Thursday, February 09, 2012

Honesty

Hi guys -- thanks for hanging in there while I deal with health things.  It should be over soon.

Now for some things I've been thinking about lately.  I've had a lot of time to think and write down thoughts because I have insomnia (I've had bouts of it for something like twenty-odd years) and I realized it would make me feel better to just ... put it out there.  Some of you may wonder "where did this come from???", and some of you may feel "YES!  I feel this way, too!"  Some of you may hate me for it.  But it's been on my mind for months, even years.




Honesty.
Is it really so darned hard to be honest?

If you don't want to do something, be honest as to why.  If you are disappointed in something, it's OK to say so.  If you call yourself a friend, by default, honesty is expected.  I don't do false friends anymore.  I've given way too much of myself to be taken advantage of, taken for granted, or lied to.  Why do that to anyone?  Just be honest.  And if you're going to write the write, then walk the walk.  Be honest in your writing.  Be honest in your speech.  Be honest in your life.
 



And yes, this goes hand in hand,
and it IS a fine line.


However, some people don't think there IS a line so they do one of two things -- don't say anything for fear of hurting feelings, which  can result in holding a grudge and never knowing the truth, or saying really hurtful things that can't be taken back.  The worst?  When someone is so wrapped up in their own self ... righteousness?  that they can't stop for two seconds and think, "OH.  That might not have come across right.  I might have been wrong in doing this."


Honesty should come hand in hand with respect.  Give a person the respect to not be one way to their face and another to their back.  It ALWAYS comes back.  Always.  I've had people be nice to my face, say such kind words, and then not realize I'm right behind them when they say something awful.  So if you meet someone, have conversations with them online -- don't say things just to gain a step on a ladder, or to get something you want.  That's hideously unfair and unkind.  I refuse to do it.  One should never, ever, use someone as a stepping stone while singing their praises falsely.    Be proud of your accomplishments because they're YOURS, not because you walked on the backs of "friends".


This is absolutely true of me. 

I am so far from perfect I'm not even in the same zip code.
But when I apologize, I MEAN IT.

And I want to KNOW if I hurt you,
because I may not know I did,
but I DO want to try to make it right.
 


Sometimes, things just can't be made right and people part ways.   And fake apologies can be smelled a mile away because they're usually followed by that person burning the other to whomever will listen.  Wrong, wrong, and nasty.  If you mean your words, own them.  If you didn't, apologize.  We tell our kids not to lie.  So why do we do it so easily, to people we profess to care about or respect?


I've had conversations recently with people who have learned, to their peril, who their friends really are.  It's always shocking to find out someone is speaking smack about you, yet all of us at some point have done it.  It's human nature.   But once you catch yourself doing it, and it starts taking over parts of your life  -- think about WHY you're doing it. Are you lifting yourself up by putting someone else down?


I've made some amends with some people recently because lately, it's been a time of introspection for me as I spend hours and hours lying in bed.  Maybe that's why I've been so sick -- so I would have that quiet time to own up to my anger, frustrations, jealousies, and fears. 




That quote may sound harsh, or an oxymoron, but doesn't it make sense?  You don't have to like everybody you meet.  That's unrealistic.  You can be civil to someone you don't care for without being fake.  You can avoid interactions with people you don't care for.  And you don't even have to have a REASON for why you don't care for them. But don't kiss up on one side of your mouth and trash them out of the other once you got what you wanted out of that person.  That -- is wrong.  


I wrote this not because I'm a perfect Pollyanna.  I've made so. very. many. mistakes in my 42 years.  I'm going to make more.  I've apologized for mistakes,  but I've also pouted and fumed and ranted.  Eventually, I've calmed down and thought.  Instead of harboring anger and jealousy, I've learned to avoid those that hurt or irritate me. Or at least, I've tried, and am still trying.


It's time to graduate from junior high.




