Friday, April 17, 2015


I've been struggling with a relationship lately. Lots of angst, lots of feelings, lots of frustration. I was dumping my heart out into the lap of one of my dearest friends this week and she said this to me:

This isn't about you. 
This is completely their issue. 
It isn't yours.

And as I thought about it more and more, it became something that was more and more important for me to internalize... because I've kept trying to make it my issue. And I probably try to make a lot of issues into my issues.

Because, you see, if things are my issues, well I can fix those. If something is off because I did something wrong or I said something that offended, if I'm the one being unreasonable... those are all things that I can fix. And if I can fix those things, then I can fix the relationship, right?

But if they're not my issue... well, there's really only so much that I can do about that. There's only so much of that I can fix. In fact, there's relatively little of that I can fix.

At the same time... it's a little bit freeing to start to internalize that. I'm very good at making things my fault. I apologize for everything. I have apologized for a lot of things that I didn't really think were my fault at all. But acknowledging that not everything is me... Well, that's freeing.

And maybe that doesn't fix the relationship. Maybe it won't ever be.

But it starts to fix me... and that's a start.


  1. Well said Joanne.... sometimes I'm overwhelmed with the common sense I see here which I feel I could have thought through for myself. A people pleaser at times is simply complicating life and I wonder for myself when I'll really be completely at peace. Then I realise that so many of us feel the same way and I relax in the knowledge that we are indeed all human with various emotions that dictate our day. Annie

    1. I think we are probably all a little broken, in a myriad of different ways... none of them the same, but all of them able to connect us in our brokenness. But, as John Green wrote, though we may all be a little broken, "we need never be hopeless because we can never be irreparably broken." I like that.

      I watched a YouTube video last night that talked about how the size of our heartbreak over something is directly connected to how much we CARED, how much of ourselves we invested. And so when things tank and they hurt more, it's because we cared so much -- and though it hurts, we should never be ashamed of caring, we should never regret caring, we should never regret risking. For though the heartbreaks are greater when you put all of yourself into them, so are the victories.