One is, as One is.
“One is as one is, and the love that can’t encompass both is a poor sort of love.” — Marya Mannes
I have struggled to find the way to forgive myself and others. Forgiving isn’t easy. Writing this blog isn’t easy. I am carrying so much resentment and hurt around with me. In fact, when I’ve been deeply hurt or victimized by someone else, I may feel I can’t forgive. Yet, for my peace of mind and to let go, I may finally try. It’s been suggested by a close friend that forgiveness is easier under certain conditions: a positive connection with the person we want to forgive, a deep relationship with the Universe, and lots of time.
Forgiveness is often preceded by grieving fully; we must first heal from the harm that was done to us. Through the honesty, power and wisdom gained through personal growth we are gently led through the process of forgiving ourselves and others. Many of us have also experienced the Universe’s unconditional forgiveness which gives us a model. I acknowledge my responsibility for my actions, I let go of resentment, I grieve, and, finally, I forgive.
- Where There Is No Forgiveness (christophersmark.wordpress.com)
- Saving Yourself (christophersmark.wordpress.com)
- Learning to Forgive (socyberty.com)
- The Power of Releasing Resentments: A Holiday and New Year’s Gift to Yourself and Others (psychologytoday.com)
“Maybe you can’t see the storm that lies just ahead. But I can. Believe me, it’s there.”
Confronting issues openly and honestly can be difficult. Many, like me are afraid of the reaction they’ll get from the person they are confronting. With that fear firmly embedded in one’s psyche, looking the other way and acting like the problem isn’t there becomes the easy way out. Or so it seems. Looking the other way really doesn’t make matters easier at all. In fact, it makes them worse. Problems often just don’t go away without some action.
I haven’t faced some very big issues and challenges that have been in my life for too long now. But I see clearly that I can’t let these problems linger. In my situation the problems have grown and the result is more and more hurt to me. I feel fear of the reaction I expect to receive. My fears I know after giving it long thought are grounded in reality and not based on my imagination. To get myself beyond this fear, I will have to have the necessary support around me to protect me. With my support in place I will face my problems. I must remember that storms don’t last forever. Eventually the sun does shine again, and life was nourished by the rains. I will come out of this a better person.
“And nothing to look backward to with pride and nothing to look forward to with hope.” — Robert Frost
I am growing from, and getting over my sense of lost pride and lost hope. Often, my life seemed poisoned at the very source. I can’t remember a time of innocence, joy, or confidence in myself or in my relationships with others. I was sexually abused when I was a young child. I know the pain from that abuse and the stress associated with “keeping the secret” made me feel unsure of my boundaries and re framed my view of the future to one of anxiety and dread. But things are in fact beginning to change, as I change.
To go forward, I have had to admit to powerlessness. That has been hard for me to do. I must admit that I am powerless to undo the hurt and abuse in my past. And I have learned that I can’t “go it alone”. I have been alone way too long! I have my “new and improved” Self, the Universe, and my close friends to trust and confer with.
I am overcoming my past and turning toward the future with growing hope and trust. And then the present, like the New Year, becomes filled with promise. For those that know me well, also know that this “re framing” was difficult and can share with me the joy in my ability to change my way of thinking.
“No one else can set your boundaries for you.” — Lois J.
Let me start out by saying that I am not an expert at setting boundaries. The setting of healthy boundaries has proven to be my single most challenge I face in my personal growth work. That being said, what I am going to share in this blog is what I have learned to be true about the setting of boundaries, and what I strive to integrate into my daily life.
I have learned that one way to create boundaries with people is to show priorities in our relationships. In the past, I believe that out of my loneliness and neediness, I may have talked to anyone, whether the person wanted to listen or not. In the mixed up world of my uncontrolled bi-polar disorder, I often withheld my true feelings from people close to me, but perhaps spilled them to someone outside my inner circle, say such as my new “best friend” the cashier at Fry’s.
As I now grow in self-esteem, my relationships improve and I act to meet my needs. Then I have a better sense of who everyone is in my life. I make choices in my relationships and take responsibility for them. I learn to bear the pain of boundaries that aren’t respected and enjoy the serenity of those that are.
I no longer need to give myself away in bits and pieces; I know now what it is to feel whole. I can simultaneously have acquaintances, friends, and intimate relationships, both sexual and nonsexual, in my life. I can trust that I will act appropriately and that my boundaries will keep me safe.
I know that there are some people in my life that will doubt the validity of my commitment to this level of understanding of boundaries. But I am a work in progress and this is truly the knowledge that I have gained.
“In order to win, you must expect to win.” That is the secret of success. If you believe in yourself, you can achieve your goals. Belief has the power to transcend all hurdles, real and imaginary. You need faith, despite the stop signs, on the road ahead. These belief quotes give us a new sense of optimism.” – Richard Bach
After going to bed after an evening enjoying the works of Emerson and Longfellow, I’d like to share some of my thoughts:
Before going to sleep for the night, try journaling about five things in life you are grateful for.
Stay away from anyone who chooses to take the negative approach to life. Those negative people are making the wrong choices; they can’t even accept their consequences of the choices they make.
