“The most beautiful people
We have known
Are those who have known defeat,
And have found their way
Out of the depths.
These persons have
An understanding of life
That fills them with compassion,
And a deep loving concern.
Do not just happen.”
― Elisabeth Kübler-Rosss
Often, and especially around the holidays, in family and social situations I can have moments when I forget that it is the sum total of all of my interests, years, knowledge, and experiences that have created this best yet beautiful version of myself.
I’ll let relatives remind me, and entertain each other, with stories of some misstep I took in my life that occurred twenty, forty, fifty years ago. Slices of my life that I have long ago left behind keeping only the lesson learned. I’m so old now that most of the ones who were actually involved or alive at the time are dead, and my old sins are often recounted by someone who wasn’t in the same geography, or not even born at the time. The evolving versions not even close to what actually occurred. Instead of my wading into these tales of my life expressing the valuable lesson learned, or express that my feelings are hurt, or often that it isn’t even true and to just STOP IT….I am at risk of lowering my shoulders, and scuttling to the kitchen for more molasses cookies, finding a quiet corner to read, and be the first to leave. For most of my life, that was my response.
It is my belief that many families have someone like me. Who has filled this role since childhood, and no matter that we walk the world with a light step, good morals, deep faith, confident, with self esteem, accomplishments, success, adventures, and all the knowledge and wisdom acquired from living a long life, when we step over the threshold of a relative’s home over the holidays, without vigilance we can easily become the slumped shoulder cookie eating kid in the corner reading, brunt of every joke and example of misadventure. I write this post today for any and all of you who may recognize some version of yourself in my flaw.
My flaw is I never called it off with them until I was old. I allowed it as a child, allowed it as a youth, and an adult. Whether it was assigned by the tribe, or I appointed myself is lost to me at this point. I just know for certain I allowed a level of disrespect I would never accept from anyone outside of the bloodlines. This flaw has largely been set aside by me. It is not easy, but I retreat to the corner with a book and molasses cookies much less often now, and when I do it is usually because the Grands have worn me out and I need some respite. We teach people how to treat us. It is the time in my life when I share who I am with my family in all of it’s gentleness, strength, experience, adventure, and beauty. Some of them are meeting me for the first time.
This is in response to WordPress,Prompt: Flaw..What is your worst quality?
Todays Music: Simply Red- Grandma’s Hands