Where I am with Sandy has not been a place that I like. I found myself building up some resentments towards her for what I feel is her ingratitude toward me. Never saying thank you, for example. Not to mention how I feel about how she is handling her choices - the lies, deception, etc. Every time I would think about the situation, I would find myself getting all worked up and being so very negative about her and the whole situation. So yesterday I began to deconstruct the situation, trying to get back to some place that felt good for me where I could be positive in my energies and feelings about her.
The first thing I had to realize and understand is that I need to separate her from her behaviors. I do not in anyway condone her behaviors. She is not acting with integrity. But those are her behaviors, they are not HER. I need to separate my feelings about her actions from my feelings about her personhood.
To take this back down to a point that is positive, I had to ask myself what do I believe that every person deserves? I believe that everyone deserves the right to pursue their own happiness (as long as it doesn't harm anyone else). Every human deserves to be loved and accepted FOR WHO THEY ARE, at a very base and core level. And whether I disagree with her path or not, Sandy is attempting to pursue her own happiness and it is not harming me. I've been letting my beliefs (and they are my beliefs, not absolute truths) get in the way of what I really want for Sandy, and everyone, for that matter. So I am starting where I am.
To put things into a sharper perspective, I recalled how my life changed when Pebbles' best friend died very tragically, nearly five years ago. That event really brought home the point about not sweating the small stuff and in the horrible event that the unthinkable happened to Sandy, would I be happy with myself for not letting her know that I care about her just because she didn't thank me for her Christmas present, et al? Given those set of circumstances, it's pretty easy for me to get to some place where my thoughts and energies about Sandy are positive.
This doesn't mean that I'm going to be doing some grand thing, but what I am willing to do, I want to be able to do with good and positive feelings and energy and no expectation of anything in return. If I've got myself all tangled up in the outcomes with a certain expectation/hope/wish of getting some validation for myself, then I've defeated the purpose. I'll do what I can, even if it's small. I'll start where I am.
Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Listen to Pema Chodron and Start Where You Are.