Not too long ago I ran across an interesting article and immediately shared it with a friend who also agreed wholeheartedly with the author. You can read it here. As a therapist I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve talked to clients about accepting themselves and not basing their happiness on the presence of another person. But let’s admit it, we all want acceptance, companionship, and validation. The author brings out a good point when she talks about a strange sort of contentment in doing your own thing 100% of the time. You don’t have to consult with anyone or let someone know where you’re going when you leave the house. It’s like settling into a homeostasis of sorts. You aren’t obligated to constantly think about the welfare of another person. If only you could order a significant other as easily as one does an Uber or Lyft. You could specify various characteristics that you wanted and then request. As promised, a companion would suddenly appear on your doorstep, the epitome of all your hopes and dreams. No heartache or second guessing because you’ve just met your soulmate and you know that you’ll live happily ever after. Let’s be real, there’s a certain amount of selfish that is perfectly acceptable being a single person that just won’t fly in a relationship. You can’t get your way and never compromise and still expect to have a successful partnership. The author brings out a good point when she discusses the constant self-analysis and diagnosis that happens when you try to make sense of a phenomenon that is supposed to occur within a certain time frame. I have to say that I agree with her conclusion.
Not too long ago I had to make a decision that was uncomfortable but had to be done. I believe in trying to live without regrets and I knew that not taking action would result in regret later. Closure is something that has always been important to me. While it’s a luxury at times, the ability to wrap something up with a nice pretty bow before it’s discarded. There aren’t any loose ends to wrap up. I’ve learned the hard way that it is worth it sometimes to be uncomfortable for a moment instead of having a lifetime of regret. Usually closure is something that’s done for me in some weird twist of circumstances and fate. The difference in this situation was that the responsibility rested solely on me. I had to step up to the plate. I think that having closure is better than carrying around something that we have no control over. It helps us to move on and accept change. No, it may not have turned out the way we would have chosen but there’s a certain peace attached to being able to accept, adjust, and move forward because a chapter of our lives has ended.
During my work career I’ve worked with the elderly and those with terminal illnesses. One common theme is that many of them have regrets. These regrets range from something as significant as getting married to something as trivial as having dessert before their actual meal. Many of my patients would talk for hours about what they wished could have been. They wanted a different life but reality and circumstances interfered with their plans. Even though I’m decades younger I still think about how my life could’ve been different if I had made different decisions. While I’m not extremely disappointed in my decisions up to this point, I could probably be at a different place in my life if I made other decisions. More recently I’ve found myself asking this question once again. It’s not a regret and I would call it a wish of sorts. I wish that although the world is small it was a bit smaller in a way that would allow me to pursue an opportunity. I’m not usually extremely disappointed in missed opportunities because it’s a part of the human experience and I am usually able to put that information in perspective. I guess this opportunity was different because it really felt like a once in a lifetime opportunity without any chance of it reappearing again. It’s almost as if fate has a mind of its own. Circumstances keep us from what we would truly want in an ideal existence. But that’s not the world we live in. Our lives aren’t perfect and we don’t live in a happily ever after movie. Sometimes we won’t be able to capitalize on opportunities regardless of how much we want to. I think those kind of disappointments are the kind that stay with you for years after the actual event. They color your world and you wouldn’t be who you are without them. Fate is fate and sometimes that can’t be changed.
One of my Instagram friends posted this picture and it really made me think. My first thought was that I agreed with the saying but I didn’t know why. One of the thoughts that came to my head was the fact that people who are intelligent and/or have a big heart are often misunderstood. They are either disregarded or taken advantage of because of who they are. While there are positive aspects of being intelligent and having a deep heart, I think that there is a higher level of responsibility that comes along with these traits. It’s easy for people to put you on a pedestal or assume that you’ll do something because of your big heart. These same people are then some of the first to point fingers because you didn’t live up to their expectations. But that’s just my two cents… What do you think about the statement? Is it true?