My dad had a pretty serious health crisis in the last week, which totally sent me for a loop. I now find myself lecturing him endlessly about how he needs to take better care of himself. I end up frustrated because he won’t listen, and he ends up frustrated because I’m bullying him.
I know that I can’t control my dad, but I also know that sometimes I can influence him. And if I can make a difference somehow, and keep him healthy, I sure want to do that.
But at the same time, he is an adult, and has the right to choose his own path in life, and make his own decisions.
Exasperatingly, even ones that I disagree with.
I’ve talked to a few people about this dilemma I’m having about when to push him, and when to back off. On one hand, I’ve heard people share stories of how they’ve had regrets because they didn’t say something when they should have, and the guilt that came with thinking that perhaps you could have done more. On the other, I’ve heard from people who realized that they were destroying their relationships with people they cared about because they wouldn’t accept the decisions that they were making.
How ironic that a relationship can be destroyed because you care so much.
Perhaps keeping in mind the big picture of what you really want – a strong relationship – can help find the balance that allows us to express concern and offer suggestions and then back off and accept that person and their right to find their own way.
Here’s hoping. I’m pretty sure that this is one thing that both dad and I agree on!