I'm the sort of person that wears my heart on my sleeve, so I'm also very easy to hurt.  My skin is very thin.  I know that.  I know not everyone likes me, and that is OK.  I'd rather, though, that if you don't like me, you don't smile to my face, feed me a ration of falseness, and then feign ignorance.  I think the world in general doesn't like that and catches on pretty darned quickly.  Honesty can sting, but if it comes from a place of real love and respect, I can take that sting.


How do you want to live your life?  Facing the struggles I've had to face these past couple of weeks with my health, I've come to realize who is true, and who isn't -- what I want, and what I don't.  I don't have to have met you for you to have been a true friend.  And I don't have to have met you for you to hate my guts.  I get that.  But do I want to waste what time I have in this life worrying about the people who flat out don't care, are rude, insensitive, or against the principles that are important to me?


This post -- I mean, wow.  I try to be cheerful when I can but sometimes, I have these long conversations with myself in the middle of the night and reality hits me harder and deeper than it ever does during the day when I'm distracted by everything that happens in a normal day.  I hope .... well, I hope you get what I'm trying to say.  LIFE IS TOO SHORT.  It really is.  I want to know that those who stand with me are there for ME -- flaws and all.  Don't we all want that?



I truly, truly hope I've learned from the things I've been through, experienced, taken part in, and watched.  I'm not proud of all I've done.  This, though, is the first step to becoming a better person.


Me.  A work in progress.





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Lori Anderson creates jewelry for her web site, Lori Anderson Designs, and wrote the blog An Artist's Year Off.  She is the creator of the Bead Soup Blog Party.

45 comments:

  1. Very well said Lor! AMEN TO THAT!

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  2. I'm here for ya, girl, & sta d by you! This is one of those subjects everyone thinks about, but can be too difficult to bring up & discuss. Interesting that you posted this today. I'm about to have a similar convo with a friend tonight. Thanks for your words. As always, you're such an inspiration to me on many levels. Hugs, Kel :-)

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  3. so true Lori & well put! hope things are improving for you.

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  4. warts and all...love you! Thank you for showing your warts and reminding us it's okay to have some (or lots!)....

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  5. That's a good one and I completely agree. I am very honest (to the point where my friends tell me *not* to be honest for a few moments) :) I used to have thin skin but I somehow managed to not get hurt that much and that's so much better! I will still be honest, but civil - you're right, I don't know why people thing it's right to lie.
    Hope nobody hurt you recently - I'm sure you don't need *that* on top of everything.
    Keep smiling - it's the best defence!
    Be well...

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  6. OK Lori!

    I got home from a day of shopping -metalsmithing store, bead store, shoot - ceramic store too. Nine hours on the road...to settle down and check my blog.

    So, I say to myself - Oh look - Lori has a new post.

    WOW - girlfriend!!! I'm not sure I know you well enough to say, "Tell us how you really feel. :-)

    And, I see no one has commented either. That's unusual. I must be missing something?

    Okay everyone....Who's the person with the guilty conscience? Who doesn't play well in the sandbox with others? Who forgot what they learned in kindergarten?

    Say your sorry -

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  7. (this comment is not aimed at you, Lori, I'm just adding to your soap box, here! ~grin~ I've thoroughly enjoyed your posts since I've started following you and have only seen a kind spirited person... even when you're frustrated)
    Something others also forget regarding honesty (our Preacher has told us this SO many times) is... just because you ARE right doesn't mean you have to BE right! In other words, there are some people you'll never convince and some people you need to leave with their illusions. Sadly, there are some people who just HAVE to be right, no matter what the cost.

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  8. Well said :)
    I've been struggling with a situation concerning a longtime friend that is becoming very strained and feeling more and more one sided to me. I wrote out a letter the other day but ended up tossing it out. I can't seem to say what honestly needs to be said without coming across as a bit rude, so until I can, I'll keep practicing :) I love her despite the crap it feels like she's piling on me and I don't want to hurt her. I know some pain is unavoidable but if possible, I'd like to keep it to a minimum. I know that while I try to be honest as a general rule, more often then not, my honesty can be brutal, and at times rude... something I seriously need to work on and am trying hard to do so. Thank you for this post to remind me of that :)

    And I seriously doubt anyone but you expects you to be cheerful all the time. I think we all know that it's just not physically or mentally possible for anyone.. well not without massive chemical influence, anyhow ;)

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  9. It takes some courage and tact to be honest, isn't it. So much easier to either just be rude or lie. I need to work on being more gentle, I am honest most of the time, but not very kind when I have some critical feedback to give. Thanks for this post!

