There are phrases we hear or read that stay with us, and assist us, through many years of our lives, often making increasing sense as the years go by. As I teenager I came across, and wrote down in my poetry book, these words from a Gestalt Prayer:
“I am not in this world to live up to your expectations, and you are not in this world to live up to mine. I am I and you are you. And if we find each other that’s beautiful, and if not it can’t be helped.”
When I find myself expecting things from people, including myself, that are in fact demands based upon my unconscious fears and habitual dramas, it helps me to step back from my fear, hurt and anger and remember that all I really need to do is love the people I am lucky enough to have in my life, and love them just as they are. The only thing I have control of is my own choices and actions, not the actions of others, or the weaknesses within my body: and it feels like such a crucial shift within myself to not just know that, but FEEL it within me.
And so I let the emotions roll away, make new choices about how to respond, and breathe deep as the fresh air fills my lungs, and calmness descends gently. It is a lesson I know full well I have learnt before, and will need to remind myself of many times again, but it feels like such a relief to know again that I can be the person I wish to be, regardless of the events of my life. Thus continues the quest to accept life just as it is, instead of wishing it otherwise, and to find gratitude within myself to accept each opportunity to learn and grow, however challenging I may find it.