Tuesday, July 14, 2015
How to Break Everything
I always laugh to myself a little when someone hurls out "You've got issues!!" at someone as an insult. It feels like grasping at straws, a desperate attempt to belittle someone in a moment of anger. It seems pointless to say something like that, at least to me.
I truly feel like no one comes through life unscathed. There's no person out there, having made it to adulthood, that has not encountered trouble, heartbreak, anger, abandonment. You might think Jennifer from Park Avenue has it made, with a butler and maid and nanny, her parents giving her money for a shiny new Mercedes and every beautiful "it" bag of every new season. But you don't know if she's got parents who listen to her, who spend time with her, or who are really there at all. It's a cliche, but the point is...yeah, let's face it. We all have issues.
"I'm broken" we wail into the blustery wind of a pity party.
I'm as guilty of it as anyone.
Trust issues? Check.
The feeling that my feelings don't matter or simply aren't important to anyone? Yup.
An overly developed need to prove myself as good enough/smart enough/enough? Surely.
And it's ok to say "hey, I'm like this because..."
It's ok to have anxiety, depression, abandonment issues, or to be an introvert. It's ok to be you.
It's good to know what your issues are, because at least if you're aware you do it, you can attempt to curb it if it's become harmful in your relationships with people.
Where you start to break everything is when you let it be ALL you are.
Or when you take it out on someone.
Or when you have someone do something that REMINDS you of the boyfriend who cheated on you/parent who abused you/boss who wrecked you emotionally and you take out all the frustration of those events in your life on them.
It's hard to watch someone walk out of a room when your relationship experience has been a bunch of people whose answer to any problem is to completely walk away or hold 2 week grudges. But if you don't let that happen, then the new person who realizes that he's angrier than he should be and needs to cool off before you can calmly discuss it may hit a boiling point.
Likewise, you can't just recognize it's an issue you have and then go no further with it. For this reason, I think maybe the better terminology for "issue" might *be* baggage. Baggage, if you think literally, is yes, something you carry around because you have to. But when you have to, you also have to check on it, and do something about it, and make room for it. That's your responsibility, ultimately, though there are others along the way who can help (or hinder) with it. So you can't just recognize you have a problem and then say "It's just how I am." That's not responsible, and that's one more way to break everything.
I'm all for accepting people as they are. I think deep down we all want to find someone who will accept us as is, scars and all. We just can't turn around and smack them upside the head with our issues.
People will trigger the worst in you. They'll push those buttons that exist for a multitude of reasons that have nothing to do with them, or perhaps they do, but from before.
We get to choose how we react to that. We have to choose, every single time.
Yes, we should be who we really are.
Yes, we should be accepted for who we really are, warts and all.
But if we want to make something good, and NOT break everything, we need to be more patient, more understanding, more self-aware, and try to handle those things we carry with more care, so that innocent bystanders don't get hurt.
It's a tough one.