Thursday, May 3, 2012

the lessons we learn.

One of my wisest friends said something on facebook the other day that really struck me.

"The worst people in our lives are our greatest teachers. You can still want to punch them in the head, but learn it, bless 'em, and run!"- MR

This week has been a hard one for me. The balancing act that is my life can get really exhausting and, after a long weekend of stress, yesterday was really the end of my proverbial tight rope. But, since I rarely have the time to just break down, I have to take it in, try to process it, and just move on. I never really realized that I do this until MR pointed it out.

The worst people in our lives are our greatest teachers. I think that might actually be true. What have I learned from the various horrible people (HP or HPs) that have crossed my path? Other than all the answers to this little gem:

The perfect party game for all the HPs in your life.
But why would you go to a party with them??

Boundaries. I've learned that people respect you more and treat you far more like a human when you put boundaries in place to protect yourself. I used to have a hard time saying no, but now it comes a little easier, since I've decided that there has to be a part of me (which includes my TIME) that's sacred. Before boundaries, my door was open, and I allowed just about anything into my life. I was tired all the time. I was crying all the time, and it was because there was nothing about me that was mine anymore. I needed to reclaim that part of me, so that I could have my own life again. It was hard. No is much harder for me to say than it is for you to hear, I guarantee that, but I had to learn it in order to get me back. I feel like I'm on a better path now, and it's all because of the rough stuff.

Patience. HPs very rarely know that they're being horrible. (The ones that do are sociopaths, and we'll cover them later.) Sometimes you just have to sit, pretend to listen, nod, and 'mhmm' at the appropriate times so that the complaining will be over sometime before your next birthday. When I practiced this with an HP recently, I found that it was over before I had time to get really annoyed, and the HP was gone! Mission accomplished. 

Perspective. The HPs in my life are generally very negative. They love to bitch about anything and everything. Especially something that I'm doing wrong. So when I hear an HP crying about how there were no seats for their two stop ride on the subway or a tourist shoves money in my face (or worse, tosses it on the table in front of me like I'm a cheap whore), I just remind myself that there are worse problems in the world, and I just need to chill out and get over it.

Anger usually should be answered with love. This has been such an important lesson for me. Angry HPs can be some of the meanest, most abrasive, and downright dirty fighters ever. Between the guilt trips and the full blown screaming fights, angry HPs are more exhausting than usual, but often, when I've approached that anger from a place of love, instead of a place of pure, unadulterated rage!hate, usually the situation can be resolved in a safe, sane way that most all can live with. Remember your boundaries though, and stand firm, even in the face of guilt trips from hell. Don't let the HP walk all over you, but between answering their anger with loving solutions and staying calm, I've been able to walk away from the situation without crying and/or screaming. Little victories.

Sometimes, it's okay to just walk away. Whether that means for the moment or forever, sometimes it's okay to walk away from a situation or a person. Say, if this particular HP is a sociopath, then it's totally valid to simply cut them out of your life and not feel guilty about it. If that sociopathic HP is related to you (which none of mine are, thankfully!), or somehow completely entrenched in your life, and you find yourself unable to cut them off, I've learned that it's okay to just walk away, or stop texting, or do whatever you have to do to get out of the situation in the moment. It's okay to run and save yourself.

That was far lengthier than I expected... apparently HPs have taught me lots of lessons. What lessons have the HPs in your life taught you? 

Oh, and if you want more of MR's sage advice, check our her blog:
Miss Anthrope's House of High Drama
She's definitely worth the read!



Brandy said...

This is such a great post. I've also found that I respect myself more when I put up boundaries to protect myself and my family. I have to say no sometimes and I'm okay with that.

Jackie said...

Hi Brandy!
You're so right. It is 100% okay to do what you have to do to protect and respect yourself. So glad you came by. I hope you'll stick around :)


Mandy said...

I feel like this post could have been written directly to me. These are the lessons life has been trying to teach me. Sometimes these lessons come at a really high price, and these ones are, but the lessons I learn about boundaries can really help me become a more whole and peaceful person.

Thank you for sharing.


Jackie said...

Mandy, it seems like we're learning the same lessons at the same time, especially about boundaries making us more peaceful people. I've felt better in the last few months than I have in years, and it's all because I've redefined boundaries in my life. I'm so glad that I touched you - even in this small way - and that we're able to connect over shared lessons.

Can't wait to check out your blog.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...