Today I am grateful for healing relationships. I had a long talk with my sister yesterday and, without even trying, managed to clear up some misconceptions I had about how she operated. We were speaking of individual and shared traumas (which is hard enough to deal with let alone with family) and we were discussing a really dark period in our lives when the light bulb went on that none of the behavior is intentional. I had been operating under the belief that the pain was so great she created something else when in reality she completely made herself forget—so she tried to fill it in as best she could. For a long time it felt calculated when, in reality, it was chemical. Knowing that makes it possible and easier to move forward.
Today I am grateful for clear self-delineation. I spent most of last night in a panic attack. Between the conversation rehashing a lot of painful stuff, setting a boundary regarding my son, having a food cheat day, and not being exactly where I wanted to be, my world went a little off kilter yesterday—and I paid for it. I know I can no longer allow emotions to run my decisions because I pay for it every time. I may have been able to recover from it previously, but my body and mind take longer to recover now. Plus they are more reactive to it in the first place—maybe sensitive is a better word. As I continue to build the boundaries and callouses necessary to move forward, I need to take it in moderation. Last weekend I knew I overindulged with gusto, this weekend it was an emotional over indulgence—and neither left me feeling well. I know my boundaries and I have to stick with them.
Today I am grateful for clearer perspective moving forward. Side note, it will never cease to amaze me that when you think you have dealt with a certain facet of your personality that the universe will nearly immediately deliver something to say, “Oh yeah? You sure about that?” Ok, so I have never hidden the dysfunction in my upbringing. Specifically my co-dependency on my parents that has followed me to adulthood. My parents have helped me with so much which I am so appreciative of, but it hindered my growth as much as the expectation of perfection. In fact they would find ways to aide in perfecting things around me. It never dawned on me how I used my physical limitations as a crutch because I was so determined to do things on my own, but I used it as a crutch whenever it came to something not working right or to keep unhealthy relationships because I was afraid no one really liked me. It also never dawned on me how people can have different relationships. I know this is SO selfish, but I had deemed my siblings relationships with my parents as almost sub-par, like they weren’t as close to our parents as I was. Granted it was all subconscious and I never outright thought that, recognizing how my siblings behave with my parents as a healthy function of individuality made me see how sick I was/am. I learned early on to behave exactly as my parents wanted and I thought that was normal. Now I see how defining self and being who you are from an early age is vital—you won’t have to do this crap at middle age.
Today I am grateful to let go. I thought I had been doing a pretty good job going with the flow and I thought I had been doing an even better job of recognizing when I wasn’t. Sometimes it takes a different, outside perspective to show you just how deep that rabbit hole goes. I still placed a lot of blame externally, both for who I am and for my reactions. I am still placing a lot of external focus on perfection. The armor I thought I broke through had merely been cracked and I have a lot of work left to do. For all of the things I believed I was doing right, I still have many layers to break through. There is still a mountain of accountability I need to climb—I was nowhere near the summit. As someone striving to be an example of healing and moving forward, I believed I was further along that road—now I see I’m merely beginning.
Today I am grateful to drop expectation. Following letting go, I now see that I still held onto the outcome when it came to my healing. I guess I never examined or expected to have to go this deep because I initially thought my trauma came from a specific set of circumstances. It turns out those circumstances were only the beginning. Now I look at the self-induced trauma and allow myself to come back to reality which is my failure to accept accountability. I am more than proficient in admitting when I am wrong and I am proud that I have embraced my humanity to know that is normal. But I see how I have, yet again, only taken the briefest of steps toward where I want to be. I’ve been so afraid of letting go of the reins and so focused on how I want things to be that I have failed to take into account the full story of how I got here and what it will take to get where I want to go. I practiced that radical honesty only so far. Now as I have reached another level, I have to take in a new level of honesty and accountability. I have to let go of the outcome I envisioned and be open to what is really coming my way.
Today I am grateful to acknowledge fear. As I sink deeper into this journey, I see my relationships changing. It almost feels like an out of body experience as I see who I want to be and how I’m not fully aligned with that. I see how I still try to control everything including my son’s behavior and I admit now I have been afraid of losing his love. I’ve been afraid of losing everyone’s love. I’ve been afraid of being alone and not accepted. By controlling the outcome, I merely pushed them away faster. So now I ask what I can’t accept about myself. I create space to spend time doing what I love, not in an effort to escape, but to learn and do the work of becoming. It means letting go of everything I know, and I am terrified. I know embracing the unknown will take me where I need to be, but I’m afraid of losing what I know. But I know it is time. This is the precipice; I can either dance around it, pretending that is enough, or I can jump with humor and grace and joy, believing the ladder will appear (or my wings).
Today I am grateful to be exactly where I am. I’ve spent so much of my life out of my own body, locked in my head, planning for things that never happened and coming behind the surprises of life. But I am here. In this moment, I am breathing, I have food, water, clothes, a house, an amazing family, the means to support us, a burgeoning business, and the ability to call the shots in most of what happens next in my life. That is nothing to sneeze at. There will always be struggles but keeping them in perspective is key. This life is as hard as you make it. I’m blessed and I am grateful to be able to share that with those around me. Everything I’ve been through, especially over the last 18 months, has been a blessing. An awakening. And every painful veil that is lifted brings me closer to where I need to be. For now, I’m taking it in and loving where I’m at. Life is good.
Wishing everyone a wonderful week ahead.