Thursday, June 19, 2008

proceed with caution

i've always heard, "be careful what you wish for. you just might get it."

in high school, my youth pastor cautioned us, "be careful what you pray for. if you pray for patience, you better be prepared to have your patience tested and pushed to the limit because, how else are you going to learn to be patient?"

i guess if you are going to embark on a quest to be better at life, you should be prepared for the fact that it's not going to be easy.

last night my mom and i had what started out as a "typical" fight. we've always butted heads, never quite found the right balance to get along famously. whereas, she and my next younger sister get along awesomely well. they identify with each other, they think similarly. they call each other just to chat on the phone. my mom and i have never had that kind of a relationship. usually i'll say something, she gets mad thinking i said it in some sort of mean or malicious way and snaps at me, i snap back because i don't feel like i deserve her snapping at me, she gets mad because i'm snapping at her ... and it just goes on and on and on.

last night started in much the same way, but ended quite differently than normal. i think there was actual progress made and that she might actually understand a little more of the way i feel.

and i will readily admit, she's usually right. i haven't shown my parents the respect that i should have. i'm not going to blame anyone else for that. i don't know where it comes from. i love them, i respect their opinion. i have literally told sales people and renters, etc. that i wouldn't be making any decisions until i had a chance to run it by my mom. i can be completely resolved to do something and if my mom disagrees, i won't do it. i constantly seek her approval on everything from the clothes i wear and my hair cut and color to decisions about jobs and moving and roommates. that said, there are definitely times when i know in my heart what i have to do and it disagrees with her opinion. but those times are hard.

respecting someone's opinion and seeking their approval is not the same thing as showing them respect. i don't know if i just missed that lesson in sunday school or if i just have some sort of fatal malfunction that makes me a disrespectful, horrible child.

so last night was painful. my eyes were swollen and puffy, crying gives me a migraine. i told her that i often feel like a failure at life. she assured me that was crazy because i'm so young, life has barely begun. and it ended with my mom hugging me and telling me she loves me in such a meaningful way as i can't remember the last time it happened.

i'm glad for last night. i'm glad for progress. i just wish it didn't hurt so much.

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