I’m not the partner you need? I mean, I know I asked, but I REALLY hoped that wasn’t going to be your answer.
So these dreams are all for not? Everything we’ve been talking about over the last 2 weeks? 6 weeks? Years? All the breakthroughs we’ve had in our relationship? Was that just for you? Did I have a role in this too? Was I at home with the kids, working a job in town, toeing the line at the restaurant, what? Where was I in this?
So, today was your reminder of why we shouldn’t be in business together, huh?
I’m the problem then, huh? I’m the one dragging you down?
Your mistake is believing you need someone like yourself to be your partner. You don’t. You need the opposite, ME, to do and enjoy all things you don’t do and can’t stand. Yes, anyone could do book work just like anyone can wait tables. That’s not the point. You don’t need a ‘yes man.’ You need someone who thinks differently and will tell you’re being an idiot when you are and who also has different gifts and talents to augment your own highly developed and specialized skill set.
This really doesn’t sound like the problem is all me here does it? The more I write and then read and then re-write, the more it is obvious to me that you hold no respect for me in the industry and, by association, as a business partner. I am not perfect (and sometimes only just passable in some things I have to do for the business) and I don’t know everything. You seem to though. Dang it! Every stinkin’ time we have this stupid old argument, you always seem to know best and nothing I say or do or know or think measures up. Your way or the highway?
I don’t see it. I think what needs to happen is you need to learn to work with me and I with you. I am not your opponent. I AM ON YOUR TEAM. I have your back. Every stinkin’ time. I am in your corner. Your Dad didn’t believe it of his wife, will you? I want you to succeed and be happy. I want us to succeed and be happy together, both at work and at home. We are all on the same side.
I like working with you most of the time. I would rather spend the rest of my life with you in any endeavor we chose than anywhere else, doing anything else, for anyone else.
I feel like you are so close to being that team captain that leads the team to nationals that I can taste it. I see the big win at the end of the season of back breaking work and commitment and I want it! I want to trust you. I want to see you be the man and leader you were intended to be but left at the wayside 10 years ago. I want to follow you. I do! I just don’t trust you 100% yet. Is it OK for me to be cautions? Is it OK to ask and question and analyze? You see fear, but I see caution. And I have had a lot of disappointments in my life when I’ve trusted others to lead. The only way I know to protect myself is to be cautious. Slow it down. That was my only tool in my arsenal when dealing with my parent’s leadership. As a pretty much a powerless minority partner, the only control I had on their leadership was talking and questioning and talking some more. I didn’t have a veto. I am feeling that way again. Like my role is again to slowing down the train enough to ask where we’re going and who’s coming with us and how are we paying for it. Is that what you mean when you say I am holding you back?
But do you see how far I’ve come? Can you give me that? I have come so far in my relationship with you! Even in the last 6 months, I have opened up and learn to trust you in ways I have never trusted and exposed heart and soul to anyone. Ever. Can I have some grace too? Can we have a learning curve here? One day of reality and everything we’ve dreamed for the last few day is tossed to the wind? I think I deserve more than that. More importantly, I think WE deserve more than that.
“Women were created from the rib of man to be beside him, not from his head to top him, nor from his feet to be trampled by him, but from under his arm to be protected by him, near to his heart to be loved by him.”
The author of this quote, David O. McKay, wrote numerous books and teachings including ― Pathways to Happiness. Interesting point of fact, McKay was the ninth president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church), serving from 1951 until his death in 1970.
Anyway . . . I’m sure you’ve seen this quote passed around on Facebook and it all sounds great. Love her, honor her, and protect her don’t be a bully or a jerk. Makes sense, right? But let’s a look a little closer. It’s never quite as easy as those tidy FB quotes like to make it. The line that stuck out to me yesterday was . . .
“NOR FROM HIS FEET TO BE TRAMPLED BY HIM”
This is where 1000’s of years of men went wrong. Instead of honoring their woman as a partner, she became a tool/ a step stool / a scapegoat for the man. Though America has come a long way from the Middle Ages, even today, women are often trampled by the men in their life in the emotional sense. I would equate the word ‘trampled’ in this quote with the term Emotional Abuse.
What is Emotional Abuse?
Experts opinions vary, but according to the University of Illinois counseling center, ″Emotional abuse is any kind of abuse that is emotional rather than physical in nature.” (Such a vague definition, I know!) Bottom line, emotional abuse diminishes the other person either in emotional well-being or self-worth. Emotional Abuse is used to control another, often to the point were the abused can no longer recognize how to feel towards anything for themselves. They are reliant on the abuser for their cues to be happy, sad, satisfied, guilty, etc . . . There is obvious a wide range of this type of abuse. In extreme cases, exhaustive questioning of “where have you been” and “who have you been with” is a form of emotional abuse. What I would like to focus on is the often hidden, milder forms of trampling a woman experiences in a relationship.
We women are experts at reading our partners’ emotions. We read the facial and physical cues of an upcoming explosion. We see the frustrations building. We anticipate conflict and we seek to defuse the situation before it implodes / explodes. A good woman does not inciting her husband to anger, but that also does not mean a good woman has to accept everything our husband’s says in moment of anger as fact. We women tend take what our men have to say to heart whether they speak from love or anger.
I know that I am not perfect and there are times I am called to listen to the (hopefully) loving criticism of my spouse. In a good marriage, your spouse will fill the role of a spirit mirror. These spirit mirrors of ours (our partners) see deep and often reflect the worst in us. The saying ‘opposite attract’ is accurate. We are often most attract to (and then marry) someone who is so stinkin’ great at what we struggle with. And then we spend the rest of our life together learning to appreciate our partners’ strengths and trying not to get down when starts picking at us. I know I have learned a lot from my husband even when the criticisms weren’t coming from a loving place. I still took the time to listen to what he had to say and listen for the truth. In the moment, we can get very worked up and not hear it, but there is a usually a thread of truth in these criticisms. That’s what makes them so sharp and damaging, like an arrow aimed at our heart. It’s easy for our partner to point out what we’re NOT good at, what we struggle with because it’s what they excel at it and enjoy doing. An immature person cannot conceive of why something that is SO easy for them is a struggle for their partner. ‘Can’t everyone/ you just . . .?’ You fill in the blank. Deflection is a standard technique in conflict. By pointing out our mistakes or flaws, they deflect the attention away from themselves and what THEY need to be working on.
Because it’s easy. It is easy to judge and point out the flaws in others. It’s not easy to be judged. It’s not easy to accept criticism and know you have failed at <blank>. It’s not easy to examine your soul and come up lacking. It’s not easy to admit you’re not perfect and you’ve done everything you can think of to fix yourself. It’s not easy to humble yourself and admit you need help.
This is being trampled on. This is being walked on by your spouse. When I have to question everything I am and he gets to continue with business as usual because it wasn’t his fault. He’s not wrong. This is emotional abuse. It is emotional abuse when your partner consistently causes you to question your self-worth. Build up don’t tear down. The log in your own eye, remember? Don’t be pointing out the speck in my eye (because, yes there is one) and forget about the log you’ve got going on over there.
Women are not whipping boys for the frustrations of life. We are not scapegoats when things go wrong. We are not the problem (usually). What I have to remember when he strikes out at me with a harsh word or ten, the anger I feel from him is rarely really just about me and what I’m doing (or not doing). I am merely the closest, most forgiving, and easiest target for my husband’s frustrations.
Think of a fire. What I do or say may ignite the fire, but I’m not the wood, the kindling, the paper or the fireplace. Even in the most extreme case, do you blame the matches for the fire? No, you blame the one who strikes the match and lights that fire. That would be YOU not me. You are most of the problem. I am only one small part that gets the blame for the rest of life’s frustrations (i.e. the forest fire out of control).
Stop trampling on us!
The song for today – Jewel’s SATISFIED
If you love somebody
You better let it out
Don’t hold it back
While you’re trying to figure it out
Don’t be timid
Don’t be afraid to hurt
Run toward the flame
Run toward the fire
Hold on for all your worth
Cause the only real pain a heart can ever know
Is the sorrow of regret
When you don’t let your feelings show
So did you say it
Did you mean it
Did you lay it on the line
Did you make it count
Did you look ’em in the eye
Did they feel it
Did you say it in time
Did you say it out loud
’cause if you did hun
Then you lived some
That feeling inside
That’s called satisfied
Busy people walking by
Can’t help but worry some
With so many things to do
So little love gets done
Empty hearts everywhere
Drowning but dying of thirst
If you want love
It’s not that tough
Start by giving it first
It’s so easy to give
Baby can’t you see
Just close your eyes open your heart
And do what comes naturally
Horses are built to run
The sun is meant to shine above
Flowers are made to bloom
And then there’s us
We were born to love
I need to be done with not being real. Just be straight. Say what you mean. Mean what you say. Don’t leave anything unsaid and undone just because it might be more comfortable for the moment. We look back with regret at the chances not taken and opportunities missed. We relishes the memories when we went for it and then carry the SATISFACTION of a job well done. You did your best and gave your all. It either worked or it didn’t but not because you didn’t want it enough or try hard enough. Satisfaction is a powerful thing. It is the lack there of that leads to midlife crisis’ in my opinion. When a person reaches about 45, they look back on their life, have regrets or don’t like what they see and freak out because they realize their life is half gone. Where will you be at the half way point? A life well liven is not mired in regrets, but filled with the satisfaction of a job well done. “You have done well . . . “
I don’t know where that phrase comes from – I wait for no man. A movie I am sure, but it suits my revelation and thoughts of the last eve. Why am I waiting on anyone else to make me happy? That’s my job! Not my husband’s, not God’s, not my workplace’s. In my head, I’ve putting too much pressure on my White Knight to be all that I think he can / should be thinking I would only be able to be all that I can be when he does. This is not true. I need to do my best at all times regardless of anyone else’s performance. If I’m not doing what makes me happy, I need to be the one to change it not wait for some external source or grand calling.
If I’m frustrated about the lack of music in my life, I need to make time for worship and maybe learn a new instrument or two (like I’ve been saying for months / years). Not wait until he gets off his butt and learns to play the guitar he bought two years ago.
If I miss church, I need to make time to go even if we work Sunday morning there are options in the evening or early or on weekdays.
If I miss dance, I need to make time for a class or at least alone time with some music and an empty room.
If I am lonely, I need to make some friends instead of relying on him to be my everything.
If I miss making a difference in my community, I need to step out and step up to the plate, not wait for him to have the energy/interest/drive to help a worthy organization.
Stop making excuses Grace!
You are your own person. Take some responsibility for yourself and your own happiness. He’s not holding you back. He’s missing out on life, but so are you! No more. I wait for no man.
It’s amazing how our priorities change as circumstances change. Last week, my most heartfelt prayer was that my placenta would move up and I could have the natural birth experience I wanted. Last Friday, as we rushed to the hospital, my prayer was for safety. “Just please keep him safe. Keep me safe. Just stop the bleeding and let everything be OK.” The non rushed actions of the hospital staff reassured us that the situation was not an emergency. As hours and then days passed in the hospital without a decision one way or the other, the prayer was to be able to go home. But what are our priorities really? When it comes right down to it, it’s still safety – safety and time. While I could go home and do my bed rest there, worst case scenario is 10 minutes. Just 10 minutes to get the baby out if my placenta ruptures before he suffocates. Aside from the clear danger to the baby, the severe blood lose for the mother carries its own set of risks. With a 30 minute drive from home to hospital, it was a no brainer. You don’t risk the life of your child if you have the choice and resources for it to be otherwise.
What I have is unpreventable and untreatable. It’s called Placenta Previa. It is when the placenta implants low within the uterus and blocks the cervix. It’s not uncommon, but most placentas migrate over time as the uterus grows and it is not an issue. Mine hasn’t and to top it all off, it is a complete previa condition. My placenta is essentially capping the cervix. Not only would a vaginal birth be impossible (he would have to literally push through the placenta to be born), but the position of the placenta is incredibly vulnerable to tearing. Any changes / growth of the uterus has the potential to tear and – worse case scenario – rupture the placenta. There is no way to move the placenta and no way to know what action may cause a tear. When I bled Friday, I was sitting down and opened the sliding door to our dessert refrigerator.
So . . . here I am – on hospital bed rest for three weeks. In three weeks, I will be 36 weeks along. We’ll test his lungs (the fun belly button shot) and if they are developed, schedule a C-section before any early labor signs kick in and instantly tear the placenta forcing an emergency C-section. We’ve had the steroid shots to jump start Baby’s lung development. Everything has been done to safe guard us both.
It’s just a waiting game.
Dear small businesses owners:
You have my condolences and my congratulations. I never understood before my own business venture the hardships and joys of owning and running your own business.
* The never ending worry about money, staffing, and maintaining excellent customer service.
* The satisfaction of a happy diner, a gushing thank you letter, a successful event and regulars.
* The disappointment of a bad dinner service, a slow week, or money down the drain.
* The freedom to make you own schedule, take an extra day off, or decide the course of your efforts.
* The ownership of each success and each failure.
A family run business has its own particular hardships and joys. Everything is personal and work always comes home with you. Everyone pitches in when the need arises, yet much remains unspoken. Every success is more meaningful. Every failure is more personal. Relationships affect every decision for the good and the bad. It can be a deal breaker or sealer.
Here’s to you who take on business ownership,
Who make your own way,
And work the long hours after everyone else has gone home.
I pray the best for you.
I pray that you get ahead far enough to retire or pass on your legacy rather than working full time until you are 90.
I pray for your health, that your body can withstand the hours, stress, and worry of owning a small business.
I pray the best for all relationships and family members involved that all survive the trials of running a business and all come out unscathed on the other end and better for the experience.
I understand now.
This is re-post from last year which I removed to honor an uncle’s request, but it needs to said. I love you grandpa!
Tonight I said ‘goodbye’ to my grandparents for, what I believe is, the last time. My grandmother has burnt has last bridge with my parents and my grandparents will be leaving tomorrow to live on the east coast. They will be living with their last child.
