Monday, April 05, 2010
Learning From My Own Beautiful History
"Whenever you run away, whenever you lose your faith, it's just another stroke of the pen on the page. A lonely ray of hope is all that you'll need to see a beautiful history." -Plumb, Beautiful History
Anybody who knows me really well knows that I've been holding on to that lonely ray of hope for the last week. Well, I'm glad I've held on because I'm proud to report that I had a light bulb moment last night and I was able to actually use the lesson learned from the last week's reminiscence, nostalgia, and general regret. I do have a "beautiful history" and I'm doing my best to learn from every minute of it. I don't want to go into details because they're incredibly personal to me, but I can give you an idea of what went down by telling you three things:
1. There were two particular situations in my life that were frustrating me, but I was terrified to speak up about them because I felt like speaking my mind about how scared/frustrated I was would be "uncalled for." I was afraid my feelings would be met with opposition, anger, etc... In my mind I had three choices: speak up and hope for a resolution, run away from the issues and wonder what might have changed had I spoken up, or keep quiet about my feelings and be miserable.
2. I remembered a time in the past that I ran away. I remembered the way it made me feel. I remembered the hopelessness and the denial and the years of wondering why I'd not said something, why I'd not respected myself enough to realize that I had a right to hope for something more and the responsibility to approach relationships with a give-and-take mentality rather than a "how can I keep you from leaving me" mentality. That mentality killed some relationships in my life. That mentality sucks. I lived in it so hardcore that I didn't even realize I was still doing it. (I'm not just talking about romantic relationships here. Friendships can die this way too!) So after realizing that there were some places in my life that I still needed to speak up, I wanted to do just that.
3. I had some really honest and thought-provoking conversations with a couple of people in my life and I let them know how I felt. They may get angry once they've realized that I'm serious about what I had to say. They may leave. BUT - they may honor my feelings and try to meet me in the middle. Who knows? We'll see what happens. The point is, regardless of what THEY do with what I had to say, I valued myself enough to buck up and SAY IT.
Reliving the past has kicked my tail this week, but it's also taught me that I have a right and a responsibility to talk about my feelings with the people who matter to me most. Relationships in all shapes and forms are supposed to be give and take. In order to have true joy, and to live a full life, and to experience things in life the way I believe they were created to be experienced, I need to stop being afraid to take. Yesterday, I took my first step to conquering that fear and today I'm celebrating the victory.
Have you come to the realization that you are valuable enough to give your feelings a voice? Move through the fear and speak your mind if you're unhappy about something. Regardless of the outcome, the feeling of knowing that you care enough about yourself to pursue a fully joyful existence is PRICELESS. I may still be hurting, hoping, thinking too much, regretting, dreaming, kicking myself, throwing temper tantrums, crying, and dancing like a crazy person to release the pain... but I feel better today because I know I stood up for myself for once in my life, and it felt good.
(Today's photo is something I made this weekend as a way to process some emotions. it helped a great deal to cope via art instead of hurting myself! ANOTHER victory!)