When you think about how some of life’s challenges have been brought upon you, it pays to honestly ask yourself, ‘did I take a shortcut that has caused this’?
This lesson is one of the most valuable my parents taught me as a child. You can do things the right way, or the easy way! Whilst there have been plenty of times in my life where the easy way has presented itself and I have taken it and it has worked out fine. When you are in a relationship, in any stage of that relationship. Rarely is the easy way the right way.
As a father of two young children one of my challenges is to impart this ethos onto my own, and like all metaphoric conversations, context is king. I have found that when trying to explain big terms or big world stuff to kids you need to speak in their world, their context. Over the past 5 years my kids have asked me some crackers, especially around why their mum and I are no longer together. I can see my daughter’s brain churning on some of the answers I give, and the new questions that arise from it. Keep it simple and not long-winded, remember, they are kids!
Another scenario is where your partner is concerned. When you have challenges within the relationship (and we all do) my experience tells me that the easy way is not the right way. It’s a bit like turning up with flowers when you know you have done the wrong thing. It devalues any romantic thought of just buying flowers, ‘just because’. Clearly there was a time where I didn’t practice what I am now preaching; otherwise this BLOG would not exist. So it is with hindsight and lots of internal reconciliation that I know that if you want to build respect (the cornerstone to any relationship) then sometimes you simply need to knuckle down and deal with some of the hard stuff. The truth might hurt, but lies hurt infinitely more!
My last example tonight is around depression, and this is straight from the heart. We each have our coping mechanisms, our own way of acknowledging or ignoring challenges in our lives. Our repertoire of these mechanisms is based on our life experience, our social and cultural exposure, and how open or closed-minded we are. Ignorance is a coping mechanism; people will shut out problems either via denial or what they deem legitimate ignorance of a real issue. Being completely frank, this is the easy way.
It is much harder to challenge the denial or question your own ignorance; I know I have done it myself. Depression is so convincing, so engulfing that you don’t need to see a way out initially because in your mind there is nothing wrong. Eventually you get a sign something is not quite right, a friend, a colleague, your lover, a member of your own family, or maybe your own body. At the very bottom I never actually felt suicidal, but I could see into a world where some people could easily fall prey to its power as a drawcard for the only way out. I wish I could give you the easy answer, but as I said, this is not necessarily the right answer. Write, read, talk, play, cry, scream, test, challenge, and most importantly listen to your heart and soul.
I am heading back to Russia in a few days, for the next 5 weeks I will be playing my part in the biggest show on earth. I love the atmosphere of the Olympics, its one of those times where you believe in the human race a little more.
On a side note, for regular readers of this BLOG, I am currently listening to Café del Mar. Build that playlist to open your soul….
Next time you see the easy way, just give it the pinch test, don’t line yourself up for failure tomorrow to get through today.
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