Ever so often I see things happening in families with whom I’ve worked with in a generational sense, and wonder why there appears to be a sort of repeat of bad choices that trickle down through, and become part of, the following generations. There are other families where one finds great movement in an upward sense as far as understanding bad situations and learning from them in a positive way.
I visited with a client several days ago about a bad marriage and subsequent divorce he recently managed to work through. Hearing about the deception and manipulation that was taking place for years caused me to not wonder why he is now embittered by the time as well as opportunities lost during those dark years. I said to him, “I’ve always considered bad things that happen of which we get through, to be not only lessons, but opportunities to not make the same mistakes again.” It’s hard to consider when in the midst of something very emotionally draining, there to be any sort of good things to come from it. But, I’m of the belief that from every bad thing comes something good as long as well look for it. Too many times we see people wallowing in their pity pots thinking the world has dealt them something they cannot get over, sort out, or deal with in the sense of a full-life mindset for moving forward.
I think the real key to dealing with life transitions is to remember that we must work towards being the best for ourselves so that we can be the best for others. Once in a while I run into a psychological parasite who is so empty from the darkness they’ve created for themselves that they can only survive by feeding off the wholeness or goodness of others. I’ll never forget a time when I was working for another real estate office and found myself being badgered by one whose life was so filled despair that each time I encountered this person and listened to the next chapter of drama, I would walk away feeling as though a day’s energy had just been consumed simply by having listened to someone speak for about a half hour. I came to the conclusion that I was being used as a soundboard in confirming this person’s unfortunate state. One day I simply told this person in a nice way that it was time to seek the help of someone who was qualified in dealing with situations regarding mental health and welfare. I knew I would not hear the end of it, and I didn’t for some time. I guess there are times when we must stop riding the proverbial “merry-go-round”, get off and look at where we really are and consider if it’s worth getting back on.
I remember reading once a book that spoke about the job of living. There was a section in it that went something like this, “As we continue to move forward in our circular modes of working towards higher levels of understanding, we must learn to keep one of our legs up so that we can catch hold of the next level above us. We are always moving in repetitive, yet circular fashions of living.” Makes sense doesn’t it? We do indeed move in a bit of a circular fashion in our daily lives. So when we think about some of the people and families we know who continue to move in circles that at times appear to be generational, we can’t help consider that they’ve not learned to keep that one leg up.