Defining My Own Reality without Justifying My Actions
It’s been five months since I moved into my mother’s place. What seemed to be the safest place on earth has ended up being one of my biggest challenges in life.
In the beginning, my mom cared for me and made me feel like the most important person in the world. The presence of so much care and love left me in awe, for I was not a pampered child.
Unfortunately, as days passed, she grew restless about my life and my recent divorce. Empathetically, I tried to understand, as any mother wouldn’t want to watch their child’s marriage blow-up in their face.
Days turned to months, and our relationship began to take a turn for the worse. Where there was once nurturing love and compassion for me, there was now bitterness and anger. Each time my mom would try to bring the subject of my failed marriage to the table, I would either yell at her or cry an endless amount of tears. My reactions shocked my mom and at the same time assuaged her for a few weeks until she would start nagging all over again.
I felt as if the same old song was playing over and over again to me: “Why did I decide to leave my marriage?” Each time I gave her an answer that I was proud of – refusing to talk about my ex-husband in an ill manner. I spent hours and days on end explaining that I was not happy with my marriage. I loved myself enough, and even more importantly, I was trying to move on with my life on a positive note. But these responses were not enough to appease her pressing need for her own justification of my divorce.
It took me five months of endless struggling to realize that all she wanted was a justified explanation that made sense to her. We all often look for justification in others’ actions, to rationalize their decisions. Through this experience I learned that trying to justify someone else’s actions is often impersonal and selfish. I learned that being disrespectful of other’s decisions because of our own system of values and beliefs is not only wrong, it is judgmental. My mother’s pressing need to understand why I wanted a divorce was nothing more than a way to find faults in either me or my ex-husband based on her own system of values.
Despite our altercation, this is one of the most beautiful lessons I have learned. As humans, we often try to make sense of others situations based on our own reality. While in actuality, it is so simple and beautiful to accept things unconditionally, the way they are for each individual person. But we can still learn from other people’s perceptions and opinions as well. One of my closest friends stated this beautifully, “Others’ opinions and actions are great tools to help us understand ourselves and make some sense out of all this supposed reality.”