’s not that I am bad or unworthy and that this is the reason why I am being handed this set of cards. Call it wishful thinking, but I want to believe that there is a reason behind all of it.
So what to do? Through trial and error I have figured out for myself that there is a certain amount of that person in my life that I can tolerate without it negatively impacting my mental health. And right now that’s not much, to be honest.
Maybe this will change at some point. I don’t know. I don’t want to say that I hope for anything though because as soon as we throw hope into the mix, it gets sticky. I feel like hope opens a door that I’d rather see closed for now. It would be awesome if things got better at some point but if they don’t, I know I will be fine.
I am not fighting anymore. Neither in the sense that I try to change that person, nor in the sense that I torment myself with those ideals of how it should be.
I guess this is my lenghty way of saying that I finally accept the situation as it is. Unfiltered and flawed.