As a behavioral coach, most people that come to me face some major decision in their life and usually seek help because they do not know HOW to move forward and away from ambivalence. This limbo state can be painful when weathered alone and during those times, retrieving any crumb of bravery can be hard, in the meanwhile life is passing them by.
Another reason people chose to remain in ambivalence is the attitude of “it’s hard”- it’s true, it can be hard and painful! But look at other decisions made throughout your life that took courage.
It takes courage to face ourselves. And, it takes courage to wake up and realize that as our lives move through the time machine, our stories change because we change and the people around us change. Maybe those changed people around us were not always what they seemed to be. And, maybe we were just in denial. Maybe the job we had wasn’t really our calling, but we managed anyway. The desired relocation to another place never happened because we never got around to it. The loved one that we sacrificed so much for betrayed us. This is life.
It’s true that life doesn’t guarantee anything and we can only do the best we can, but sooner or later those major decisions that we never faced and by the way, keep us in ambivalence, greet us, whether we like it or not.
My step-grandfather was a quite man. A good man. But as my grandparents aged, my grandmother treated Bill terribly. She even kicked him out of their home and Bill ended up staying for a short period in my mother’s home. Bill was infirmed and unhappy and needed care. Even though my mother wasn’t the most patient woman with Bill, but she took care of him until he later was transferred into hospital. I remember I was visiting from Italy that year when I spent some time with Bill as he lay there in the bed. His appearance was gaunt and depressing. I remember he told me that he never thought he would end up this way. He told me that my grandmother was not mentally stable but he never offered why he allowed his situation to worsen. During his marriage to my grandmother, Bill never stood up to her. He allowed her to mistreat him. After he left (or kicked out), his wife never had anymore to do with him. About 7 months later Bill died alone in hospital.
I wonder sometimes about Bill’s last couple of years living like a vagabond from one relative’s home to another and then his death in hospital. I cannot help but wonder about Bill’s lack of bravery to stand up to his wife and his livelihood. That was it, to “stand up for his wellbeing”, if not to her, but for himself. I suspect that on a deep level he probably felt unworthy and never loved himself enough to move away form ambivalence. He died disappointed. He left a sad legacy.
What legacy do we want to leave? Who do we think are we responsible towards while we live? And who loves us when we are in need of comfort? Who reciprocates our care and love? What kind of relationships do we want in order to flourish and leave that legacy intact?
I believe we have bravery built into our DNA, but we have to find “our” way to pull courage out from our core, or to at least ask for help. After all, if you were not brave, you wouldn’t have lived this far. So we all ask the same questions: why is it that people remain stuck in situations that have no benefit? When both or more parties are perpetuating the drama with no solution? Well, there are many reason why, and if you find yourself in a situation that is tough, ask yourself deeper questions. Questions such as, do I have unresolved issues that left a void or need in me (in childhood or acquired through adult experience)? What does it mean to love myself and have dignity? If I have lack of bravery/courage, how can I move from the lack of towards an empowered self? “who is negatively influencing me? What am I afraid of o a deep level?
Sandra Rojo is the founder of Journey to Authentic Living. She can be contact at: firstname.lastname@example.org or follow her on Instagram @journeytoauthenticliving
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