Today I am grateful for love. Everyone struggles with relationships at times. There are days it feels like we have to fight to love each other. We are all so intricately bound to each other and so fragile in so many ways that it’s easy to misinterpret everything. We struggle with our emotions and identifying what we are really feeling or we expect those around use to do our feeling for us. Personally, my husband and I have gone back and forth roughly a million times over our 20 years together about whether or not we would stay together, but there is always something that brings us back to each other. Sometimes it’s about putting aside what you think is right and doing what is right for the couple. Other times it is about standing your ground. But the fact that we have always worked it out speaks more than any argument we’ve had. I am grateful for that.
Today I am grateful for compassion. If you’ve been following this blog for a while, you know I have a complicated relationship with my 9-5. Some of that complication is because it is a business and it has evolved into something I’m not always 100% on board with. The other part of that is the business is built in a small-ish community and many of the same people have been there for years so it’s a little like high school with people trying to get recognition or gossiping etc. Regardless, I spent some time with my coworkers and boss on Friday and afterward, my boss sent a message about something going on in my personal life. I felt every ounce of humanity she had in that moment and I had a brief respite of thinking, “All of this will be ok.” I know to trust my instincts (at least the ones that speak this loudly), and that thought (that all will be ok) came so naturally to me that I know it is the truth. The moment was aligned because my mentor in my other role has asked that I open up and I see the need for letting my guard down and forming relationships. That moment with my boss solidified that for me. As much as I need to learn to trust myself, I have to trust others as well—with discernment, of course. I can’t do it all alone.
Today I am grateful for reminders to grow. I feel like I stopped myself from growing 20 years ago from fear…fear of not being able to see things through. Fear of failing at what I wanted to do. Fear of never finding out who I am. And ironically, keeping myself stifled for this long led me down that path of not knowing myself. I tried to stop time because I found myself comfortable in a moment. I experienced a lot of trauma as a child and I realize now that I was trying to create a safe environment for myself in any way I knew how. So I tried to keep things the same. I mean, I’ve been with the same man for 20 years, we didn’t have a child until 5 years ago, I’m back at the same place I worked. And I know now it is time to release those images and that fear and simply, grow. It is time, and while it is uncomfortable, there is so much more waiting on the other side.
Today I am grateful for patience. Piggy backing off of growth, relationships and compassion, I think I finally understand patience. I fixate and replay imagined hurts over and over again, so being with people who function differently helps. We were with my in-laws on Saturday night and it is always such a different vibe than with my family. There is no pretense or expectation of how people behave or discomfort because we are all so socially awkward. As we were driving home, I realized that is the feeling I’ve been looking for my whole life. I briefly felt angry that we didn’t spend more time like this over the years because it feels different when you are with people who own their shit and move on. That is far healthier than harboring and rehashing a lifetime of crap based on what someone did or what we think they felt or said. So now I see my husband differently and I am grateful he has stuck with my stubborn, fixating butt for this long.
Today I am grateful to understand forgiveness. As I mentioned above, I replay the past over and over again in my head. It’s partially genetic (anxiety and depression) and partially training (I can trace it back to at least my great-grandmother’s behavior). Regardless, I see how holding onto what other people did to me, real or imagined, did nothing to the other person. Holding onto what I remember I did also did nothing to the other person. I have been trained to repeatedly beat myself up over the years and my brain needs a break. I truly see the point of forgiveness isn’t for the other person—it is to allow yourself to move on. I used to think that was crap because I was trained to hold onto it like our lives depended on it. I completely see how toxic that is and I am grateful to have people who have been patient enough to help me work through that whether they knew it or not.
Today I am grateful and proud of the small changes I’ve been making. I have a tendency to be an all or none type of person but I’ve seen how that has led to failure or a lack of consistency in the things I really want to do with my life. Then I repeat the pattern of getting angry at myself for not sticking with it and for not being where I want to be. I knew that had to change so I decided to try something different—those small steps I mention quite often. For the past two weeks, I’ve been making really small, focused efforts on breaking some bad habits and adopting healthier ones. And it is working. I read once that you shouldn’t try to eliminate all the “bad” habits immediately, you should incorporate a new one. The brain can handle that easier. And I will say that is true. It feels more complete and whole when you have something to hold on to, and it’s less scary to release the old.
Today I am grateful to create my own security. Things are ok, but I’ve been on edge and highly sensitive. I’ve gotten to take a moment and settle down where I am and get in touch with some of what I’m feeling. I appreciate that I’ve been able to take the time to do that and to have a space of my own to connect. We all carry a lot of weight and I am grateful to be able to create that sense of security for myself.
Wishing you all a wonderful week ahead.