As we’ve been working through the physical rehab of my mother’s knee, I’ve seen the side of defeat and triumph. Defeat in the matter of feeling like she can’t physically go on and feeling no matter what you do it isn’t enough. Triumph in seeing that you are able to push the body further than you thought. In both scenarios, I’ve seen that mindset has been key. Regardless of the outcome, it was the result of the belief. “Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re right” is extremely appropriate here. Going from the feeling of we won’t get past the first day to knowing that small steps make all the difference shows how important it is to not limit yourself because of where you’re at.
The interesting part of all of this has been the shift in dynamic in my relationship with my parents. We’ve always been fairly codependent for myriad of reasons and we have both had to learn how to separate a bit. My sister’s words about the choices I’ve made in my life and her opinion of my relationship with my parents still echo in my mind. I know the things she said are true on some level. I needed to find a new level of independence. But she failed to understand where that dependence initially came from. See, the people who were supposed to support me didn’t—I felt like a burden to my siblings because I came so far after they did. My parents were indeed the only ones who supported me for the longest time and I wanted to return that favor.
So, we are in an interesting state of learning to separate and for a while it legitimately felt pretty desperate. That goes back to the whole state of mind thing. My mom wasn’t anticipating how difficult this would be for her and she never believed in herself enough to understand that putting in the work would make all the difference in her recovery. Ancient history thrown on top of those fears led her to a really negative state of mind. She honestly said at one point that she didn’t want to go on because she was afraid she would be like this the rest of her life. All she could see was the moment in front of her, painful and learning to walk again. I saw the prisoner holding the key. But no amount of encouraging words would get through to her, and in that state of mind I’m not surprised. So came the next step in my evolution:
I can’t fight for her harder than she fights for herself. The same for my father who is going through some similar issues around mortality and finding purpose as well. I can’t fight the fight they need to find within themselves. That revelation is a turning point and it is far more applicable to the state of the world than what is happening in my family. None of us can fight harder than the person involved in order to change a situation. We all need that ear and that understanding, but we can’t expect the other person to do the work for us. And that is what we are also missing: the accountability to create the life claim we want.
That latter point I have felt deeply over the last month. I see what I want but I have to admit that it isn’t as clear as it should be. I still allow myself to let the feelings take over so if I am feeling drained then I stop pushing. To a point, we all have to recognize our limits and for me, it’s a struggle to juggle my mind between the tasks I need to do in a day for over 16 hours straight. The mind isn’t designed to function like that and I DO need a break. But it’s also about choice. I can decide what I’m going to focus on and how I’m going to spend that energy. I have to fight for me harder than I expect others to fight for me because they won’t.