Not too long ago, one of my aunts came to town for a visit. She has very different beliefs and values from my Granddaddy, and he can be a bit vocal and negatively state what he believes as actual truth. But something that I witnessed spoke a lot to me–I don’t quite remember what the subject being discussed was, but I know that my Granddaddy was stating his opinion in a very strong, “I am right, you are wrong-I’m going to correct you” kind of way. My aunt stated what she believed in a very respectful way and did not seem to be moved by his attitude. I thought it was beautiful how she handled it. She didn’t get mad and blow up at him.
She was confident in herself.
Now, I’m saying all of this without having actually discussed this instance with her, but in my observance, this is what I saw.
Most of my family would have been offended and more than likely become argumentative. But I think that’s because of this attitude of needing approval, or finding self-worth in the patriarch.
A couple of years ago, I broke away from this attitude myself. I always felt like I needed my dad’s approval or that my self-worth somehow resided in his opinions of me. One day, though, my mom and my dad got into a fight and I did not like how he was talking to my mom. I couldn’t take it anymore…I jumped up from my chair and yelled at him to stop talking to my mom like that. He told me that I needed to watch myself. I told him I wasn’t going to take it and I yelled that I was going to throw the plate I had in my hand at him. He couldn’t say anything to that because I don’t think he was quite expecting me to say something like that. Neither did I. So, then I threw the plate (not directly at him because I’m not actually a violent person) and it shattered everywhere. Then I grabbed my purse, ran out the door and drove to my brother’s house.
Though I don’t suggest throwing plates–I learned something through that experience. He didn’t control me. It felt as if the control/power he “had” over me was broken along with the plate that was now shattered on the floor.
Like I said, this was a couple of years ago. This was simply the beginning of my breakthrough. I’ve learned so much about my own personal beliefs and values. I allowed myself to become who I am and to figure out what I believe for myself. I’m still on this journey, though. I don’t think that this journey ever ends.
I believe the problem with some people is when they believe the journey has ended–when they believe they already have everything figured out. Just know that no matter how old you are-you have something to learn, and no matter how young you are-you have something to teach.