Pulling On A Life-Coat That Fits Your Aspirations
Too often, countless Americans stumble out of high school into ill-suited jobs, incompatible relationships and no plans for the future. They hang with discordant jobs in order to write checks for food, rent and car payments. Without using an ounce of common sense or rational thought process, they marry the first person they “fall for” in the dating game.
In a flash, they face baby diapers, low-paying jobs, mounting bills and fracturing relationships in 50 percent of the cases. Ironically, falling in love carries bliss, joy and passion. But the inverse of all that ecstasy explodes in frustration, loss and depression. No one ever told a person falling in love with the wrong mate, that it could end up in such turmoil.
Suddenly, they blow through their twenties with a sinking feeling that things didn’t turn out the way they anticipated or never considered. They feel powerless.
That’s where this small pocket of wisdom might come in handy for you who yearn toward a life that fits your style, meshes with your aspirations and fulfills your daily life.
Recently, a divorced man I met at a civic conference confessed to me that, in his mid life, “I’m involved in a relationship with a lady with one child. I want to move out of state for more opportunities and lifestyle choices, but her family pressures her to stay home. She won’t budge because of her parents’ emotional lock on her.”
“The same thing happened to me in my first marriage,” I said, “If she can’t or won’t go with you, that means she’s fitting you with her ‘life-coat’ to fit her needs rather than yours. You may want to decide to pull on your own ‘life-coat’ that fits you, suits your needs and will make you comfortable on your life journey. By taking a stand to fulfill your life, you allow her to find someone who fits her ‘life-coat’ needs. If you succumb to her needs and cheat your own, you will live with a vacant tension that you didn’t follow your own life path. But if you choose the right path for yourself, that brave choice allows you to discover a life-mate who treads the same path with you.”
I stand by that statement. The man or woman in this picture may break his or her heart by leaving, and, he/she might break his or her own heart for a short time. But in the end, it’s better to suffer a short-term heartbreak than a lifelong anxiety for not choosing your own ‘life-coat’.
Too often, both men and women compromise their deepest wishes. Some do it for status, others for love and still others for convenience or desperation. When they choose against their natural inclinations and interests, the consequences play out on multiple levels.
One of my lifelong girlfriends married a man out of desperation. He proved rude, obtuse and ornery. She hung with him for 12 years, but suffered a five-pound tumor in her stomach, which the surgeons cut out of her body. Years later, a massage therapist said, “How did you get that scar?”
She said, “The doctors removed a benign tumor.”
“Looks and feels like you lived with someone who upset your system to cause that result,” the therapist said.
No matter what, if you choose against your natural inclinations and wear the wrong ‘life-coat’, you will pay a price down the road.
What can you do? How do you summon the courage to live a happy and integrated life?