It is in most Southern Girl’s DNA to avoid conflict because our grandmothers and our mothers avoided conflict and tried to make everybody happy. This makes some women happy, but to others, it is an energy and soul draining life. We also avoid hurting someone’s feelings at all cost. We sprinkle sugar on the truth. We choose to overlook things that happen while hoping these things will go away and stay in our little happy place that we created in our minds. This brings me to ask you a trivial question: “What kind of wine do you like?” I was buying wine last night. It was on sale (My friends know how much I love a Sale sign.), and I was looking at all of the different selections, and I realized that I really did not know what my favorite wine was, so I bought four different kinds: Malbec, Merlot, Pinot Noir, and Cabernet Sauvignon. I thought my favorite was a red blend, but I really had no clue.
I immediately thought of the movie Runaway Bride. Who does not love that movie? Do you know how you want your eggs? Do you know what you need to be happy? How much of you are you willing to change or give away to be with someone or to make everyone else happy? Do you know what you like or what you want or do you try to bend to whatever someone wants you to be so you can be his dream woman, her dream man, or the perfect daughter, son, mother, father, brother or sister?
Maggie Carpenter to Ike Graham:
“When I was walking down the aisle, I was walking toward somebody who didn’t have any idea who I really was. And it was only half the other person’s fault, because I had done everything to convince him that I was exactly what he wanted. So it was good that I didn’t go through with it because it would have been a lie. But you – you knew the real me.”
Yes, I know you have to bend and tolerate things that would not have been your choice, but at what point do you give yourself away and realize that you are living someone else’s life. You wake up one morning, and you feel anxious and not happy, but you do not know why because the farce has been going on so long. You do not know what it takes to make you happy because you have not taken the time to find out or let’s be real, life does not give you a lot of time to focus on you. I am now getting that time, but it is been hard to wrap my mind around the process of not being identified by my past.
Some people were born with the gift of authenticity, but most of us were not. What does it mean to be authentic or genuine? I think you must know yourself before you can be authentic and then be true to that self that you discover. It makes me think of the line from Shakespeare as Polonius said to Laertes: “This above all: to thine own self be true…”. We are not responsible for other people’s happiness, but we are responsible for making someone unhappy if we do not present our genuine authentic selves to the world.
How do we find that? Well, I think it involves a constant pursuit of trying to know and love yourself. Sometimes that requires serious soul searching and painful alone time. It also means being honest, humble, and filled with love, and you cannot have that if you are filled with resentment because you are not living the life that you want because you do not know who you are and what you like and dislike, or you are not willing to take a chance to be who you want to be.
Embrace conflict if it will keep you from being unhappy or making a bad decision. The conflict will pass as does most things on this earth. I have so much to learn about me. It is going to be an action packed journey filled with laughter and love!
The real me loves Malbec Wine, and most of the time, I do not want to cook, and I can live without dog hair.