Accepting What Is And What Isn’t

I am not arrogant enough to claim things I do for others to be unselfishly motivated. Many things I do that benefit others are done as much for me as for them. I receive joy in doing things for people that I love, and even for complete strangers. One of my biggest joys is feeding people. Another is creating something out of fabric or yarn that depicts what they mean to me. These are simple things really…everyday actions in my household. Without the ability to do these things, I would feel utterly empty. I even think those who know me realize that nurturing others is the core of my being.

Sometimes in life we drift away from those we love. Time and desire merely pull us in separate directions. We don’t purposefully neglect people. We each tend to live our own lives and one day we wake up and realize we live in different worlds. Sometimes it takes unforeseen heartbreaking circumstances for us to come to this realization. When faced with tragic circumstances, we try to make up for lost time. Why do we do it? Do we do it for the other people involved or do we do it for ourselves? I’ve tried to think I do what I do for others. In all honesty, I do it more for myself. I want those involved to know I love them before it’s too late. I try to assuage my own guilt. I know I can’t buy back a lifetime. I know I can’t take what little time there is in a given situation and change the past. I can make sure the future doesn’t follow the path of the past. Whether this choice is out of guilt or desire of comfort, I’m not sure.

The bottom line is we must face and come to terms with the choices we’ve made and the directions we’ve taken in life. Though we might not be as close to someone as we would have liked, we’ve each taken the paths in life that have made us happy. We’ve lived our lives, the very ones designed for us. Just because we realize that opportunities are fleeting to make things the way they never were does not mean we need to do so. We can respectfully love and support one another without pretending the relationship was anything other than it was. Regretting not having spent as much time with someone does not make you love them any less.

As I write this I am accepting the relationships in my life as they are. Each is intricately weaved placing each person and myself exactly where we fit. Sometimes we might not seem to even fit except in a minor way or from a distance…even that is fine. Love doesn’t require a constant presence in one another’s lives. I don’t think love has time or room for questioning. Love is a tenderness that accepts and supports.

I leave with this essay I published on Women’s Memoirs.  If you’re friends with me on Facebook, you might have already read it. If you haven’t read it, it might make my rambling post here a bit more coherent.

50 thoughts on “Accepting What Is And What Isn’t

    • Somtimes people can feel the same way but their timing is not the same. You’ll know in your heart and so will he, and hopefully things will work out the way you want.

  1. This post really hit home for me today…and yes…sometimes what we do is for selfish reasons…perhaps most of what we do is for ourselves…but if it’s helping others in the process…I guess it’s not such a bad thing.

  2. beautiful. It’s interlocked with life not being static- what today is like is not necessarily what tomorrow will be like. So many of us, when young girls, don’t realize this and believe in the happily ever after story (the one that requires no work and has no hard times)- if we just went with the ebb and flow and tried to be the best we could to our “others” life would be so much easier! I also like to feed and gift the people I love. My poor friends have incredibly strange looking dolls, sock creatures, and other pieces of ‘art’ because of my love 🙂

    • I think society teaches us to look for that fairytale when in reality, fairytales seldom exist, at least not the version of what we’re taught. What incredible lucky people your friends are…I adore your sock creatures!!!!!

  3. What a lovely and heartfelt post, Suzicate. I get more pleasure out of doing things for others than I do for doing things for my self. But I have to say, it’s because I can at this point in my life. When my children were young, and I was the sole provider, I was not that generous to others. It’s very important to me that I can do it now. And I’m pleased that my husband feels exactly the same way. At Christmas, we do massive toy shopping for “Toys for Tots” rather than spending the money on each other. We both agree it’s much more fun!

    • That is so sweet of you and Alex. One Christmas my friend was in charge of a drive we did for the homeless shelter. They had one teenager there. She purchased an ipod for him and an itunes card and made sure he had access to a computer to download his music. She brought along our youth to experience it…the joy of that teenager was priceless for all who witnessed.

  4. As you go through life people come and go. Its the nature of the beast. One of my favorite thoughts is that at the end of the day when you lay your head on the pillow at night you and you alone have to live with the choices you made that day.

