Tag Archives: growth

What I Didn’t Say

I really enjoy writing—it’s a passion of mine: my creativity, my art and my release. Generally the topics I write about are inspired by some of the work I’ve done, and continue to do, in my life. Several people have been encouraging me to get deeper and to really delve into what I write about and I have been trying to do that. Sometimes I think I do a pretty good job. Other times I try and miss the mark, either because I’m wanting to post and not quite ready, or because a post topic hits a little too close to home and I clam up.

I feel I should go back to my last post to expand upon it. I chickened out, frankly, and left quite a lot unsaid.

What I didn’t say, is that this concept of changing relationships has been a really hard thing for me to manage in my life. It’s almost like the roller coaster of weight management. It feels so good when you’re losing, but gaining doesn’t feel so great and even maintaining is a frustration at times. It has almost been similar for me with relationships. Establishing a new relationship feels good. When it deepens it feels great, though can feel scary as well. When the relationship changes, or ends, it doesn’t feel good. A part of me often feels rejected even if the change has nothing to do with me. Then I seek solace with my friends Ben and Jerry, but that’s another post..

I have wanted to work on this, especially as I haven’t always handled it well. That’s an understatement, though I think, and I hope, I’ve gotten better with it. I have been working a lot on communication, both sharing how I am feeling and being open to the feelings of others when shared. It’s a learning process for sure, and while I’m proud of where I’m at now, I still have those “facepalm” moments where I want to bow my head and just smack my forehead with my palm.

I also really struggle when other people choose to not share their feelings and I have a tendency to take things personally. Growing up in an abusive home, I developed a strong antenna: I learned to sense the vibe in the house around me to know if I was safe. Any whiff of tension set my radar in a tizzy and I was on watch for what might come next. I look to interpret people’s actions as a way of understanding how they are feeling, and that’s often not a good indicator at all.

Fight or flight.

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11-20-09 © mikkelwilliam

What served so well to keep me safe as a child doesn’t serve me as well now, and often leads me to feel concern or panic. I assume what got my radar in a tizzy is either due to me, or going to impact me and my adrenaline kicks in. I have a tendency to take things personally, as I am interpreting actions as thoughts and feelings and reacting, instead of connecting with my adult self to think instead of feel.

Only now, twenty-five years after I left my house, am I able to ask the question, “What is going on here?” Sometimes, and it’s a real effort to do. I have to work through the panic that bubbles up in my chest, wrestle with it to reduce it to a level where I am capable of stepping outside of the fear and the trauma and be in the moment to handle the current situation as the confident adult that I am learning to be.

Sometimes.. and I’m still learning. I’m grateful to my friends and family for sharing this journey with me, and for helping me on my clunky baby steps through this process of learning and growth.

Maybe I should have titled this, “How to write something that makes you feel like you’re walking down Main St. in your panties.”

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Winding Roads and Moving Forward

I started this blog with the simple goal of doing something I’m passionate about, writing. I decided to write about things that I enjoy and that challenge me like attaining balance (work-life balance in particular, as that’s been a real struggle for me), seeking happiness and pursuing my passions. After I was writing for a little while, I thought that some people may actually enjoy my musings, so I decided to share them. I am passionate about writing, and the act of self-expression is very liberating. Particularly as expressing my feelings is something that I’m still learning to do.

I’m so thrilled by the comments that I get in the blog, on my Facebook page or in private messages. I appreciate that some of what I write touches people and that you can relate. I went through so much of my life thinking that I was different, and that I was the only one growing up in an unhappy and abusive family. I spent so much energy plastering a smile on my face to hide what I was really feeling that I lost my ability to feel for a long time.

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Opening the door to feel again was both good and bad. It wasn’t easy trudging through the past, though I’m glad I did the work to get me to where I stand now. I have learned that I don’t really need to process everything to heal. I need to forgive others, and particularly to forgive myself, acknowledge the feelings and choose to move on. Recognition and forgiveness have allowed me the freedom to mourn and let go.

“In the long run, we shape our lives, and we shape ourselves. The process never ends until we die. And the choices we make are ultimately our own responsibility.” ~Eleanor Roosevelt

I don’t intend for this blog to be a diatribe about all that I’ve been through, but more an outlet for things that are going through my mind. I feel like I’m processing things on overdrive and the more I open myself to the possibilities the more I’m growing and experiencing. The more I’m growing, the more I’m attracting like-minded people that I can continue the work with. Manifestation is a beautiful thing, especially when you feel you deserve the beauty and joy that you draw to you.

I can be pretty hard on myself, especially when I find I’m repeating behaviors that I’m not happy with. I’ve heard people say this is like falling in a pothole over and over. Instead of doing this, I’m focusing on being grateful for those experiences that help me recognize that I can make better choices. I can choose to try something different.

