Sunday, January 5, 2014
Finding My Perspective
I was practicing the fake-it-'till-you-make-it strategy until yesterday morning when a friend sent me a text message asking how I was doing. I emotionally vomited all over my reply to her then immediately felt ridiculous. I even said at one point, "I'm a fucking broken record." Dammit, Wendi. Enough already!
Having the awesome friends that I do, she demanded I sit under the dinning room table to get a different perspective. She wanted a picture to prove I did it, too, so there was no getting out of it. Reluctantly, I moved the chairs and climbed under the table. Immediately I felt like a kid. It seemed silly but that was the point. I started laughing in the midst of all of the tears and that's exactly what she was going for.
As the day progressed I found that I was able to bring myself back to the moment by using the mantra, "Be here now." With that, I was able to recognize and finally stop those old thought patterns by really taking a look at them. Now, lately I've been working hard on letting go of some feelings around my past but I am finding an intense resistance.
What I finally realized yesterday is that I don't have to let those feelings go in order to move on. Letting them go isn't going to help me forgive myself. Forgiving myself and allowing myself to hold on to those feelings, the good feelings, the feelings of love for those who are no longer in my life, is something that I can do. Really, why would I want to let good feelings go, unless I was allowing them to hold me back on my path? I don't have to allow that to happen.
Knowing I can, or rather, giving myself permission to forgive myself and still have love for those who I hurt while also giving myself permission to be happy is a perspective I have really needed in all of this. While it's one I've seen, it's also one that I have had to remember over and over until I finally got it. Holding on to those feelings doesn't mean I'm dwelling on the past, it simply means that I can still love them and hold a place in my heart for them without it being associated with sadness. They can simply be feelings that feel good.
You know that saying, "It's okay to be sad sometimes"? Well, it seems silly, but, it's also okay to be happy. Oddly enough, it's a permission that I have to give myself every day until I really do get it. Until I not only get it but fully accept it and embrace it for myself.
I am not a bad person. I am a good person who makes mistakes and who is learning from them. Forgiving myself does not mean forgetting about what I did and moving on like it never happened. Forgiving myself means the end of beating myself up and fully embracing the lessons learned from making those mistakes then using them to become a better person. Accepting my humanness and letting go of the idea of perfection.
Life is about making mistakes. It's what we do after those mistakes that matter. Holding myself accountable, apologizing where needed, asking for forgiveness, forgiving myself and not only seeing the lessons in all of it but actually learning from those lessons is what really matters.
All of the people in my life are mirrors reflecting back at me. Stopping to really look into those mirrors and seeing, really seeing, the lessons they have for me is a tremendous gift I can give to my future self. I am so grateful for them. All of them.