Don't Be Your Own Martyr

Thursday, August 2, 2012 5:00 PM

When I was a kid and felt misunderstood or mistreated by my mother, I'd think to myself, "I hope that I get sick or get hurt.  Then she'll wish that she'd treated me better."  There were times when I even took it so far as to pretend that I was actually sick.  Kids are so reasonable, right?

Year later, I was an adult (so to speak) living with a grown man, where I was the only one bringing in a steady income.  I still believed that I could get what I wanted through passive aggression.  So, I worked and toiled and huffed and puffed.  You know, hoping he'd take a hint and bring something to the table.

I bet you can guess how that turned out.  Yeah, somehow seeing me work myself to the bone didn't motivate him to help out.

It really comes down to agendas and priorities.  We often make the mistake of thinking that our loved ones and friends should have the same priorities that we do.  Not so. 

My mother's priority was to teach me a lesson, not to make me feel comfortable.  At the time, I couldn't understand why she wouldn't just listen to my excuses, so I felt sorry for myself instead. 

The man's priority was to be with a woman who would hold him down while he ran the street.  Instead of recognizing that, I preferred to live in denial, complain, and cry.  Hoping that he would see my suffering and repent.

In both cases, they saw my suffering but didn't care.  For different reasons of course.  But my point is that every situation we face is offering us a chance to learn or leave.  Or learn and leave, sometimes.  Either way, self-pity won't get you what you want.  Passively exploiting your suffering to the person who is causing it, won't get you what you want either. 

Your resolution must come from within.


Note:  I know I didn't post yesterday. I'm going to make it up by posting twice today!