Moving back to where I grew up has had its ups and downs.
Ups being, of course, being close to so many friends and family that it’s so easy to be with. Having a network I can see in person when I’m feeling lonely.
Downs being expectations of me being the same person and not yet having found a place of my own here.
I’ve had a lot of amazing experiences – mining, farming, travels. My family seem to be really struggling to comprehend that I’m not the same sheltered young dependent city slicker they knew. When I have a sore back, I think back to mining days and how I fixed it on a remote site in the Pilbara. When I’m trying to understand someone, I often compare it to base instincts shown by cows on the farm in outback Queensland. When I’m feeling overwhelmed, I retreat into my own space – which I need to be a peaceful space, without my well-meaning mother walking in trying to ‘distract me’ from dealing with things how I’ve learnt to do.
My friends have been great at accepting me how I am. Unconditional love. They let me know when I’m being silly and listen to offer support when I’m struggling with things. They may offer suggestions, but never give directions.
The distinction is subtle, but significant.
It comes from long ingrained habits, good intentions, a place of love.
To me, love is not controlling. Love is supportive. Love offers suggestions when you ask, does not force opinions on you. Love and respect go hand in hand.
Love accepts that you don’t have to understand the other person. Understanding someone is easier, sure, but it limits the other person. We should be supporting the other person to have amazing experiences through our actions, not just in words. We want people to grow beyond us, in different ways. To live their most amazing life and follow what feels right for them.
But we are all different. We have different experiences, different passions.
We must accept people as they are. Even if their decisions seem crazy to us. Even if their opinions don’t align with our own.
Accept others, support others, and be more concerned with doing what feels right for you than doing what is expected of you.