It has been a while since I sat down to write about things that are happening to me internally and spiritually. I have been keeping things closer to myself because I think that this part of my life is so personal that I do not want it judged or criticized by anyone including me. Let me explain. I find this whole “awakening’ or journey or whatever you want to call it so amazing that I do not want any part of it tarnished. But I seem to have come to another place and I think it is fascinating so I want to share it.
So those of you who have been with me for the past year and a half know that this all started out as a visit to help with pain. I would never have imagined where it has taken me because I had no knowledge of what was happening to me. I was truly innocent. I remember at one point that I actually went “wow, who knew about all this and why didn’t anyone tell me?” It is with that thought I decided that blogging has a big place in the world in helping people have a better life. I know I am grateful for this resource for many reasons. I have written 180 posts since February 2013. In the world of blogging, that is not a lot of blogs. I have met some unbelievable people who have helped me immensely on my journey. But the most fascinating part of this is, last year at this specific time, I had no idea of blogs. It is free advice and sharing and has evolved into some real growth for me. My point is still “who knew”? There has to be others who this resource could benefit and it certainly is cheaper and better than some of the self-help and therapy out there. I see it as one of the key resources for whatever change is happening.
I say this emphatically because as I started to peel back layers to expose all that was bound up and poisoning me, I felt lost and afraid. I wanted companionship to assure me that I was not alone. It was scary at first because of all the painful things that I was dealing with. I was also very excited about the journey and what was happening. I looked for social groups and social media. I actually thought they were scarce because I did not know what I was looking for truly. Now I know it is everywhere when you know what to look for. I wanted to join groups but I was hesitant because I had such a poor sense of trust. I did not want to get involved with people who were false prophets, so to speak because I knew this path was so personal. I wanted to support a social media site for people who were specifically going through a therapy I was taking because I wanted to be able to share and heal with others. It would have made me less afraid at times and also I think it would have allowed the healing and the therapy to make sense, sooner.
I want to address that: Healing being frightening. How can something that is supposed to be good for you be frightening? For me, and I can only speak for me, it unearthed some pretty awful situations in my life that I had buried. Some of it was so buried that I did not have all the pieces. How could I heal from things when I did not even know what the cause of the pain was? So slowly and sometimes not so slowly, things came up that I had to deal with. Some of it was pretty awful. But the surfacing of it and exposing to light (metaphorically and real) was the way to get rid of it. My body suffered with pain and I did not understand all of what was happening.
Because of who and what I am, this process was at times so slow and I felt that things were not progressing. It was part of the “old” me who looked to compare myself against others. I wanted what they had and I wanted it now. I was constantly told to slow down. But now I can say this with conviction: this was my way and the way it was supposed to be. I am also an over achiever because I have always felt I had to be better at everything in order to be accepted. It was mostly because I wanted so desperately to fit in. I do not fit in. That outsider feeling has been with me my whole life. I even felt like an outsider in my own family. I am. Now I can add to “I am” with confidence and acceptance because being who “I am” is just fine. And in that acceptance, I find that fitting in does not matter……and the irony is when you stop trying to fit in, there is such peace that fitting in just doesn’t matter. And when you stop struggling, things come to you easier and faster. I had a hard time learning that. But the struggle was part of the journey too.
When things came up they were painful. Very painful in some situations. It was like reliving some of the events all over again. It made me raw. It caused pain that manifested in my body. Real pain. It made me sad and I felt anger at the situation. That anger slowly simmered behind the more prevalent sadness as I tried to deal with what happened. I wanted to heal by trying to heal others. I still do, but it has a different feel to it now. There was a sense of loss as well as gain. I am not sure I can explain that, but who I am changed drastically. I had to grieve. This swirling between anger, sadness and grief spiraled and will continue as I move onward. It is different now because I understand it. This may not have even been possible in the beginning for someone to explain it to me.
