Monday’s Meditation: On Getting Over Ourselves Enough To Cheer For Other’s Choices
Over the weekend, my best bud’s mom (herself, a dear friend) and I were reminiscing about the recent past, and in particular how and why I made my way to Seattle.
She told me that when she had raised concerns about the move, my pal responded by saying only, “I trust Annie.”
I was retroactively touched by the profundity of that statement.
After all, it takes a person of real grace to trust others (who’ve demonstrated their soundness of mind) to guide the direction of their lives effectively, even when it involves unexpected or new endeavors.
So often, we cannot be big enough to see beyond ourselves. We get caught up in how another’s decision or life choice is hard or inconvenient or threatening or worrisome for us.
If we could rise above our egos and the judgments, expectations, and opinions that exist on that level, we would see that the only right course of action is supporting and respecting what each of us deems is right for ourselves.
We would stop thinking we knew what was best for someone else, stop asking those close to us to explain themselves, stop giving them grief about having spoiled the picture we had in our heads about how their lives would turn out, stop believing we know how best to navigate the magical, risky, entirely inimitable rhythm that is a person’s life.
We would Simply trust them.
I trust that you know what is best for you.
I trust that you are doing the best you can.
And I know you aren’t doing this to hurt/frustrate/confuse me intentionally; those feelings, if they exist, are my own issues to reconcile, but ultimately have nothing to do with you.
Assuming others aren’t knowingly putting themselves in danger, it isn’t our place to opine, pass judgment, or meddle with their form, only to ask them:
Are you happy?
Does this excite you?
Is this truly what you want?
And if the answers are affirmative, to realize that the choice is then ours: to decide to participate in another’s joy or genuine efforts in whatever way we can, or to remain closed up in a cocoon of shattered expectations and disapproval and worry.
Ironically, sometimes the greatest heartache comes at the moment at which those we’ve supported and nurtured and encouraged to be their authentic selves take our advice. But that isn’t when we should start singing a different tune or raising red flags. It’s when we ought to start cheering. And that this is true no matter how far away a person moves, or what kind of job a person takes, or who they choose as their significant other.
Life can be damn difficult and complex and tiring enough without those who love us most undermining our decisions or inadvertently attempting to revoke from us our right to design the life we want for ourselves.
In the end, the most loving thing we can do is to allow each other to be who each of us is.
And even if we don’t really get it, or wish it was another way, to say: I trust you.
(I trust you; I really do.)
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