Facing up…

“I believe in being strong
when everything seems to be going wrong.
I believe that tomorrow is another day, and I
believe in miracles.”
~Audrey Hepburn

When faced with a crisis or a life changing decision, it is often the time when you find out what people are really made of.  Unfortunately, at times you wish that you had not been faced with this reality and that you could carry on oblivious as before.  But sometimes you just have to face the fact that to do this would be a massive injustice to yourself and that you would be setting yourself up for further falls and a lifetime of unhappiness.
This month has been such a time, decisions and responsibilities have been placed upon me which I should not have to deal with alone.  However, after spending a few weeks contemplating the complexity of the situation, the emotional roller-coaster of somebody not coming through for me when I was certain they  would and the huge importance of the decision left to make; it is now time to get some clarity, accept the situation and what I cannot change and move on.  Anger and bitterness will not do me any good, as Buddha said:

“Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned.”

In order to be able to do this however I’ve had to realise and accept:
  • that not all people are the same.  Some will never be responsible or strong enough to deal with a ‘fight or flight’ situation.  Some people are just not built to fight.
  • you cannot change someone’s behaviour or attitude.  No matter how much you want to or try to help, unless they want this change for themselves it will never happen.
  • this is not my fault! I am not responsible for other people’s paths in life, only my own.
  • sometimes you have to accept your own limitations.  Nobody can cope all the time on their own.
  • sometimes the strongest thing you can do in these situations is not the easiest. It may cause you pain, tears and haunt you for a long time.  However, it is not a failure to accept that in some circumstances, as much as you would like things to be different, your current responsibilities are too great to take on any more.  
“Remember, if you ever need a helping hand, it’s at the end of your arm, as you get older, remember you have another hand: The first is to help yourself, the second is to help others.”  
As the great Audrey Hepburn said, you do indeed have two hands but to be able to help others you must first be well and strong enough to look after yourself.  People are often much stronger than they give themselves credit for, I have certainly dealt with a lot more than would seem possible if I had actually sat down and thought about it at the time.  However, there comes a point when enough is enough and you have to take that first hand to help yourself before helping others.  You never know it may well be the wake up call that they need. 
Ultimately we can only do our best at any particular time.  If we can look inside ourselves and know that we have done all that we can and have no more left to give then surely this is our best? Other people may see this as a sign of our weakness, but in fact it is probably the bravest thing that we can do, however painful it may be.  
“We can never judge the lives of others, because each person knows only their own pain and renunciation. It’s one thing to feel that you are on the right path, but it’s another to think that yours is the only path.” ~Paulo Coehlo 


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