I am not you

>> Friday, September 21, 2007


Most of my life has been spent in the pursuit of approval. From early childhood on, I so needed the approval of my family that I would do, say, and be anything that they dictated, even to the sacrifice of my own wants, desires, dreams, thoughts, beliefs, and feelings. It has only been in the last seven to eight years that I have begun the journey of finding myself. It is a difficult process to begin recreating oneself at the age of 40, and now, at the age of 47, I find that there is still so much to create that it is a bit overwhelming at times. I found these words today that express exactly what I have thought and felt through this process.

If I do not want what you want, please try not to tell me that my want is wrong. Or if I believe other than you, at least pause before you correct my view. Or if my emotion is less than yours, or more, given the same circumstances, try not to ask me to feel more strongly or weakly. Or yet, if I act, or fail to act, in the manner of your design for action, let me be. I do not, for the moment at least, ask you to understand me. That will come only when you are willing to give up changing me into a copy of you.

I may be your spouse, your parent, your offspring, your friend, or your colleague. If you will allow me any of my own wants , or emotions, or beliefs, or actions, then you will open yourself, so that some day these ways of mine might not seem so wrong, and might finally appear to you as right--for me. To put up with me is the first step to understanding me. Not that you embrace my ways as right for you, but that you are no longer irritated or disappointed with me for my seeming waywardness. And in understanding me, you might come to prize my differences from you, and far from seeking to change me, preserve and even nurture those differences.

7 comments:

Kathy Handyside September 24, 2007 at 12:45 PM  

This resonates so much with me, Nettl. At the ripe old age of 55, I'm recreating myself, too. Throwing out the old bad negative parts, learning to fill that space with good, learning to love, to be the better person I want to be. I spent my entire life, too, trying in vain for the approval of my family; like you, I'd do anything for it, even down to burying the person I was and wanted to be. I'm now finding my life path and it's very exciting. Awakening. Renewing.

Lynette September 24, 2007 at 2:30 PM  

Good for you, Kathy! :) It is exciting, isn't it?

Kathy Handyside September 24, 2007 at 3:35 PM  

Thanks, Nettl - suffice it to say that I got weary of being a shit. So now I'm clearing up and clearing out all the...well...excrement! haha Magic Sponges, Magic Sponges!

Lynette September 24, 2007 at 3:45 PM  

It can be a little bit ugly when we "lift the rug" on our past and ourselves, but how good it feels when we get it all cleaned out! And how good it feels to know that there isn't anything wrong with us that can't be fixed and healed.

Lots of hugs to you!
(((((((Kathy))))))

Kathy Handyside September 24, 2007 at 4:40 PM  

Thank you, Thank, you, Nettl! Hugs back!

This is all part of my preparation for my move in 3.5 years - I've got a lot of work to do in both of my houses (the physical one and the house that is me).

Whenever I find myself slipping, I stop and remind myself, "Remember -no more bullshit." I want to be an honest person again.

Kathy Handyside September 24, 2007 at 5:13 PM  

While you and Steph have been finding great apartments in Vienna, I've been finding great apartments in Portland and Vancouver - really affordable, too! Much more affordable than anything of comparable size in the Detroit metro area. They're beautiful - with patios and decks.

I can see it all now! Hooh Hooh!

Lynette September 24, 2007 at 7:34 PM  

Yea!!!!!

Isn't it fun? :D

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