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  10. This was a very interesting post. I think there are toxic relationships even though you really care about the person.
    We live in a world of stress, and sometimes the person you most care for as a friend can hurt you without giving it a second thought.
    It is all about her in the long run, why do we hang on when in the end there will be hurt?

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  11. Haha Sharon! No one, really. It's part of the introspection I've been forcing upon myself this year. I've let a lot of things crush me and hurt me and let so many things go by that shouldn't have, and when I keep letting it happen, that's MY fault, and I'm owning my own faults, too.

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  12. agree...friends who are kind and honest are worth their weight in gold!

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  13. This is a very powerful post...I feel very enlightened right now. I cannot add a thing, except thank you for writing it!

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  14. Amen! Amen! I know exactly what you are saying. I don't know what has or has not been said that caused you to write this post. You did a great job of saying what you wanted to say - I understand every single word and agree with you. Sorry you are having to deal with something like this, especially since you are dealing with health issues also. I have experienced more than one situation where I have had to walk away from what I considered a friendship - one just recently. I use to be very thin skinned, but it has thickened up over the years.
    There are many out there that are still living their "junior high/high school years, even tho at their age should be acting as mature adults.
    Take care of Lori.(((hugs)))

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  15. Wow, wonderful post, Lori! This is exactly why I've had very few girlfriends in my life. I used to be that girl that hung out with the boys. I just found it so difficult to hang out with other girls, because it would just be so catty and back-stabby and gossipy and my personality just can't take it. I let it get to me too much. I just avoided other girls and making friends. It just didn't seem worth the mental stress. I still find it difficult to socialize with a group of women for a long period of time. I'm so sensitive to the tension and the passive-aggressiveness and the need to talk negatively. Gawd! Why can't we just relax and enjoy each others company? I love that you wrote this post and you wanted to talk about the things on your mind. And, of course you should! It's wonderful. Keep posts like this coming, Lori!

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  16. Wonderful post Lori!! I have been lucky that I have had some of the same friends for years but when I was younger I was a victim of bullying and it was a terrible feeling, I remember calling my mom in the morning and pretending I was sick on Monday's because I didn't know what to expect from all the girls at school. I know that I haven't always done right by people either but I keep reminding myself to treat others as I want to be treated.. I believe that self-care is one of the most important things and loving ourselves and things will start to fall into place. Take care,
    Penny

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  17. Wow Lori! I have been away and am just getting back to catching up with some blog reading and clearly I must have missed something major! i'll have to go further back to see what's been happening. Having not done that yet I'm not sure what's going on with your health right now but i hope you get feeling better, physically and emotionally! Hugs

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  18. Well said, Lori! I am sorry that you are having health challenges right now. I agree - trying times are when you find out who your true friends are. Hope things improve for you soon.

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  19. Oh Lori, you say it so well. You just bless me down to my toes. especially when you say the things I have been thinking and just don't know how to put it into words.
    Let me know if I can be a listener and Dear I do pray you are getting to the bottom of your health problems and will soon be uo-and-att'm. Be blessed to be a blessing

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  20. As someone who has personally known at least one sociopath, several narcissists, and a couple of people with borderline personality disorder, I have had to learn to shield myself from others' sickness. There are simply many people that one cannot help, no matter how much one may want to. And it serves no one to take the pain into oneself. Bravo to you for standing up for yourself with such kindness and understanding!

