Today’s Daily Prompt is: Take Me to the Moon:
How far would you go for someone you love? How far would you want someone else to go for you?
I would love for my answer to both parts of the prompt to be anywhere. Wouldn’t that sound great? Wouldn’t that mean I was the bestest parent, family member, friend, heck even the bestest complete stranger in someone’s world? Yeah, perhaps on the surface it would. I mean ask a lot of other parents out there what they would do for their children and I suspect the most common response would be this: anything. But I’ve had enough journeys on this adventure called life that have taught me otherwise. I do my best to have and express unconditional love for others, but I do have conditions on the parameters of the relationships I have with them.
Here are a few examples …
I will buy a homeless person a healthy meal or give them a blanket, but I won’t give them money. Instead, I limit my hopeful acts of kindness to things I feel have a chance of actually helping them and making their situation less challenging.
At the risk of losing his friendship I realized, I didn’t give a friend with a gambling problem at the time money to help him get “back on track”. Rather, I recommended resources on gambling addiction and took him to a meeting of Gamblers Anonymous. The friendship wasn’t lost, I think it was actually strengthened perhaps. Just had coffee with him the other day. And he did get back on track himself and gambling does not cause problems in his life anymore.
When a sponsee called me in the early hours of the morning, asking me to come rescue her from yet another one of her drinking escapades, I said I would only come if our destination would be the nearest detox centre. She hated me for a long time after that and no surprise, fired me as her sponsor. However, I am happy to report that I saw her recently and she has found sobriety. And she doesn’t hate me anymore.
I love my mom, who passed several years ago. Adored her, revered her, would do [almost] anything for her when she was alive. But I definitely didn’t adore all of her behaviours, and I’m sure she didn’t adore all of mine. My mom was very skilled at sending us four kids on guilt trips. She was super smart, an excellent debater, and had formed coping skills through childhood abuse that made her a person who could, when she felt it necessary, verbally send someone into a cyclone of a conversation. Once when she was pulling out all the stops to try to get her way in a conversation with my brother and me, I didn’t participate in the discussion. I also said to my brother, who was falling prey to her ploys, “pack your bags, you’re going on a guilt trip”. He told me years later that what I said opened his eyes to see what was really happening there. Originally, he resented the fact I wasn’t “fighting back” alongside him, but later realized why I chose not to. After that, he was able to make choices to not play her game either, and we both feel it made our relationship and our conversations with our mom healthier.
I have said no to my children. Details aren’t needed. Suffice it to say, although it has been an extremely difficult thing to do at times, I do believe it was the right thing to do. Whether it was in fact the best thing to do, I may never know. But if they don’t already get why I did what I did, I hope they do someday.
I’d like to thank the people in my life who have put conditions on their relationships with me for teaching me that invaluable lesson. For this post’s purpose, I’m keeping you all anonymous. Whether you ever read this or not, I hope I have expressed that gratitude to you, or get the chance to before my adventures cease. Thank you for loving me unconditionally and for not loving all that I have done in my life prompting you to put conditions on our relationship. Thanks for not taking me to the moon I thought I should be going to, but rather for being the rays of sunshine that showed me that the sun was a better direction to take in my life. You done good and I feel your love.
Image source: ThePixelman user on pixabay.com, CC0 Public Domain