As I went through my history, I discovered things I do in the present that are reflections of reactions from my past. I hope that made sense. In other words, I would react to things in my present life based on the past. We all do that. It is learned behavior. However, if the reaction is toxic, it is a good thing to learn a new behavior. That has taken a lot of time to learn and refocus. You hear all the freaking time, you only have the present. I totally disagree because if you only had the present, you would remain in a diaper and drooling. You LIVE in the present, but you react from your past. We do not put our hand on the stove because we learned at some point in our past that is painful. So yes, in the present moment I know putting my hand on the stove is stupid. But if it is not part of my repertoire or learned behavior I am going to put my hand on the stove. We commit the same mistakes over and over sometimes because we do not change the learned behavior. We have to be given an opportunity and the safety to learn a new behavior. Safety is key. I was blessed because I had a safe environment to change and learn. They are now realizing that kids do not learn when they do not feel safe and look at what is happening in our schools. But I digress.
For me, it was also allowing people to cross boundaries and caring so much about their feelings towards me that I allowed improper behavior to me. I empowered them instead of me. I learned this as an infant, folks. Hard to change this if you are not aware. And even if you are aware, and almost 60, it is very hard to change. So slowly I have learned some new behaviors and lessons. It may have seemed fast to my teachers, but not to me. I have a long way to go and no one can convince me that we ever stop learning to be better.
And my reactions have changed as well. I had to learn those new behaviors and accept them. It took building steps and I no way near done. But I have come to a new place in my anger and that may be a bit strong of a word to describe what I am feeling. I am sad-mad. Let me explain. My original anger was at the person, the event(s) and at ME for allowing the things that happened to happen. I relived all the pain all over again. I brought everything to the present. But the difference was I was able to release the pain or at least significantly lessen it. The anger dissipated or actually morphed. At first I was mad at me too. It took a lot of understanding and excellence guidance to teach me to see it differently.
Now I am learning to see inflicted situations that I do not like (a nice way to say “when people piss me off”) that I look at the situation in the present moment and choose my reaction. I step back and become the observer. Am I mad because this is a feeling from my past? Am I mad because this person is doing something that reminds me from my past? AND if they are, am I reacting to them, or my past? I also now have given myself permission to BE mad. That was big. I used to hold it all in until I would erupt at a mild situation. If someone truly pisses me off, it is in the present moment and the action is not acceptable in the present moment, I get mad. What is great is that I do get mad and then move on. I am over it, I do not feel guilty and I do not punish myself for being mad. I have the right to not accept behavior that is unacceptable to me.
It is a lot easier to live and deal with someone who sets these kinds of boundaries. It was a blurry line in my closet relationships and I am sure very confusing to those around me. I realize things had changed when relationships at work had totally turned around and manifested into neutral relationships and actually pleasant. When I do not like something, I make a conscious choice to either let it go because in truth it is not about me, or…. If it is, I deal with it. It is a work in progress in my home life, which erupted to a state of explosion and possible annihilation. Since this is the closest relationship it will take work from both parties.
My anger too has morphed. I do not know if I can explain this well. I was mad because “things” were done TO me. I was mad at the perpetrator and what they did and because I allowed that. I was mad at me. Very mad. It was hard to accept that and then it was hard to forgive all of us. I am still working on me. But, what has changed is my feelings about my innocence that makes me a target, but also make me: me. I do not know if I will ever be able to say with conviction that I understand why people do what they do. So this morphed anger is because they did not CARE about what they did. There was no closure on a lot of what happened in my life. I want to know why they did what they did. I get very upset still when people hurt other people. I stopped watching or reading the news because I get so overwhelmed at the actions of others and the pain they inflict. But…I certainly cannot control the world. I can only control one thing and that is me. So I have to look into my world and find a place where I can accept that things happened and will continue to happen and that I am not ever going to find a reason. I am mad about that, but I will get past it. I WAS mad because people did stuff TO ME, and now I am upset with the insensitivity of others. The first thing creates a victim. The second part is just my empathy surfacing. I am not a victim but I am empathetic. (I am also empathic but that is another story.) A victim is stuck and will not move on to live a glorious life. But I will never not care even if it is me I am caring about. I also get that the people who did stuff continue to make me suffer only in the sense that I allow it. So I am learning to release their transgressions as just part of their crap and let them take it with them. I did not cause what they did, they did. That was big to learn.
I am sure I will be writing more about this. I thought that the best part of the writing this blog was a place to put my thoughts. Truly it is that. But when people write back and support my words, it is truly a gift and blessing. So, as I approach a year of blogging, thanks and love to all of you.
photo by jdemeis@2013