STILL TRIPN – Episode 26

This is quick, and mostly my own thoughts. But, in considering my relationship with my future-self, something David said in his podcast episode on oldest child relationships with their same-sex parent, really struck me.

Dave is speaking to teenagers here, but I’ll show you how it applies to our future-selves. Dave said:

“Why are you going to do the exact opposite of what your parent wants you to do?

‘Because if they want me to live life that way, and I see how stressed they are, instead of doing what they told me to do, I’m going to do the exact opposite.’

Well, here’s the trick with that, you don’t get to do what you want to do (if) you are only reacting to what your parent wants you to do. Did you know that doing the opposite of what someone wants you to do, doesn’t help you decide what YOU want to do. You are just reacting…”

When I look at my divorced parents and where their lives are now, instead of seeing all the beauty they’ve created, I’m tempted to think, “I don’t want to end up where they are.”

What is wrong with thinking that thought?

  1. That thought will lead to emotions. Remember the model. That thought would likely cause emotions that I honestly don’t want to feel. Frustration. Resentment. Disappointment.
  2. With those thoughts and those emotions, how am I going to show up in my family? Unsupportive and hands off, at best. Judgmental and unkind, at worst. That is not me, my friends. That is not me now. And that is certainly not the future-me. She is the exact opposite of what I just now described – the emotions and actions attached to the sentiment, “I don’t want to be like that.” Right?
  3. To Dave’s point, there is no practice of agency in reacting – only in acting. I will not be deciding for myself who I want future-me to be if I am only deciding that, no matter what, I am NOT going to be like that. Because I am only reacting. Right?

What if my parents’ lives are exactly what they are supposed to be? What if parts of my parents’ lives are exactly what I want, and will lead me exactly where I want to be? What if everything in THEIR lives is rigged in THEIR favor? What if I choose to love them for them, and be okay with their lives, independent of my life? What if I choose to make choices that will serve me well, independent of their choices?