  5. I read the story. Are you Susan Payne, the author of it? I am assuming that you are, and your brother is battling cancer.

    You have a tender heart, Suzi. People that care a lot sometimes shoulder burdens impossible to bear. Your post shows me that you care a lot, yet you realize you must be kind to yourself as well as to others. Expressing your love in ways that God has made available to you is enough. You have freed yourself from a load you weren’t meant to carry. My heart goes out to you and to your brother.

    My brother has MS. I wish I could help more than just showing him that I love him. He’s been really good to me all through the years. The greatest brother anyone could want. My God bless our brothers richly in ways that transcend what we can do for them.

  6. This is totally true. We are in each other’s lives for exactly the right moments. I often worry I’m not KEEPING up with my friendships. And then I realize one of the best things about me is that I try to live exactly where I am…with the friends at hand.

    You’re right, it doesn’t take anything away from where we were or what we had if we’ve grown apart. Some of my dearest friends were friends for a season of my life and I am no longer in touch. That doesn’t mean I don’t treasure the time we had and think of them with deep love.

    I can’t wait to read your article!

  7. “The bottom line is we must face and come to terms with the choices we’ve made and the directions we’ve taken in life.”

    Well written.

    And I’ve said it once and will probably say it a million more times, you need to take all your life-inspiring posts (like this one!) and bundle them into a book. I’d buy it!

  8. That essay was sooo good. Such a powerful recount of memories and times written with such strong emotion. I have that with my big brother too. It hurts my heart what your family is going through. Know I always say a prayer for Monte when I think of you and Peg.

  9. Yes, take responsibility for the wreckage of the past and make amends where possible. Celebrate the well done things of the past and they become the compass for uncontaminated paths upon which to travel.

  10. I couldn’t be happier that your words are reaching more people through publication. That’s fantastic.

    I’m reading this and as you know, it’s quite personal to me right now. 😦

  11. There is so much meaning in your words that I read the post three times to be sure I didn’t miss anything. It is so true that “love doesn’t require a constant presence in one another’s lives.” That concept is very alive in my own life’s relationships.

    Extending love in ways of acts doesn’t have to occur every day, or every month, or even every year. When those acts are done out of love, time lapses. The moments count so much that they act like a bridge, spanning over the time in between. Make these moments count. Hugs to you…

    • Thank you…this is a most beautiful comment. Tracy, I know your heart is aching with all you’ve been through, and I thank you for coming by with words of encouragement for me.

  12. It’s a beautiful story, and I’m glad it won first place, but I wish it didn’t have that particular trigger behind it. I wish you and your family strength and hope.

  13. Congratulations on the first place award. That was a beautiful story. Your pain evident in every carefully chosen, eloquent word. You may not have a line to offer him, but I’m sure he appreciates your hand.

    • Thank you, Janna. We’re all doing the best we can. Love and support seems to be the most when can give and the most needed…other than of course, prayer.

  14. Congratulations on your writing award, it is a marvelous work of your heart. Sharing those memories with your brother is probably the best gift you could ever give him besides being there with him as much as possible.

    I love your second paragraph in this post because you describe so well the tugging, pulling, and drifting away from people that I am trying to deal with. Separation from the people I care about (whether physical or emotional) make me very sad sometimes, especially when there is nothing I can do about it. I try to remember that we each have purposes in our lives that must be taken care of and sometimes those purposes send us down different roads and the separation is not being inflicted on me, it is just a part of life. When we love someone, the love remains even if we are separated … it is apart of us. (but, it still makes me cry)

    Great post Suzi.

    • I’m glad this touched you. I hope your situation is better with your loved one recuperating. Separation is sad, and sometimes it’s really no ones fault just what happens when time and life move on.

  15. “…we must face and come to terms with the choices we’ve made and the directions we’ve taken in life.” This it so true. I think we’d have less anguish in our lives if we accepted the fact that we are where we are because of the choices we’ve made. Another lovely post!

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