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  21. Wow Lori, I am truly sorry you are going through hardship. And I can totally relate.
    I have read twice what you wrote and it is indeed not pleasant when people are not honest with you but also when they are so honest that hurts. And when that happens, usually they are mistaken anyway. I have had both situations.
    During this year, as you know, it has been probably the worst of my life, I have also been doing a lot of thinking on so many sleepless nights.
    Even though you are dead right, isn't it worth keep trying with people? You will find many false people along the way, but so many good people too, and even though for a time I closed myself so I wouldn't get hurt I am now on a stage of trying to not miss the good things and the good people. I still have faith in people.
    As you said, on the net is too easy to hide and be false, but when you follow someone's blog, FB and so on, over time you learn about them, and I am thankful for people like you, as I have met few.
    I'd like to take this opportunity to let you know that I am glad of meeting you as you are an example of true people, with your flaws and all, that I am sure that you have ;)
    Keep it up, as you are a blessing to many. Thanks.

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  22. Lori you have such a way with writing an open honest post that truly resonates with me. I will be reading this over and over. I would like to consider myself one of the genuine people who is a true friend. I am oontinuing my prayers for your complete recovery. I adore you my dear...

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  23. G.., I just love the way you can speak your mind and come across so kindly. Thank you for your honesty and for just being you.

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  24. Whatever crappy thing (or things) that made you think this hard and this long and prompted you to write such a comprehensive post, I hope it's over and done with. It certainly sounds like you've come to a resolution of sorts. For what it's worth, I actually enjoy your introspective posts. I usually come away having learned a thing or two and they make me self-reflect, which is a good thing. Thanks Lori, and I really hope you're in a better place healthwise these days.

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  25. Great post.

    One lesson I had to put into practice this week was "pick your fights." Sometimes petty behavior is just that, petty.

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  26. Wow - this is one of the many reasons I really love reading your blog - thank you!! From someone who's "thin skinned" as well and "Too nice to a fault", (like that's a bad thing?) I'm encouraged by your words and found this to be so timely. I hope you're feeling better and things are improving for you. You're an inspiration - let me tell you!!

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  27. Wow, there are alot of things in this post that I think about alot, and say mainly to myself. And you are right, alot of times it is out of respect that it is held in. Frustrating as it is, not to be able to say things "exactly" how we'd like to, it is ever more satisfying when we are able to say it tactfully without coming down to another level. But that reality comes with age and maturity. And if nothing else, when we are really old, we'll be able to spew alot of held in "sh-tuff" and we'll just be chalked up to being some "crazy old lady", hilarious none-the-less. I can hardly wait...

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  28. "I don't do false friends anymore" THAT is brilliant.
    I agree with Patti above, but I will add this, thank you for being real, and letting us see it. I know I have come away with inspiration. xo

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  29. False friends are a total waste of time. Give me authentic any day.

    I'm glad you posted this, Lori - it's one of those posts that will resonate for a long time!

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  30. Well said, Lori. Honesty and respect go hand in hand. I might add that compassion can be quite a useful guide as well. I am happy that you share your thoughts with us. You often give me pause to take a good long look at life. That's a good thing and a wonderful gift that you may not even know you have given.

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  31. Lori,

    There's nothing like health issues to make you think about the important things, is there?

    The older I get, the harder I find it to be dishonest -- even about little things. I'd always expected it would be the other way around, but I'm glad I'm developing a very strict conscience.

    I've gotten so much better at sticking with the people who are good to me and stepping away from the toxic ones, but I agree that it doesn't mean being rude. This fall, for NaNoWriMo, I had to interact with people who'd been awful to me -- and I was so proud of myself for being civil. Especially when fantasies of tying their shoelaces together were flying through my head! ;)

    Anyway. I think you're awesome, and this post was something I needed to read. *Hugs.*

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  32. oh, you sweet, beautiful woman. i just love you for saying this. live your life for you and those you love and who love you and let go of those who just don't love you. wow. hard stuff. sweetie, i just want you to know that i love and respect you and whenever becca and talk about you it's with great affection. you're a very special person and i hope the people out there who don't feel the way i do about you won't hurt you too deeply. i'm one of those really sensitive people, too, and damn, does it hurt when people are mean. you inspire me with your bravery and your honesty. keep doing it, girl! be brave. be bold. and don't hold your tongue because you're afraid. praying for you.

