POST #5 from BOOK 4:
“An Entertaining Collection of Life’s Simplest Solutions”
(If I felt pushed around by life)
“Your English is very good Dom.”
“Thank you, but it is strictly text book,” said Dominique. “In fact, I have been trying to understand some of the strange phrases in your language.”
Dominique was a French exchange student, who was staying with Barbara and her family. The two women were in the kitchen.
Barbara asked, “Is there a particular phrase that is giving you trouble?”
Dom nodded, as she poured a soda.
“I hear people say the words I have to. They say, ‘I have to go to work’, ‘I have to go shopping’, or ‘I have to leave now.’”
Barbara set her own drink on the counter and said, “Yes, well we have to do these things.”
Dom shook her head and countered, “But it sounds as if someone is making you.”
“What do you mean?” Barbara asked.
“Well, consider shopping. You do not have to go to the market do you?”
Barbara laughed and said, “If I did not go, we would be very hungry very soon.”
Dom nodded slowly, as she said, “Yes, but that is it exactly. There is a choice between shopping and hunger. You do not have to go; no one is making you.”
“Yes, I see that, but there are some have to’s in this world.”
She glanced at her watch and exclaimed, “Look at the time! I have to go pick up the kids.”
Dom laughed, and then Barbara joined her.
“But I really do have to pick them up,” she said, gathering her purse and keys.
Later that evening, Barbara and Dominique were curled up on the couch, in front of the fire. Barbara’s husband was at a meeting, the children in bed.
Dom was saying, “You must understand that throughout childhood, my mother kept repeating the idea that life is choice, which is why the words have to bother me.”
Not every situation is choice,” objected Barbara. “What about picking up my children from pre-school today? I had to do that.”
“Of course you did, because you love your children; but the choice was there.”
Barbara laughed and said, “Yes, I could have chosen to leave them and move to Australia.”
“I know you are joking with me, but there are mothers who have left their children before and others that will do so in the future.”
“Point taken, but…” Barbara’s voice trailed off, and then she said, “There are times when I would prefer not to do something, but I do it because I have to.”
“Well, there is my part-time job as a receptionist. I do not always feel like going, but I cannot just take the morning off.”
Dom leaned forward, as she said, “Why did you take the job?”
“For the extra money.”
“Right, your choice is to have the extra money. Going to work, even when you do not feel like it, supports that choice.”
“Your job is like a class I have at school,” Dom continued. “I do not like it but choose to go because I need it for my degree.”
Thoughtfully, Barbara asked, “Are you saying that if a have to does not support a choice, we can stop doing it?” She ran her fingers through her hair and then added, “Wait; there is one group that lives a life of have to; children!”
Dom smiled and said, “Yes, life is often presented to children as a have to: come home on time, clean up your room and stop watching television. Of course, they too have a choice. Do it or take the consequences.”
“Okay, okay,” Barbara laughed, lifting her hands in surrender. “I am convinced. I just hope you do not have many more American phrases that puzzle you.”
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ALL 4 BOOKS CONTAIN SOLUTIONS LIKE:
*Caught: If I do what I want, I will feel badly; if I do what I should, I will feel angry. And there is only one way out.
* Pusher Vs. Brat – The longest inner battle in history OR Isn’t it time for some inner peace?
* It’s the most common and most destructive emotion; and this story dives all the way in for a true look at “The Anatomy of Guilt.”
* One, very powerful way to save an at-odds relationship–in less than 5 seconds.
AND HERE IS A LINK TO EACH BOOK
One: Dumping, Pretending, Score Keeping and other irritating relationship problems:
Two: Guilt, Forgiveness, Negative Feelings and other irksome problems:
Three: Forgotten Dreams, Denied Desires, Just Can’t Change and other annoying disappointments:
Four: Selfish vs. Self Love, Should vs. Desire, Pusher vs. Brat and other inner-struggles: