Monday, September 23, 2019

Love Isn't An Obligation + #MyPostMonday This Week's Best Original Content

Note: Respect for privacy won't allow me to disclose the gender of individual spoken about here. I will refer to the individual as him/her or her/him. 

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Recently, I've had a member of my extended family tell me that they want no contact with me. It really hurts. She/He has made choices that are contrary to what we have always understood are MY values and which I had hoped and thought would also be hers/his. But now her/his choices have led him/her down a road that is really hard to turn on. It has become a very narrow path, one with very few odds of return back. Needless to say, I'm very worried about him/her. Apparently she/he feels judged and belittled because my values won't change to accommodate his/her philosophies and ideology. But my judging him/her and wanting to alienate her/him could not be further from the truth. I think we could still have a great relationship regardless of his/her choices. 

At first I tried reaching out and trying to let her/him know that I was there and wanted to talk and communicate. But that didn't go well. She/He only attacked me and told me I had betrayed him/her. I felt like I couldn't say anything right. It was all interpreted as condescending and judgmental. It wasn't meant to be at all. On the contrary, I tried to be so supportive, the best that I knew how. But to no avail. So I've chosen to step back and let her/him contact me when he/she feels like she/he wants to. Note: I also live across the country from this individual so personal contact is difficult at best.

I don't necessarily think he/she will improve when she/he alienates himself/herself from those who want to support her/him. I'm aware of the study of the "Rat Park" , where addicted rats were isolated and given the choice to drink from regular water or water bottles laced with heroine or cocaine, the latter of which they chose 100% of the time until they died. Then there were the addicted rats who were placed in a nice community of rats, with comforts, good food and freedom. These community rats only chose to take the drug-laced water intermittently, never obsessively. They never over-dosed and because of community, they beat the power of the drug.

But when my family member has chosen to reject me from his/her life, there is no way I can force myself back into it.  And so I wait....and hope and pray for her/him to find a wonderful and supportive community that will nurse him/her back to herself/himself. There are two lines of thinking that I feel like I have to follow right now. One is that:

"If the love you are offering another is not being welcomed or invited in, back up!"  And,

"Love is not an obligation, but a choice. Respect for everyone's right to choose is the ultimate act of love."

The rat experiment has also made me so aware of the value of a supportive and non-judgmental community. It puts the value and helpfulness of a group of associates into perspective. We truly need each other!

I don't know the eventual outcome of this story, but I do feel that what I'm doing at this time is the right thing to do. Have you faced similar things with people who are close to you? What are some things you have tried or done to be supportive?

 Today is "My Post Monday!", a curation of the week's best original content. It's all about posts from Crafts to Camping, Wellness to Wealth, Fashion to Food, and whatever else is on the brain!  I  open up with a post of my own and then follow it up with a linky of the week's top original blog posts! It's all about what the writer thinks, believes, and knows--in other words, they are active, writing blogs. If I happen to find a great original, non-sponsored post, I'll link it up and share it with you here and on Twitter via the #MyPostMonday hashtag!  I can miss some amazing posts, but I don't want to!  So, in addition, if you'd like to link up yourself, you can do that too!  I'll visit your site, comment, promote and publicize(Affiliate links welcome)

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