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  33. I think that realizing honesty in all is the beginning of wisdom. Or maybe not as I have always been blunt so in my case learning when to voice my opinion was what I needed to learn. I can say that I have intentionly played someone false and who has the time or energy for false friends or apologies. So I want to cheer your thoughts.

    And how are you doing healthwise?

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  34. Lori,

    I agree with you. So often honesty and integrity are preached from the pulpit, applauded, and then people smile for the camera and mean a small percentage of what they say. If that. And we find we are involved in some kind of twilight zone game where the truth is optional, and not an option if it doesn't further their own interests. I wonder what percentage of anything is truth sometimes. And it hurts when you have genuinely cared for them to find out you were the only one being genuine.

    Yes, we all mess up at times and regret the way we treat others. It just seems some do that and regret it. Others make it a lifestyle choice.

    I like what you wrote. Thanks for putting it out there!

    Wendy

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  35. This sounds a lot like a rant I have in my head often...although better organized than mine would ever be, lol. I broke my ankle/foot on Christmas eve and was couch ridden and on crutches for over a month. I couldn't drive and basically didn't leave the house at all until this past week. It was getting pretty crazy up in my head. I was definitely feeling depressed and resentful and jealous and all kinds of nasty things no one wants to feel. I'm ready for some good distractions from all the crap in my head! lol I hope you are feeling better and can get some good rest.

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  36. Lori,

    Thank you. I am one of "those people" who are honest and can be brutally honest sometimes and it often hurts to do so-backlash is wicked. I try to speak the truth in love and truth hurts sometimes. I've been made to feel that because what I've said hurts, that it's my fault for not couching it in the right words to lessen the pain of the truth and LIFE-IS-TOO-SHORT to play games.

    We don't know each other, but we are kindred spirits-keep speaking the truth, owning your words, being true to yourself. I've got your back, sister.

    Anna W.
    @FELTit on Twitter
    www.annasplaceofholding.com

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  37. Anonymous3:46 PM

    Sweet.

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  38. while looking at some really beautiful jewelry, apparently yours, I stumbled across your post just a day apart I think, where all of a sudden there's a photo of a long high bridge, the photo's perspective is as if you were wading in water below, looking up very high, to capture that shot where all I could see behind the bridge was a beautiful day, a clear royal blue sky without one cloud...I can remember being confused...why is this photo here?...there was nothing else in the photo, it might have been cropped, you couldn't tell where it was....so I read on....I just gasp at what I was reading....your struggle, sad contemplation, actually having coming close to the edge of that bridge, preparing to just end your life! There wasn't a warning, you just put it there almost as if you didn't want to send a warning to your readers what lie ahead. I think that to be brilliant because who, other than therapists or troubled souls would search and want to find such writings? I just to tell you that though I don't know you, here's what I know about you already, having just read maybe 5 paragraphs. You're a talented jewelry designer, you're in the middle of a personal struggle that may seem very overwhelming yet you fight, and continue on, you are fighting to find that doctor who can help you, you're not a quitter, your blog is designed beautifully, I love the colours you chose to highlight your topics, the stationaies used in your shop, your photography is excellent, you're a mom and your boy is a beautiful child like every other child and he needs his mother, you are so open and honest and brave, You're brave because I don't know anyone who would just expose themselves as you did and share something about themselves that is dark and something few people would understand (we think). Now look what you've done....you have opened the floodgates and many are relating to you and what you have said many have expressed in comments to you over and over again, there's such a common ground that you have with so many!!!!...to be continued....
    Comment is long, I;m breaking this up for you...stay tuned

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  39. continued: Also, I could tell well before you wrote the words, "I wear my feelings on my shoulder", you didn't need to say that , I already knew because I have worn it there too. The way you write and what you have written is alive and living inside so many...are you ready for such gratification? I'm just wondering how gratified you are feeling having shared such a personal story with us, the blog reading public? ...continued

