With love and respect for Lesley Gore and her wonderful, powerful lyrics, I want to talk about another meaning of this statement from the title of her song. I mean, sure, don't tell me what to say or do, and don't try to change me. I'd say those limits are fundamental in any relationship.
Don't should all over me, for sure. Can you take it one step further and speak to me from the assumption that I am someone of equal power?
Uh-oh. Now I went and said that nasty word...power.
No matter how often it happens, whether the last time was 5 years ago or 5 minutes ago, it hurts every time.
I want but am thwarted. I need but am frustrated. I ask and am refused. I try and fail. I strive, reach, hope...and am disappointed.
Martin Luther King, Jr. said, "We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope." How do we do that?
Here it is again. You started out talking about what movie to go see and, somehow, you're arguing about money. In fact, you're having the same argument about money that you've had at least weekly for...how long has it been?
Do you ever feel trapped in a set of feedback loops in the same relationship issues? The same three conversations keep happening, over and over, without resolution. Between you and your partner, you and your Mom or Dad, you and your sister or brother, daugher or son....
If one person in your life has told you you're a control freak, you might not really be one.
If 3 or more persons have labeled you this way, then maybe you should be listening. Six or more? Save this link to read later. 10+? Stop what you're doing right now and read this blog post.
There it was, in somebody else's black and white, not mine: "...as members of a social species, we don't derive strength from our rugged individualism, but rather from our collective ability to plan, communicate, and work together." ~Brene' Brown, in Braving the Wilderness, explaining the work of neuroscience researcher John Cacioppo, University of Chicago.
There's a train platform, beyond the known, upon which you may have stood. Similar to that platform for Harry Potter's train to Hogwarts, it exists only for those with special access. We gather there, tickets long crumpled in sweaty hands, waiting for the Midnight Train to Torture. Not dreaming, but awake, we ride the tracks of very special memories: those of bewildered pain.
Imagine this: you can make everyone around you do exactly as you want them to, literally with a snap of your fingers. When you hold out your hand in silent demand, you receive what you want. Always. You point your finger, and arch an eyebrow, and your will is done.
Does that sound good to you? Would you like to live in a world where everyone else is your minion and you simply run the show?
I am absolutely certain that 99.9% of interpersonal issues and drama in our relationships can be ultimately traced to one cause: wanting people to be different from how they actually are. Included in that percentage is all those times that we want people to stop behaving in ways that WE actually behave, too. What if we could all just relax a little, and see and accept people for all of who they are? What if we could each just let others be?
Not long ago, I watched an episode of a favorite series online, in which a character's actions had deeply disappointed and betrayed someone he loved very much...and he knew how she felt. Figuring he had ruined a really significant relationship in his life, he pulled out a bottle of liquor and a glass as his coping strategy. I actually said out loud to my computer screen, "Oh, good. Booze and bitter regret. (Turn up the sarcasm volume here.) Nothing bad ever came from that combination."