(“What Is-es” and “What is Nots”)
Here is my little compilation of some commonly heard and easily recognizable misdirected, misappropriated and completely farcical fallacies. They are often perpetuated without malice, but once they’re out there they become akin to Urban Legends without the kitschy, horror-movie bent.
If we choose to sustain and bolster these mistaken beliefs, we are left with a society ripe with blamers, scapegoats and reprobates. Even said affectionately, it’s not the kind of person most of us want to be, nor want in our lives. At least not by definition; not on paper, either.
Some I have expounded upon, others I didn’t feel required much further.
Love is not…never having to say I’m sorry.
Love is…being able to say I’m sorry, I apologize, and at times even please forgive me.
Maybe some people are born able to do this easily and freely, but for those of us who are not, we have to learn the importance of the apology. How many times has a problem or situation been kept alive because one or both parties refuse to take responsibility for their actions?
For myself, I’m not exactly sure when or why it happened that this became so clear to me, but I can say with certainty that every single time I choose to look my husband in the eye and admit that I am culpable; and then he in turn is willing to accept my culpability, we are stronger for it.
And it’s gotten a lot easier over the years, too.
Friendship is not…taking others for granted.
Friendship is… appreciating the people in your life who are always there for you, who help you up when you’re down, who sit with you, who listen when you need to talk.
My friends are all spread out, near and very, very far, so social media is a great connector to have to keep close and current to a great many of them. I enjoy sending and receiving actual cards and postcards in the mail with many of the away ones, too. The little bit of effort to stamp and address an envelope, or to type out a note, albeit sometimes a short one can keep a friendship alive.
By nature I am not a big joiner of groups and clubs, but my friends are very important to me and I love them, so showing them is fun and usually easy. Often it’s little birthday presents or going to lunch. Sometimes it’s traveling to meet each other in cool places. It roots and cements our friendship.
Life can get in the way too often, that’s for sure, but we always find our way back to each other. Thankfully.
Romance is not…always the stuff of fantasy.
Romance is…often the small moments, the intimate moments; those moments when two people truly connect.
Some of the most romantic moments we’ve shared have been simply being present with each other. Whether it happens over a candlelit dinner, or a breakfast and a crossword puzzle. Which, incidentally we’ve turned into a Saturday morning staple.
Or when we’re holding hands at the movies. We’re together, but doing or paying attention to an external experience, and we’re still able to feel connected. A little squeeze every now and then can send sparks, too.
There are many little things: a foot rub, sharing a dessert, watching a sunset (or sunrise), doing the dishes together. The list can literally go on and on. Don’t miss these!
Parenthood is not…essential to one’s happiness and life’s fulfillment.
Parenthood is…a major life change, and it is something that isn’t for everyone. If you choose not to become a parent, this absolutely does not mean you will not live a fulfilling life. There are no guarantees in life; that is pretty much the one constant. No one thing will make everyone happy all the time. And for some the choice to have a baby is unfortunately not an option, and of course they too can lead fulfilled lives.
I feel very strongly that people should not be shamed if they’ve made the choice not to become parents. I don’t feel it is anyone else’s place to judge them. It’s really not anyone’s business, but if they do tell me that this is what they’ve chosen, then I feel I owe it to them to respect their choice. And that’s often without qualifying why they made it, it is personal and it is their’s to share or not to share.
A person’s value or worth is not…determined by a number on a scale.
A person’s value or worth is…determined by that person! It is your self-worth, and it comes from being a one-of-a-kind, totally unique individual. It is best if you choose to measure your self-worth based on the factors you can control – not the external events in your life. Besides, scale weight fluctuates wildly and says nothing necessarily of health, but it can totally highjack your self-esteem.
This photo of what someone wrote on an actual scale is really pretty poignant:
Truly happy couples do not…live a life devoid of fighting.
Truly happy couples do…find a balance in their couplehood (according to urbandictionary.com this is a harmonious match between two partners in a relationship). They know having disagreements is going to happen; different people sometimes equal different ways of thinking. In the end they also, and most importantly, know that it’s all about compromise.
I thought I fell I love, with the man who would become my husband, at age 22, but I realize now that for me, I didn’t even know what love between-two-adults really meant yet. What I did do was find someone who I felt strongly connected to and I really had NO idea what that meant at all.
We married when I was twenty-three and he was twenty-seven. We were deeply in love and deliriously happy, but not full-blown, we-have-arrived-at-love love, that took years to find ourselves at. Many years and a lot of hard work.
We had many, many things to learn, for instance give and take. When you’re in a couple you need to be able to sometimes give in and not always expect everything to go your way. Or to be your choice, and to always get what you want. You need to find a balance in order to find fulfillment.
Because at what cost does it happen, if your mate is unhappy because they never get their way. If they never get to choose or get what they want…how can this possibly work? It leaves your relationship one-sided.
Family is not…required to put up with each other’s shit (Again, according to dictionary.com shit means “without proceeding the, it’s used to describe something that is the worst”).
Family is…our family ties, our bonds, and our origin. We’re biologically related, but they still deserve our consideration and respect. Yes, we help each other out of jams. And yes, we can vent to a relative in a unique and special way. But once we abuse their generosity, hospitality, and kindness they have every right to feel used, and to cut us off. And vice versa, as well. Hopefully, the love never ends, but it doesn’t mean there aren’t or shouldn’t be boundaries.
In my experience, as a daughter and a sister, and observing my own two boys, children spend a lot of their childhoods learning about boundaries. Learning what they are and when to have them, as well as how to push them. I mean a lot of time is spent on this.
If this doesn’t become learned and ingrained, it seems like it can lead to all kinds of chaos within family dynamics. Families have become completely divided because of taking sides against each other. It’s very sad.
That’s just my two cents…
Raina K Morton May 12 2015