As someone who endured an abusive marriage for six years, I cannot judge others who tolerate and live in unacceptable situations. I understand from experience that we are not ready for better until we are ready. We have to want out, and no one can do it for us. The best others can do is love you. They can’t want better than you want for yourself.
This principle rings true outside of abusive relationships. Often times, we can see someone’s enormous potential; yet, they seem to be throwing it away. This point was made loud and clear in the latest rendition of A Star if Born starring Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga. Cooper’s character is talented, but he can’t beat his own demons. His wife played by Gaga can’t fix him; she can only love him. This love cost her, but she was willing to pay it. If you haven’t seen it, go! It’s incredible.
We are each responsible for our own lives. Despite what the story books and fairy tales tell us, no one will come riding in on a white horse to save us. Even if they did, some would jump off the horse the first chance they got. Why? They don’t want to be saved and they are used to their pile of poop.
As a coach, I’ve learned the hard way that not everyone wants to be their best. Many are satisfied and content with being average. I’ve never been that person, so I have struggled understanding how others would settle. Yet, I cannot judge because I, too, have settled. It sneaked up on me, and I accepted physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual abuse. I think we have all been there if we are honest with ourselves, but it is much easier to point fingers at other’s faults.
The lessons to learn are this:
- Don’t throw stones at glass houses. Until you’ve walked in someone’s shoes, you cannot completely comprehend their circumstances, nor can you make any judgements. It is their life.
- Don’t try to fix others. You have enough things wrong in your own life and should focus on improving yourself.
- Love others to the best of your ability. Loving someone who is clearly making bad decisions or settling is tough but do your best without expecting any major shifts to occur.
- Love yourself enough to set healthy boundaries. Sometimes, you may need to walk away from the drama. Some people are toxic and feed off their dysfunctional lives. Eventually, they will drain you completely dry…if you let them.
I’ve said it before that relationships aren’t easy. They are time consuming and messy, but they can be so rewarding. In my booklet, Turtles Don’t Fly I share additional insights into having healthy boundaries and better relationships. Order your PDF copy today!