“There comes a time in your life, when you walk away from all the drama and people who create it. You surround yourself with people who make you laugh. Forget the bad, and focus on the good. Love the people who treat you right, pray for the ones who don’t. Life is too short to be anything but happy. Falling down is a part of life, getting back up is living.” ― José N. Harris
No drama llamas need apply
The older I get, the less tolerance I have for drama. Simply put: Life’s too short to deal with people who are constantly in a state of nuclear meltdown.
Of course, we all have our moments of quiet hysteria, but when a person starts writing on the walls of my life with the contents of their poopy diaper, I have to draw the line.
Years ago, I might have harbored the illusion that I could help them.
Now, other than possibly harboring a momentary fantasy of using a high-powered hose to make a point, I’ve got little interest in engaging with or encouraging crazy-making behavior.
The truth of the matter is, we’re each responsible for cleaning up our own stuff.
If our messes weren’t meant for us, we wouldn’t experience them.
Therefore, I have plenty of drama of my own to deal with.
Your drama is, well, yours.
You figure it out.
Don’t Summon the Flying Monkeys
Does that strike you as harsh or unkind?
It’s actually a real kindness to allow each person to glean the grace and wisdom associated with their particular life lessons.
Enabling a person to avoid dealing directly with the consequences of his or her behavior, implies you believe he or she is still an infant, incapable of handling the situation.
And trust me, no one miraculously grows a spine if they are treated like an invertebrate.
However, said person will hate you for helping them. Almost as much as they will resent you, if you don’t.
It’s one of those hilarious Catch-22s.
The Harsh Fires of ‘I Told You So’
I have a good friend whose son was embroiled in a nasty divorce a few years back.
As his warm-hearted mother, my friend (and her husband) stepped in, paid their son’s attorney fees, bought him a house to share with his kids, and just all-around acted like Santa Claus with a big purse full of money. Not because they could actually afford to do this.
No, they did it, in spite of the fact, they couldn’t afford it.
Their excellent, if slightly misguided, intentions to rescue the grandchildren from the clutches of their truly icky mother.
However, at the time, I told my friend it was a bad idea to rescue her son from the sh*t he’d stirred up.
“He’s going to hate you for it.”
I didn’t want to be right, but I knew I would be.
Now Entering the Jerk Hall of Fame
Sure enough, number one son turned out to be a real asshole.
Not only did he spit in his parents’ faces – blaming them for everything from his poor self-esteem to his student loan debt – he walked away and left them $300K in the hole.
He told them in no uncertain terms that he owed them nothing and would never repay a dime of what they’d spent.
What a guy!
He learned nothing from his mistakes.
Cause and effect is strict.
Sometimes the best thing you can do, is offer your prayers and your belief that the person you love will overcome their suffering.
Believe it. They can stand on their own two feet and solve the riddle they’ve been given.
They can. They will.
Yes, there were lessons in the dung heap for both my friend and her husband.
Emotional support is one thing. Rescue from consequences, not so much.
Still, I am comforted by the knowledge that their son will receive a box of doo-doo on his doorstep at some point, likely in flames and smelling up the joint.
Perhaps his own children will grow up and do the honors. Or, better yet, someone else he mistakenly trusts, will take on that role.
One thing’s for sure. Reckoning always arrives.
Even if it’s a day late and a dollar short.
Bust a Move & Say a Prayer
So, remember: whenever you think you should step in and offer assistance, consider whether that’s actually the best move.
Perhaps offering more prayers and less advice is the better choice.
And when the circus comes to an adjacent town, stay home.
Believe me. Just stay home.
Monkeys will ring your doorbell soon enough.
© 2014 Shavawn M. Berry All rights reserved
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4 thoughts on “Not My Circus. Not My Monkeys.”
This provides much comfort to me. I’ve just realized I’ve been holding on to far too many monkeys…
Sent from my iPhone
Haven’t we all? Glad it helped. ~ S
THANK YOU! Loved your “Not My Circus” blog statements. Every so often you stumble upon sentiments when you need them. I needed yours. I love my kids more than air but don’t try to live their lives for them. Many times I have heard “Why did you let me do that?!” I simply reply, “Not my journey.” It’s not because I don’t care, but simply because I don’t feel the cosmic power or the driving need to live more lives than my own. Good to know I am not alone here. (I have taken a few hits on that score and not just from my kids). Anyway, good job👏.
Thanks, Rena! Glad it resonated. I have to remind myself from time to time, not to step in and help, even though I could. Helping (as in doing for someone) versus supporting them as they learn and live, are two quite different things! ~ Shavawn