MORE ON DISCERMENT AND INNER CONFLICT (AND BREAKING UP)
Been a while. My personal life had a lot going on so I wasn't journaling. But funny how Life is -- because despite the long break? I'm still on the same topic -- "how to discern the hard things and be decisive."
This is an excerpt from a recent thread
about a break up thing.
Originally Posted by Galagirl
I think once you DO decide, and can resolve yourself to it you might start to feel better because then wheels aren't churning any more. The main decision was MADE. That part of it is DONE. The smaller decisions under that main heading usually fall into place easier once one knows what the headliner IS. At least, that's been my experience.
Still applies in Rose's case even though hers is not an NRE thing.
I think decisiveness
is a vital character trait to grow for life in general, not just polyshipping. We choose all day long -- minor stuff like what to wear today or eat for breakfast. To bigger choices. Can't be lollygagging. Have to decide.
I was talking to my friend Rose over the weekend who is struggling right now because she's finding she's outgrown a friendship because she cannot respect choices the person is making and she doesn't want to be around for the potential fall out. It was complicated by the fact that the person is not just her (friend) but they are (good exes & friends).
Her version is much more detailed, but that's the summary as I see it.
Rose is a private person and I don't ask her for more than she cares to share. So I'm a little fuzzy on some of the dating history. I lose track of boyfriends poly Rose had before I knew her. I knew she dated X, Y, Z but I lose track of who was overlapping when.
I observed Rose struggle with articulating her feelings and her current problem.
- I tried to be an active listener.
- Validate that it's OK to feel ugh when contemplating this.
- Not rush her, just to fill silence. Wait for her to put it in her own words.
- Watch her body language for clues. Same for tone of voice.
- Shared with her how I navigated my recent thing but was clear I offered it as one possible way to go. Not that SHE has to do it the same.
- I wanted to make space for the fact that just as two people could be attracted to different types? Or want different types of relationships? They will also probably have different break up styles.
- I'm not Rose. Rose has to decide how Rose wants to handle this.
I had to break up with my friend Leaf recently. He was more than friend – at one point wanted us to be lovers. I considered it but I didn't think it was the best time for that. Then we never brought it up again. But that's still not just “regular friend” is it?
Leaf is making some choices and continues to make some choices I cannot respect. I don't want to be around for more drama. Being around Leaf right now is damaging to ME. It wasn't a “hard break up.” I'll still send holiday and birthday cards in service to the nostalgia and good memories we shared. I'll keep hoping Leaf choose to turn it around and straightens out. Holiday cards might keep up or might putter out over the years. Or maybe we rekindle and start a new friendship for a new chapter in our lives. Time will tell if this is a “soft break up” or what. The point is, it left me thinking about break ups and how to manage them well.
It matters to talk about. Polyshipping or otherwise -- having clearly articulated expectations help. I'm glad DH and I have our own potential break up agreements mapped out. One is responsible for their own emergency preparedness!
I pretty much know when it is done. I can evaluate variables and be decisive and make hard choices. I know the difference between giving it a little time to see if new data emerges and merely calling
it that to disguise procrastination.
Better to stop it approaching my limit of tolerance or AT my limit of tolerance. But to let it run on BEYOND limit of tolerance? That's not me respecting my own limits and tending to my own needs.
Once I decide it is a break up? I want to break up and set the new boundaries and move on to the healing place. Take action and not lollygag there. I'm not a fan of dragging things out because of indecision or lack of resolve. I like it done
– relatively fast, firm, and clear. Then everyone can move on to healing.
That's a better place to linger at.
I get that changes are hard and sometimes scary. It's not like I am not compassionate about the grief process surrounding endings, changes, etc. But sometimes bowing out IS what is needed to catalyst change because CHANGE is what is needed.
- To stay on same from a sentimental response because we're fond of past?
- To stay on same from an enabling response because we're scared to deal with future?
That isn't really approaching it from a present
day perspective to me. If present day behavior is not meeting present day needs, the thing has to be addressed rather than avoided.
- Yes, Leaf and I had good times in the past.
- Yes, I am worried that our relationship could go from “dialing it down to give you space to sort your stuff” to completely dying out in future.
But what serves me now
in present? I cannot control what Leaf chooses to do. I can only control ME. What do I need in the present day?
- To be free of Leaf drama
- To call Leaf into account for his bad behaviors towards me
- To restate boundaries and expect Leaf to respect them.
- GIVE him the space to sort himself out and expect him to deal with himself or not. He's in charge of him, not me.
Either he concludes that he can respect my boundaries or not. If not, I can't be friends with someone who won't respect me or my boundaries.
Either he concludes that he will stop sef destructive behavior or not. If not? I want no part of that self destructive stuff. I like me! I don't want to destruct or observe destruction! It's a two-fer -- BOTH toggles have to be on for the system to reboot. Otherwise let's leave in it "sleep mode." Not totally powered off, but not active either.
Rose is struggling with similar. Yes, they have good memories together as (a couple.) Yes, they have good memories together as (good exes & friends.) But right now he's making some poor choices and she doesn't want to be in the line of fire. It's healthy for her to want to remove herself from the line of fire. And it is OK for her to say so, restate her boundaries and expect them to be respected. It is ok for her not to be around for the mess clean up should his poor choices lead to wacko. She's not obligated to clean them up.
We are free to choose. We are not free from the consequences of our choices.
I told Rose if she wants me to air her out and take her to dinner or if she needs to talk some more to give me a call. Sigh.
Mostly I listened. I didn't want to be telling her what to do or overload her with suggestions. She was kind of crying, and that isn't "best mental processing time" to me. That is "busy processing emotions right now" to me.
But if she asks me or it comes up again I'm going to tell her that anything LESS than "joyous yes" could be counted as "no." If dealing with him is less than "joyous yes" right now? Just choose not to. As a discernment tool it really cuts through the crap of internal conflict! Then Rose could call it "main decision made" and give herself permission to move on toward healing. Move it forward with the smaller decisions under the main headline. Not keep it in the stuck.
Let the relationship settle down / transform naturally on its own to whatever it wants to be next. Even a relationship in "sleep mode" or "totally powered off." Learn to be ok with this.