“Until a person can say deeply and honestly say, “I am what I am today because of the choices that I made yesterday,” That person cannot say, “I choose to otherwise.”” ~Stephen R. Covey

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The Path Through the Woods

“When one door closes, another opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened for us.” – Alexander Graham Bell

Fall is my favorite season. I loved everything about it when I lived near Boston. I loved the kaleidoscope of stunning hues of red, gold, orange interspersed through greens, browns and blues. The bright red shock of birch and oak leaves and the cool breeze becoming more crisp while whipping off the water, causing the fallen leaves to stir.

ImageAutumn is a magical time of transition and beauty.

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Like the seasons, relationships change too. They can grow closer or more distant, eventually dissipating like the fall leaves sprinkling the ground. Each leaf was once a thing of beauty that will be taken back up to feed the tree to grow new branches and leaves. The cycle repeats.

Late fall, once all the leaves were on the ground and the trees were bare, before the first snow fall always made me sad and nostalgic for what once was.

Sometimes it seems that closing doors bring about the energy that it takes to open a new door. I’m not going to offer a biopic of all of my failed relationships, but I’ve learned that relationships often have a duration and that it’s ok—because from each I learn new things about myself and others. Each relationship prepares me for the next in its own way. And there can be joy in cherishing the wonderful memories instead of sorrowfully clinging to what once was.

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Doors open when we let go of relationships that no longer serve us. Learning to look towards the opening door instead of longingly at the closed one isn’t easy.

It’s also not easy to reopen closed doors. I recently received an email from someone I considered a very close friend. We had drifted despite my best efforts to maintain the friendship. I realized that as much as I cared, I couldn’t, and didn’t want to, do it on my own. I said goodbye in my way and decided to remember her with love instead of hurt.

Her email asked me to forgive her for being a bad friend, and for her lack of communication over the last couple of years. It offered no excuses just a simple apology and a statement of her feelings.

I’ve missed her friendship, and when I allowed myself to realize that the distance between us wasn’t all about me, it allowed me to let her go when she needed that. Then it enabled me to welcome her with open arms when she came back. I don’t know where things will lead, but that’s ok. That’s really not the point.

Live Like Today is Your Last

Last week on September 11th, I was reading a blog post by Lissa Rankin with the same heading. It got me thinking, both about all of the changes in my life since that date that we will never forget, but also about the lessons that I have learned as a result of that day.

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I remember standing in a conference room at work near Boston, staring in awe at the television, not really understanding what I was seeing. I remember thinking that I had been on that flight from Boston a few months earlier. I remember wanting to reach out to my boyfriend for reassurance that there was still good in the world. I remember feeling numb for days and feeling like the world had tipped upside-down.

Since that fated day, and because of it, I’ve learned so many lessons.

Letting Go

It’s important to let go of things that don’t serve you. I’ve let go of a lot in the last ten years: the anger from my childhood, unrealized dreams, unhealthy relationships and a long list of things that I thought I should do. Anger and hatred breed more of the same and aren’t healthy. While these feelings may be unavoidable in small doses, I can choose to let them go. Instead, focusing my energy on loving myself and being true to myself has served me well.

Focus on the Positive

Look at all of the amazing things that people do in the face of a tragedy: post-September 11, earthquake in Haiti, the tsunami in Japan and so many countless other natural and unnatural disasters. People have banded together to face the aftermath. People have a beautiful and giving side as well, and it’s challenging times that remind us of that.

Importance of Connection

I felt like my life was invaded by monsters on September 11, 2001. The news portrayed such horrific images that it was hard to close my eyes, as they were all I could see. It was my connection with other people that kept me grounded in reality and in the importance of the wonderful people in my life, allowing me to lean when I needed it. Be sure to tell people you love them frequency. It’s so important to live in the moment and be grateful for those around us.

Drop in the Pool

Have you ever noticed something when you see someone laugh, a really deep, infectious laugh that you feel the impulse to smile? A small drop of positive energy is like a drop into a pond, and can cause ripples that continue to spread out to others. We can choose to spread positive to those around us. This is something I thing about every day, in terms of how I influence others around me.

The Big Stones

My priority has always been on doing good, helping others and my relationships with friends and family. Yet, my focus was always on my job. I can’t change decisions I’ve made in the past, but I can certainly consider the decisions before me to ensure that they align with the things that are most important to me.

The past cannot be undone, much as we may wish we could. I think the best way that we can pay homage to the tragedy of September 11th is to do better: be kind, be grateful, be forgiving. I think it’s important to learn from difficult and painful experiences, and to put good out there to create more of the same.