Reasons & Seasons

I've been a total slacker blogger lately. And I'm okay with that.
This is just going to be a sort of stream of consciousness post, because that's what I've got to offer.

I've been doing a whole lot of thinking lately. In fact, a friend recently told me I think too much. I can't argue with that, but sometimes it's a good thing.
I was raised to believe that certain things were good and certain things were bad, period.
Everything....everything was black and white. There were no shades of gray.
Happiness was not a priority. Hard work and doing what's "right" were.

People who do certain things are bad. Simple as that.
A few examples...divorce was wrong, for almost any reason. It was better to be eternally miserable in your marriage than to divorce and be happy.
People who go out and drink are bad. Period.
It's better to work a job that you utterly despise, so much that you come home and scream & curse at your family, than to quit that job. (don't ask me to explain the logic in that.)

Over the years, I have slowly developed very different opinions than those I was brought up with.
And the older I get, the more I learn and change and grow. I'm 38 years old and I'm still growing and learning and changing.

I have a good friend who is struggling in her third marriage. She's unhappy, for many reasons. But she struggles with what people will think of her if this marriage ends also.
To which I say, who fucking cares? Not everyone is cut out to have one everlasting marriage. Some people are, and that's wonderful. Truly. But that's not what everyone has in store for them in life.

The fact that a marriage or other relationship fails, doesn't necessarily mean it was a mistake. It may be that it was what you needed in your life at that time. Then the time comes that it's not what you need any more. Maybe that person has changed; maybe you have changed. Maybe life has changed.
I understand that marriage is supposed to be forever. But unfortunately, that's not always the reality of life.
When there are kids involved, that makes it harder, and being raised in those situations is definitely not ideal. But at the same time, I know a lot of adults who were raised by single moms, had somewhat tumultuous lives, good old dysfunctional families...and they are okay. I think as mothers, we have to take care of our kids first, and take care of ourselves second. Because our kids deserve happy parents. I can tell you firsthand that living with a miserable parent is pretty damned miserable. (living with two miserable parents is even worse.)

It reminds me of the poem, "A Reason, a Season, a Lifetime". Not every relationship is a lifetime relationship. Some are reasons, and some are seasons. And that's not necessarily because you made a mistake or made a bad decision.

I'm not advocating divorce, or trivializing marriage; at least, that's not my intention. I'm just tired of the judgement, and tired of people beating themselves up because their life has not been a bed of roses. Bottom line, we all want to be happy. We all make mistakes in that quest to be happy, some more than others. That's how we learn. That's life. That's living.

A Reason, a Season, a Lifetime

People always come into your life for a reason, a season and a lifetime. When you figure out which it is, you know exactly what to do.

When someone is in your life for a REASON, it is usually to meet a need you have expressed outwardly or inwardly. They have come to assist you through a difficulty, or to provide you with guidance and support, to aid you physically, emotionally, or even spiritually. They may seem like a godsend to you, and they are. They are there for a reason,you need them to be. Then, without any wrong doing on your part or at an inconvenient time, this person will say or do something to bring the relationship to an end. Sometimes they die, Sometimes they just walk away. Sometimes they act up or out and force you to take a stand. What we must realize is that our need has been met, our desire fulfilleed; their work is done. The prayer you sent up has been answered and it is now time to move on.

When people come into your life for a SEASON, it is because your turn has come to share, grow, or learn. They may bring you an experience of peace or make you laugh. They may teach you something you have never done. They usually give you an unbelievable amount of joy. Believe it! It is real! But, only for a season. And like Spring turns to Summer and Summer to Fall, the season eventually ends.

LIFETIME, relationships teach you a lifetime of lessons; those things you must build upon in order to have a solid emotional foundation. Your job is to accept the lesson, love the person/people (anyway); and put what you have learned to use in all other relationships and areas in your life. It is said that love is blind but friendship is clairvoyant.

(author unknown)

Linking up with Miss Elaine-ous Monday!


Stacy said...

The way you were brought up sounds so much like the way I was. No gray areas there. :/ I've always loved the bit about reason/season/lifetime...someone shared it with me at a time when my heart was breaking because very dear friends that were like family and a HUGE part of my daily life had moved away, leaving, what I thought at the time, was an unfillable void. And it's true that no one has ever filled that exact space but new people come along and the emptiness begins to shrink from something Grand Canyon sized to something small enough that it can eventually be bridged.

As for marriage, I agree that there are times when it should end. No one should be miserable all of their life. However, I think as a society we are too quick to give up when the going gets tough. I don't think we always give it every chance or try very hard before we give up.

Tara R. said...

I know from experience too that two miserable parents, make for a miserable family life. While ideally, it would be nice to be in a marriage until 'death do you part,' that's not always the reasonable or safe thing to do. What we need to do, is be supportive of our friends and family who are in a difficult situation, and not be judgmental. We can never know their whole story.

Amy @ Clan Carlson said...

I grew up as a 'black and white' person as well, and in many aspects, I still am (good or bad), but I have mellowed out... like I grew up believing "get married, then have kids"... Ok, so I did that one backwards (not intentionally) and can see how it works for some people, and not for others...

I hope your friend finds her happiness, whether it be by working out the issues in her marriage, or by starting again as a single woman. I would personally never stay in a relationship "for the kids" if it were not a good situation for my children, but like you said, there are so many shades of grey.

Awesome, thought provoking post; thanks for sharing. :)

Debby@Just Breathe said...

You know I was divorced from my husband and we ended up getting back together. One thing I made a point of was never talking badly about him in front of the kids. I figured that someday they could form their own opinion of their father and believe me they have!
My children were only 4 & 18 months at the time. Because we made it good for them they really don't remember the divorce much at all. I remember a therapist telling me that it is better for the children for the parents to split then to see them unhappy.
Great post!

Amy said...

Amy's World....

I was raised pretty black and white myself. My mom is still like that. I'm not. I guess getting divorced and raising 5 kids plus foster kids as a single parent (what can I say, I was a sucker for punishment), I was way too busy to worry about or judge other parents. Or even people in general. Some things in life matter and some just don't so much when you're in that situation. I don't know how many people judged me and honestly, I don't even care. I did the best I could with the circumstances and information I had at the time and if anyone else didn't like it- not my problem. ; )

Loved your post!

Tammie said...

i love this. the religion i was raised in was strongly against divorce and in fact people who did get divorced were chastised for giving into their own "selfish wants and desires." as an adult of course i look back on that and am appalled. why is it so selfish to want to be HAPPY!?

i hope my marriage lasts forever. but if something happens and it doesnt, im ok with that too. life is too fucking short to worry about what other people think.

Elaine A. said...

I've just decided not to judge anyone else's decisions because, A)It's not MY place to judge and B)I have no idea what they've really been through, looking in from the outside.

So yeah, it stinks that not all marriages work out in the long term, especially when kids are involved, but that doesn't mean those who do divorce are bad people. And you know? Some folks just shouldn't stay together.

The End.

thanks for linking up today! :)

Myya said...

This is what I love about you, you say what is on your mind! I completely agree! Who are we to judge, I believe it isn't our place PERIOD! What a great friend you are to have your friends back.