This must be the place: Breakin’ ties that you’d grown, catchin’ dreams from the clouds
I think the one of the hardest lessons in life is knowing when to cut bait on those who simply do not have your best interests in mind (family or friends).
Throughout my entire life, I’ve struggled with always trying to make others happy, and taking things so damn personal if someone either doesn’t get my vibe or simply isn’t interested in being a friend, etc. These days, I’m actively working towards not taking those things so to heart, and just focusing on simply being a good person in my words and actions, regardless of what others may think.
Easier said than done though, am I right? Every single one of us, whether we realize it or not, take people and situations to heart so deeply that a single interaction can put our entire day and mindset into whack, our emotional state and “to do” list tossed out the window and replaced by overanalyzing what happened (or didn’t happen) to the point of no return.
The saddest part is the mere fact many of those folks causing havoc on your daily mentality tend to be ones you always thought had your back, come hell or high water from day one. It’s a hard pill to swallow to see and hear your loved ones sometimes take a different road and, perhaps, throw you under the bus in the process.
All of this brings up the idea of “letting go.” Trying to let go of the weight on your mind and shoulders can be very difficult, seeing as it’s that exact weight of people, places and things you’re afraid to unload and create an imbalance in your current (and longtime) landscape of what lies outside your front door (or within the walls of your humble abode).
Recently, I found myself in the midst of an interaction with a family member that shook me up, so much so that here I am sitting down at my desk and writing about it, seeing as putting my thoughts and emotions onto paper is what brings clarity to my existence and the eventual outcome I seek.
The family member and I have always had a touch-and-go relationship. We share the same blood, but the common ground seems to end after that. As hard as I try to bite my tongue and simply let them vent, I also don’t want to be an emotional punching bag.
The older I get, the more I really don’t care if someone views me different than I may see myself. I know I can look in the mirror and recognize the reflection, I can look into those eyes staring back at me and make sense of it, and I can sleep well at night knowing my intent and purpose in life is one of just cause.
This recent confrontation with my family member triggered memories of similar moments with others in the past. Not many folks, thankfully, but a handful of instances where I found myself at a crossroads of either standing up for myself or sweeping things under the rug in hopes of maintaining balance with all involved.
Sensing something was up in my life, a dear friend reached out this week with encouraging words and sentiments, of which he said, “Often in life we focus on the words and overlook the motives behind them. I’ve found that we rarely put forth the effort to throw words of hate without the feeling of being hurt, envious, etc. fueling it. Maybe they need you and this is the only way they know how to ask for it.”
That said, I will always have an open door, whether at my apartment or via text/phone call, to right the ship between two parties. But, the practice of “letting go” must be followed through to reach your true self. Push ahead and create the world you desire in your motives and movements.
You can cut ties with others and shift your focus towards self-care, and rightly so, but never shut people out completely from attempting to make things right. Only time will tell, and often time itself will reveal the hard truths and eventual resolution to whatever it is that may be chewing away at your sanity.
Several years ago, I found myself having to shed the weight of a lifelong friendship that resulted in a toxic relationship. The friend had been walking down a dark road for a long time. I tried to help and give everything I had within me for love and support for almost a decade, but to no avail. I finally had to walk away, as tough as it was. It’s been only recently that the friend has reached out and we’ve been able to bury the hatchet.
I wake up every day and try my best, even if I may fall short on certain occasions. I ain’t perfect. Nobody is. And yet, I will continue to push ahead in search of passion and compassion. I hold this quote (from my recent interview with banjo legend Marc Pruett) so damn close to heart these days: “I’m in competition today with who I was yesterday.”
Life is beautiful, grasp for it, y’all.
1 Country music legend Ronnie Milsap will take the stage at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Jan. 31, at the Smoky Mountain Center for the Performing Arts in Franklin.
2 The Jackson County Chamber of Commerce will present the inaugural “Chili Cook-Off” from 5 to 6:30 pm. Thursday, Jan. 23, at the Lazy Hiker taproom and Mad Batter kitchen in Sylva.
3 Boojum Brewing Company (Waynesville) will host The Get Right Band (rock/soul) 9:30 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 25.
4 The annual Burns Night will be held at 6 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 25, in the Tartan Hall at the First Presbyterian Church in Franklin.
5 The Haywood Arts Regional Theatre winter studio season will begin with “The Thirteen Clocks” at 7:30 p.m. Jan. 24-25 and 2 p.m. Jan. 26 in the Fangmeyer Theater at HART in Waynesville.