Wednesday, March 9, 2011

The reformer.

I see potential. Everywhere. I'm pretty sure that I've written about this before. Potential in people. Potential in relationships. Potential in my life and the way I live it. I'm an enthusiast by nature, but because I see things as they could be, my enthusiasm is often directed into quests of reformation.

When, about a year-and-a-half-ago, I moved home to Salem from our life at college, I lived with my parents for a while. Duke stayed to finish school and I got the chance to jump right back into life with a family I'd not seen for more than short visits in nearly four years.

Looking back through old blog posts I realize exactly how much I didn't write about at the time. It was too fresh and too tender to speak openly about. I didn't fit anymore in my own family. All of the relationships were strained. My baby sister cried almost every night because I wasn't the fun lady who took her on outings and photo-shoots like I had in our vacation visits. I was mean because I wanted her to clean her room.

Honestly, I saw potential everywhere I looked. I was the reformer. I wanted everyone to eat healthier and tidy up the house. I wanted everyone to talk to each other about their pent-up frustrations instead of ignoring the elephants in the room. I stepped in as a mother having left the place as a sister. You can bet that my mom and I butted heads. It wasn't all for the worst, really. Being frank, I do think that my urgency brought about many positive changes, having had an outside perspective.

Mom and I were talking the other day about that time. We fought a lot. Now, a year later, we are closer than we have been since my young childhood when she could carry me around. I used the following analogy to explain my methods: Imagine a broken bone. If ignored the pain will dull and eventually some form of function will return, although it couldn't ever fully heal properly. Setting a broken bone hurts tremendously, but afterward true healing can occur. I set bones.

Once the bones are set, I can relax and let the healing occur naturally.

Man, that time of my family life was uncomfortable. Now it's heaven to be together. We talk about things openly and I feel mutual respect and trust. I wouldn't want to go through that again, but I'm glad I went with my gut, asked the hard questions, and humbled myself enough to change what I needed to change in the compromises.

Without getting too specific, I'll say I'm going through this now in a different arena. I just have to keep reminding myself that just because people are hating me for asking more from them than they've been giving, it doesn't mean that it will never get better between us. After the bones are set maybe I can draw pretty pictures on the casts.

I keep trying to remind myself that honesty and perseverance in the cause of goodness is exactly the kind of legacy I plan to leave for my children. The hard part will be but a moment, and then maybe I will have put things in motion that make the future more hospitable for them.

Oh my heck, did I just basically say, "it's for the kids?"

Yes, somewhere in my time-line I became a reformer. Curses.

1 comment:

Michelle said...

I have lurked your blog for over a month now and I love it! I love how raw you are with your feelings. Sister of mine, if your blog is any indication of the true human- being you are... you are right spot on. Life is HARD. Relationships ARE HARD! Seasons, changes, compromise, it is all part of it.
Keep it up. You are great!