In my opinion…. (not that you asked)
It’s so funny, the things that we can advise others on, but when its us, ourselves, facing a problematic situation, the path of resolution evades.. It’s also interesting how easy it is to see things clearly from an outsiders perspective, and ridiculous how, when you are the one involved in a specific situation, your judgement becomes clouded, your path narrowed, and when it comes to finding your bearings, your personal GPS, all but fails you and you find it of the utmost difficulty (if not an impossibility) to both see and lead your way out.
Often, when friends ask advice, they start off by saying “If you were me what would you have done if……” (insert their situation here). I’ve not thought of this in-depth before, but for some reason, today, I realize that, if it were possible to become the other person, you would probably have done the exact same (crazy) thing that they did. This is because, it really isn’t at all possible to provide an unbiased, critical, evaluation of ourselves. We just do what feels right at the moment, and sometimes regret that very same action, later.
Recently, I received a call from a friend of mine who was desperately upset about some things that have recently occurred in their personal life. The situation felt somewhat like one of those “If you can’t be with the one you love, love the one you’re with” scenarios, but somehow, twisted and reversed. Confusing right? I know! Let’s just say, that being caught between two (or more) opportunities of affection may start off as very empowering, exciting, and fun, but can also end with one being deflated, saddened, and confused.
Now, me, being the person that I am, had many thoughts about what this friend of mine had so recently endured, and I freely offered my time, advice, and sympathy, without hesitation. It was so easy for me to provide a soft but sound critique of my friends issues, I thought that maybe I really needed to go back to school and earn a degree in therapy. It was as though I had all of the answers, the ability to suggest or dismiss this thing or that, provide a possible resolution to one’s issues or concerns, and be someone else’s voice of reason, and it felt really good. It wasn’t until a couple of hours after the conclusion of our conversation that I realized that I had some type of nerve, offering up what I thought was truly, good advice when the situation that I was in needed a whole lot of advising of its own.
Have you ever realized how we, often times over extend and exert ourselves with the on-goings of other people? It seems that one can often times talk and advise, for what we view, as being for the benefit of another, as we simultaneously lose control of the situations that impact our own lives? How can it be, that we can be so completely engulfed and opinionated with affairs that don’t truly involve us, but whither up when it comes to providing sound answers for the things that do?
As of late, I have pondered this question, and I have come to the conclusion that instead of constantly providing my opinion with the dealings of others, I will instead become a sort of complex, sounding board. I will listen intently, to the concerns of the one speaking to me, and silently take into account the specific details of what I know about that person. I will ask questions that will, in essence reflect an aspect of what my opinion is but will, at the same time, afford them the opportunity to work out their own conclusions. After all, I do realize that I don’t have all the answers (most of them yes, but all of them…. not just yet, LOL!). I have also decided that I can’t truly say, what I would do if I were someone else, because the fact of the matter is that I am not someone other than myself, and that I can never, ever be.
Currently, as I hinted above, I have situations of my own, in which I honestly wish a step-by-step directory of what to do, and how to do it, could be provided. However, I realize that the vast majority of the issues I’ve been having, started with decisions and choices that I, myself, made. Therefore, the resolution to those circumstances reside completely within me. Sure, I, like anyone else, at times, would like to receive the input of others, but I also understand that when I seek out these opinions, that is strictly what it is… an opinion. Also, I understand that through other’s experiences, I can somewhat find a guideline of what to do with my own affairs, but not necessarily completely act in the ways in which other’s have.
What is truly important though, is that we start to take an in-depth look into the lives that each one of us individually live. Is your life perfect? Are there situations that have completely ‘thrown you through a loop’ and left you dazed? Have you got everything all figured out? If your answers to these questions are No…, Yes…, No…, then it seems that one should provide as detailed a critique into of ones own life, as we would do to that of a friend who has asked…. What do you think about this, OR, What would you do about that???
In my opinion (not that you asked), we can only ascertain the right decisions to make, by living the lives in which we, ourselves, have. There is honestly no right, and no wrong. The only answer resides in not what you would do, but rather within these two questions~ What are you doing now? -AND- What will you do next?
Thank you for reading,
Ms. T.M.Garrison/ A.K.A Trenni