My grandmother has a long and sordid history of alienating and/or disowning one or all of her four children. It’s a sad thing when the strongest memories I have of my grandmother are negative ones. It’s a sad thing to watch a woman at the end of her life make the same prideful mistakes she made before you were even born. A lifetime of illness and fragile health brought about from resentment and a hardened heart. How can a mother disown a daughter who left her family and business in distress to ‘rescue’ her – move her lock, stock, and barrel into her own home sacrificing her own family to care for her parents? I don’t understand it, but I watched it happen. In thinking about my grandmother, I have chalked her up to one of life’s lessons – one I need to learn from. So what can I learn from my grandmother’s lifetime of selfishness and self pity? OH, Let me count the ways!
1) Grow up. Mature with age and gain wisdom as you go. There’s nothing less attractive than an 80 year old woman with the emotional maturity of a junior higher.
2) Learn from your mistakes. Life may be a spiral, but every time you come around again, the hurdles should be easier.
3) Age gracefully. Bitterness poisons you from the inside out. If you want to live a long and healthy life – live a happy life not storing up offenses and spewing at those around you.
4) Be real. Life is to short to fake your way through it. Life should never be about putting on a smiling face and pretending the ugliness of the night before never happened.
5) Give without the expectation of receiving. Give for the joy of giving not the satisfaction of being recognized. No one should feel guilty for not writing a thank you note.
6) Love without conditions. What do you have to cling to at the end of your life, but the relationships you’ve built throughout the course of it? Destroy them and you will be a sad, bitter, lonely old woman with nothing but your pride to cling to.
My greatest hope is to not carry these lessons through to my kids. I have enough to learn from in my life without repeating the mistakes of my ancestors.
THIS IS MY PRAYER . . .
May my pride not blind me to my own shortcomings.
May I have the grace to admit when I am wrong, the humility to make amends
and the desire to do better.
May I remember that all we have take from this world into the next are the
relationships we cultivate.
May my desire for control not control me.
May I love unconditionally, give without hesitation, and live joyfully.
GROW up and LEARN from your mistakes, AGE gracefully, GIVE without expectations, and LOVE unconditionally.
Did I miss anything?
It’s ts never a good sign for me to be awake at 4 am. I am usually aware of my White Knight getting up in the morning to go to the gym, coming back and then going to work, but falling back asleep until 6:30 or so is rarely a problem for me.
Unless, that is, I have something on my mind.
Most of us have those nights where we stare at the ceiling, unable to go to sleep because our brain won’t stop thinking. I get that in the morning as well where my brain is unable to relax and wakes me up bright and early to beginning running over the details again. A busy brain usually happens before a large event at the restaurant where details of how and when and who kept running through my head not allowing my to quiet mind and body. In order to relax, I have to take the time to write out the details of the event to the letter to give my brain the reassurance that, “yes, the details are taken care of you can quit thinking about it now.”
Despite a large event tomorrow, this morning’s early rising has more to do with emotional and relational circumstances than work details running through my mind. These worries will not be set aside by writing out the details. I have to deal with the people involved as well as my own ‘vain imaginations’ on the subject. You know, life’s Lessons are rarely flattering to the participant. Instead these learning times followed by introspective thoughts reveal our pettiest and most selfish qualities. Not something a perfectionist likes to dwell on. Admitting the shortcomings in myself seems to be the hardest part. I like to be right and I really, really, REALLY don’t like to be wrong. Recognizing the problems and their solutions doesn’t mean I want to fix them.
If you are aware of a person’s desires / wants/ emotional needs are you obligated to go outside of your comfort zone to accommodate them? For instance, if you know someone’s love language is touch, yet you avoid hugging them as it makes you uncomfortable (i.e. – not your love language) is that selfishness? Probably. Accommodating them would come under the heading of ‘giving of yourself.’ It probably depends on the relationship and your desire to deepen the relationship or not. I notice my desire to accommodate my loved ones is directly related to how I am feeling about them at the time. When I am irritated at them, my patience level with their weaknesses has a lower threshold and I find myself deliberately NOT accommodating them. As if withholding something they want or need from me at the time will make ME feel better about them or myself? Am I punishing them for some veiled slight or long ago offense? Or am I punishing them for not recognizing MY desires / wants/ emotional needs and not accommodating me?
Its a hard thing to look in the mirror, judge yourself, and find yourself lacking – to know that you’re not as selfless as you want to be or others believe you to be. I would think God uses the stillness of the night and early morning to bring things to light that need our attention. Its probably the best time to get MY attention as I stuff my waking hours with all sorts of distractions. So here I am, up at 4 am and meditating on one of Life’s Lessons – serving others.