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  40. ...continued : You are beautiful in so many more ways and we don't have the time to get thru how much I'm impressed by you. A friend once told me that I'm a "jolly fellow (girl) well met" and he went on to tell me some 18 years ago...."you try too hard to get everyone to like you"...once he pointed that out to me it was clear...and that part of me became less necessary in my life...today, I let those people come to me...and I wasn't bothered with the haters...you're note " It's liberating"...just to know it's ok that everybody is NOT in love with you or will 'like' you...I was trying to live in a utopia, silly me. KJ said something that hit home with me....it was about how easy of a time she has relating to men and can't be bothered with all the baggage sometimes that comes with being part of a friendship with women...so true. continued...

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  41. continued...
    You go on to write about honesty, first with yourself...so very true...to live, talk, eat breath a congruent life, otherwise, you are not only wasting your life and moments spending energy on people and things that you aren't passionate about or unknowing they aren't liking you too much. I tell my husband who has a hard time with congruence and the truth about himself , the idea that he could possibly make a mistake !!! That's terrifying to him ( I wish I knew where he learned this silly behavior)...so now he knows this because I've pounded it into his head "make mistakes, everyday if you can, cause if you aren't making mistakes you are NOT growing" A college professor once said this and it stuck with me "It's not important to have the answers to every question, it's more important to know which questions to ask"...Only this January I have broken off my relationship with my very own sister...one of the last conversations I had with her on the phone I said this out of the clear blue to her without even knowing where the he** it came from...I said "you can be right or you can have a sister " , then I hung up the phone. It worked she called back in tears and said she wanted to work on a meaningful relationship with me, her sister....blah blah blah..it didn't last....as "The crazier sister" wrote, there are those, no matter what, they have this need to be right...and after 20 years of trying to have a relationship with my sister I realized 4 months ago...she was controlling, needed to be / have control and upper hand and she was always right (she thought)I wonder if she ever get's weary of always having all that pressure....can't she just sit back and enjoy the ride once in a while?....continued

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  42. continued:
    Finally you say 'we all grow into the beautiful person we're suppose to be, some early and some later'...nope, wrong....that's the utopia again and we're not living in it unfortunately, there are some on this planet who have no interest in peronal growth to blossoming into that beautiful person you speak of....I have a brother who is smarter, artistically talented and musically talented ( he plays 3 instruments) and he's an expert on geology but....sadly, he's stagnant, and has been for many many years (about 30)because he's chosen a life of deviancy and has lived 1/2 his life in an institution.....he could have been a great contributor in our society and yet, he's the opposite, he's a taker....hurting people, their families, more...and he's hurt me many times as I've stood, watched from the sidelines, high hopes, and repeatedly I've been let down, crippled in tears crying about it,over and over, again + again as he keeps going back to 'that' behavior in-spite of how beautiful life is...he's a beautiful person but the world will never know that about him, because he's chosen NOT to grow...one by one over the last 3-4 years I've had to clean house, drop friends and even family members in search of the truth...my brother is the most recent fatality, he's alive but he's a fatality /dead in my mind now,not to hurt my feelings,hopes, wishes, dreams for him anymoreno more devastation about his poor choices for himself, I don't even know who he is anymore...so when you said , "because life is too short, why would you waste your time?" I did invest in him and my emotions there on my shoulder held hostage by him were smashed by him repeatedly..so now is the time to let go, no matter how much I love him, it's time, just to let go and be liberated! You my dear, confirmed, for me that my decision to do this with my own brother was the right thing to do ! Thanks for sharing you're story, it's a healing story and soooo relate-able,there must be many who have read your blog but have not had any courage to comment, I felt compelled, but I normally would not comment,I don't do this, furthermore, it's such a long comment (LOL) you must be so proud of yourself to be so brave that you have inspired me and so many others !!! You amy never know how many....you have so many reasons to stay here on earth! But all you need is just one reason...take care of yourself, you're beautiful Lori ! Warm Regards, Deanna Fountain, California

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