Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Accepting the Unacceptable


Your mother has decided to go off of dialysis and will essentially be ending her life by doing so.  What do you say when she informs you of her decision?

After almost 30 years of marriage, your parents have just told you they are filing for divorce.  What do you do?

Your baby sister is pregnant by a man she barley knows who is twice her age.  How do you react when she breaks the news?

Everyone experiences moments in life where news hits them in the chest like a speeding truck.  Some of us are blessed with the ability to step away from the situation and process the information without saying or doing anything until we have come to grips with it. Then again, some of us are not. 

When I am confronted with news of impending doom or catastrophic failure of the decision making process by those closest to me, I have a tendency to do two things.
                        1. Panic.
                        2. Ask Questions.

I ask the questions to ease the panic.  I ask the questions because I am a journalist and that is my nature.  Journalists ask questions, not because they are nosey, but rather as a means of clarification and understanding.  And I want to understand everything.

So when I ask bluntly if you have been on birth control or using a condom, it is because I want to know how a girl I love with all my heart who never wanted children managed to get pregnant in less than 90 days by a guy she barley knows.  When I ask how the expectant father feels about this pregnancy, it is not because I care how this stranger feels, but because I want to know what my sister is up against.  And when I ask what the next step for your life will be now that you have come to terms with being pregnant, it is not because I am trying to lead you one way or the other, but rather so that I can prepare myself for the ways that I can help.

Sometimes when you feel as though life has just led you or someone you know done a path of certain destruction, all you can really do is breathe.  DEEP BREATHS. 

It may take a day or two to accept the information that just sent your world view into a spinning vortex of horror.  One thing I have learned (and I am finding I learn more each day) is that you can not change the decisions that are not yours to make.  In these situations, all you can do is step back, take a deep breath and accept the unacceptable.  Rant to a close friend or family member, take a hot shower, go for a run.  Do whatever you have to do to come to terms with what is happening and move forward from that. 

Only then will you be happy with the life around you.  And that's what it's all about.

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