Archive for August 8th, 2010

August 8, 2010

Freedom, finding and keeping it…..

by Rod Smith

Freedom comes at a cost. Its antithesis costs vastly more.

Freedom is a result of:

1. Defining of yourself in all relationships – letting others know who you are (and are not) before they take it upon themselves to define you.
2. The on-going attempt to bring greater integrity to every part of your life – sometimes with radical, extreme shifts, sometimes with subtle changes.
3. The on-going search for greater, deeper spiritual meaning, significance, and connection.
4. Willingness to continually face the challenge of remaining distinct (separate) from all others while also remaining “connected” to family, friends, and associates.
5. Facing the challenge (not even necessarily always successfully) to live a generous life.
6. Resisting the invasive urge to fix, modify, or to rescue others – especially when the others are people whom you love.
7. Facing, rather than avoiding necessary, worthwhile conflict, and the wisdom to identify and “let go” worthless conflict.
8. Understanding the distinction between being responsible FOR others and responsible TO others – and choosing the latter.
9. Honoring the natural desire for both autonomy and intimacy while allowing ALL others the joy of similar exploration.
10. Distinguishing between worry and love – knowing that it is possible to love others without also worrying about them. Understanding, therefore, that anxiety is not an expression of love.

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August 8, 2010

Mother-in-law puts her down……

by Rod Smith

My mother-in-law is very subtle in the way she puts me down. I am just not good enough and she lets me know it through looks, gestures, and laced comments. I know you will tell me to talk to her about this face-to-face and not to triangle my husband into it. Well I don’t expect my husband to intervene and I have tried to talk to her and the conversation went nowhere. She was super-nice when we met face-to-face and it was impossible to bring up anything negative. It was as if she fought off what I wanted to say with being overly nice. We are both very strong women. It feels like a competition without anyone knowing what the prize is. My children love her and she is wonderful with them. I only get strong negative feelings about her relationship with the children is when I feel she is putting me down. I am a stay-at-home mother while she has always had a successful career. (Situation synthesized from conversation and used with permission)

Apparently the helpful, positive material between you outweighs the unhelpful. I’d suggest you embrace her and consider the “looks, gestures, and laced comments” a worthy price to pay for a wonderful grandmother’s involvement in your children’s lives.