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Are “ROLE Rules” causing you problems?

Episode 420
Wildly Successful Lifestyle

LISTEN TO: Are “ROLE Rules” causing you problems?

Hi guys! Welcome to Episode 420 of the wildly successful lifestyle podcast! What’s going on? Thank you for hanging out with me! Im glad you’re here.

I was getting my hair done and my hair stylist whose name ironically is also Heidi…we were talking about dealing with hard things and how we all have to do it. Some have harder things than others but no-one escapes tough stuff. She reminded me of a quote she had read earlier in the week…”Strong women are made, not born”. I love that so much. It’s so empowering. You may not think you are strong enough to get through something and maybe yesterday you weren’t but today you just may be. We get stronger every time we face a problem and come out on the other side, we get wiser too. I thought that would be a good way to start this episode because I know a lot of you guys are women and you’re probably going through something hard or you’ve gone through something hard, just know that you can handle it and you’re going to be better for it, even if it doesn’t feel like it at the time.

So we’ve been out of town for a couple weeks, we go sailing with friends every year in the BVI, ahhhh it’s an amazing trip. So of course I haven’t seen my big sister for a few weeks because I was out of town and then I have to catch up. I was talking to her and she was like when are you coming? I said I will definitely come one day next week, in my mind thinking it was sweet she couldn’t wait to see me and then she said, ok good because mom and dad and I are going to spend the weekend with Sarah and I want to take her pottery and so we need to get the kiln going to finish the pieces for her. Now, if you’ve been listening for a while, that sister is the one that I have a strained relationship with because of religious reasons, she doesn’t want to be part of our life. We have made a little progress for which Im grateful but to no avail as of yet. So immediately my mind goes to “Im being used” “She cares more about our other sister than she does me, They don’t ever seem to care how I feel”. “Why don’t they ever consider my feelings or worry about how I feel?” These were quick thoughts that I pushed aside for a later time. Well the later time came a few days later during meditation. You know when youre not supposed to be thinking any thoughts at all…lol. So I was meditating and that conversation popped into my head and the thought that stood out was why don’t they ever have any concern about me? And as I thought about that I realized it’s because I don’t let them. I am in such protection mode with them all of the time that I never let them know if I have problems or worries or my feelings are hurt because I am just fine, I don’t need anything from them, I don’t want them to think I do because that would make me vulnerable and I don’t trust them like that. I love them but they are not the people that I go to when I am having a problem because they only think in one direction, which is whatever the religion tells them to think about it. So I am choosing to always keep my guard up with them which doesn’t really give them the opportunity to worry about me, so how can I blame them when they don’t? That was a really interesting realization for me, I don’t ever want them to have leverage over me so I keep my guard up at all times. Interesting. What will I do with that new realization? Will I let my guard down? Doubtful because I don’t trust them completely. It is what it is. That’s the reality of life. No matter how much I want it to be different my family just isn’t that way because of religion. So my wanting it to be different has caused a lot of problems for me. It’s so interesting to have that realization. It’s very freeing. It doesn’t make me love them less or want to be around them less. It just makes me appreciate the people in my life that know me and accept me for who I am and I have a lot of that tenfold. I don’t need my family to be different. I need to let them be exactly who they are and love them for who they are not who I want them to be. My role with them is one where I love them and we enjoy every chance we can to be together and that’s it, I don’t get advice from them, I don’t trust them with my secrets, I don’t run to them with my problems. They are my family and I will always love them but I have other people in my life whom I love and trust, so I don’t mind being vulnerable with them, that’s just not the role my mom and dad and my big sister play in my life and that’s ok. We so often have rules about the how the people we love should act or not act. We have a script and if they don’t follow that script or play the role correctly, then they don’t love us or we get mad at them. But if we just take a step back and think “maybe I don’t need them to be that way in order to love them or have them in my life.” Maybe that’s just not the role they were meant to play in my life.

When my baby sister Molly was growing up, she lived with us her first year in College. She has always just been exactly who she is, even as a young kid, and sometimes she would say things or do things in front of my parents or other adults that was just completely inappropriate and my husband Eric finally sat her down one day and said hey, that’s completely inappropriate to say in front of your parents, she said “that’s who I am, I am just being me” and he said, “no-one is asking you not to be you, but you have different roles you play in life and there are different things that are appropriate with each role, so there’s work, there’s your girlfriends, there’s your partner, there’s your parents and you are always you but sometimes you change roles, you don’t want to say the things you say with your girlfriends around your parents. You see she thought that in order to be authentic she should just be however she wanted whenever she wanted with whomever she wanted. But the reality is she could still be who she is just realizing that her mom and dad don’t find certain jokes or certain things funny when her girlfriends may fall on the floor laughing at them, you see she doesn’t need mom and dad to be in on the jokes to have a good life, that’s not the role they play and there’s nothing at all wrong or missing in her life because of it, unless she makes it so.

Same thing applies with me and with you too. Your husband may not be your shopping partner, that’s ok, your sister probably loves to step in. Your mom and dad may not keep the grandkids as often as you think they should, that’s ok, it doesn’t mean they don’t love them. Your parents may not want to hear your dirty jokes, that’s ok, that just wasn’t the role they were meant to play in your life.

My challenge to you today is to evaluate how you feel about the roles certain people in your life play, do you feel the need for them to be a certain way or are you grateful for them just the way they are?

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