To live a joyous life you have to know who you are, and, who you aren't. --(Paraphrased from Father John's homily at Holy Spirit Catholic Church today).
It has been a rough week (or so) at our house.
Yesterday we had to have a long talk with Sadie about her attitude, her direction, and her treatment of this family. Contrary to what my children may think, confrontation is really "not my thing". But sometimes the only way to go forward is to deal with what is on your plate. So we had to deal.
In knowing who I am, I know I cannot continue along the current path with Sadie. Her history with us has been filled with extreme ups and downs, and we have been known to say.. it is "always something" when talking about life with her.
The adoption idea might have been a mistake on my part. In truth I didn't really expect her to want us, but I wanted her to know how much this family loves and cares for her. Maybe we scared her. Maybe she thought we wanted to change her. Maybe it was just too much for her to handle. Whatever the case, she has pulled away... again.
That in itself is nothing new, but because it is the holidays, it seems a little harder to take. When everyone is supposed to be experiencing joy....the fact that she is not feeling any joy herself, nor is anyone who lives with her feeling any joy from her, it's difficult to stop her mood from bringing us down, too.
During our discussion yesterday, she admitted that she would like us to kick her out. Ouch. As if there are better things awaiting her. As if we really don't matter all that much. Double ouch. But it is not like this is a new feeling for us. We continually feel the sting of being last on her list.
However, in knowing who I am not, I felt I had to say something.
I am not a person who can give and give and give and get nothing back. I am not a person who will let one person's inability to move forward bring a whole family down. I am not willing to let her ruin my holiday spirit, nor that of my family's. And I am not going to let her attitude take away the opportunity to have my boys (all four of them) together to celebrate a Christmas filled with joy. Joy at being together, in belonging together and in being stronger together, as a family should.
So she has a choice to make. We will not kick her out. That would be too easy, for her. Although I have thought about it, it is not what any of us wants. We do, however, acknowledge that it is a very real possibility that she will leave us, and soon. Maybe in her heart she already has. But it will have to be under her own power, as her choice, when she walks out with her things. And it will be against our best judgement, again. But that has never stopped her before.
Will that mean she is still welcome here for the holidays? Heck, yes. Will that mean we will miss her? Yes, most definitely yes. Will that mean things will be better without her around? No, absolutely positively our hearts will hurt from missing her. This I know for sure. Will we stop worrying or stop caring? Never.
But when you love someone, you sometimes have to let them go (again) and if they return to you, (then this time) maybe they'll remain yours. I'm paraphrasing one of my favorite quotes ever here.
I know who I am. I am a person who loves deeply, who cares deeply, who believes in second (and sometimes third and fourth) chances. I am a person who knows that unless something changes inside Sadie, and she starts believing in herself, she will never be truly happy in her life. Wherever that life is, and whomever it is with.
My Christmas wish for Sadie is that she finds joy in her life: that she figures out who she is, and who she isn't. And that when she does, she will begin to be truly happy, to be able to live joyously.
Normally not one to quote the Bible, this verse just really struck a chord with me, as did today's mass. So, I'm sharing. May Peace be with your spirit.
Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. …The Lord is near.
Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.
And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Finally, beloved, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things….and the God of peace will be with you.