Finish every day and be done with it. Say to yourself, “I have done what I could. Some blunders, some absurdities undoubtedly crept in; I’ll forget them as soon as I can. Tomorrow is a new day; I shall begin it well and serenely and with too much joy and spirit in my heart to be cumbered with my old nonsensical ways. This day, is all that is good and fair. It is too dear, with my hopes and invitations, to waste any of energy on yesterdays.”
Look not mournfully into the past. Remind yourself, “I know it doesn’t come back again. Instead I shall wisely improve the present. The present is mine. I will go forward into the future, though shadowy, I’ll have a brave heart.”
Make this a daily affirmation to begin each day, “I will do what I can with what I have, and where I am.”
- Of Kindness and Of Love, The Color of Kindness [Melinda M. Sorensson] (ecademy.com)
- Attitude is Everything (socyberty.com)
- Learning Life’s Lessons (everydaygyaan.com)
“Childhood is the kingdom where nobody dies.” — Edna St. Vincent Millay
Children feel themselves all-powerful in an infinite world. Nothing disappears, nothing passes away. In our earliest days, our pleasures were limitless and timeless. Reality was only an obstacle to gratification.
In our drama, we often remain fixed in a similar pleasure-oriented world. We don’t like it when someone says “no” to us. We sometimes try to manipulate reality to suit our own purposes. We may look upon others as objects of gratification. In our fantasies, we often recreate the omnipotent, timeless world of childhood, where we are in total control. Our pleasures know no boundaries.
We need to stay childlike and full of wonder, but at the same time, we must put away those childish fantasies. We can be creative, without believing ourselves immortal or invincible. We can return to the kingdom of our earliest days without playing the little tyrannical ruler.
Remember the uniqueness of our own childhood and leave behind its self-centeredness. Love of others and love of life is the antidote to the narrow circle of our dysfunction.
- Christmas within the Eyes of a Child (rock-kool-dadie.blogspot.com)
- Lego Universe’s childhood innocence-preserving measures outlined (joystiq.com)
- The Connection Between Childhood Perfectionism and OCD (brighthub.com)
It was the “Mother of all Depressions.” For four days I was unable to get out of bed. I couldn’t eat. I didn’t care about anything. I wanted to die. Really; I found myself hating my life so much that I began to think putting an end to it was the answer. A tape with the obscene mantra, “I hate my life, I hate my life, I hate my life” began to play in my mind. The last time I felt similarly was one dreadful July 4th five years ago, when I found myself being admitted to an Adult Psychiatric Unit.
Experiences can sometimes begin to feel familiar to that time five years ago. Questions from family or friends about drug use, an uncontrollable anxiety over issues that later seem to end up as the small and minor challenges of a life in hyper drive. Family members and friends have no idea how to handle the evil, bitchy side that comes with depression. We fight, scream, cry and make threats. The choices I make when depressed are often not at all healthy and incongruent with physical or emotional well-being. Sometimes, the thoughts inside my head secretly struggle with the ways close friends have changed and seemingly moved on with their life. I may feel my life, in comparison to theirs, isn’t moving.
When I’m depressed, I want something; a pill, a hit of dope; SOMETHING that will stop my ability to feel. I will listen to recorded pipe organ music for hours and hours on end. The music of Bach, played on a pipe organ usually relaxes me. Those in my close inner circle have involved themselves with attempts to get me to do something to pull myself out of that dark evil place and back into the light. With each attempt I often hand them some bullshit line like, “Sure, I’ll get up and take the dogs for a nice long walk” or, “Yeah, and I’ll eat something.” What did I actually do? I went back to bed, but only after laying some feigned guilt trip about how much I may have missed them lately and how terrible I feel for the things I do that drives them away.
My pathetic actions give them yet another glimpse of how capable I am of beating the fucking shit out of myself for the ways I have hurt them in the past. Sometimes, family and friends threaten to close our relationships. “I have forgiven you and you should take a look at what you need to do to forgive yourself” a close friend once said. When this friend said that to me I began to know how familiar my interactions with them could feel. It seems I can be a cycling, emotional train wreck seeking solutions or fixes to my problems, from them.
Gradually, I have found myself coming around, getting back into the light of life and feeling better. A combination of things has worked. I began years ago writing or journaling about thoughts and feelings I experience, being as honest as I possibly can be with myself, in my personal journal. This process of sharing has become so comfortable to me, that I often write these same thoughts and feelings in a blog that anyone can read online. I read from many books that have sustained me through some tough times of painful personal growth. I pray.
From loved ones, I have received many gifts: words, though sometimes harsh, have raised my awareness of my behaviors. Love and “big momma type” hugs are a tactile way of feeling alive. Time spent sharing experiences or in quiet contemplation with other loved one’s travelling on a similar path of personal growth brings connectedness, and dilutes feelings of isolation. The last gift from loved ones has been their understanding and patience.
Tools learned in earlier cycles of depression are known to work and avert another “Mother of all Depressions”:
- Heightened anxiety is a precursor to thoughts that are not totally based on reality
- Understand self forgiveness
- Accept the way people change and move through life; we all must do the same
- Do not compare your life with anyone else’s
- Be grateful for the loved ones who have stayed by your side and reach out to at least one of them early on in any future cycle of depression
- We can learn to re-frame situations and experiences which may trigger negative thinking
- None of us are ever alone. We will never be alone
I read a blog that inspired me to begin sharing my journey away from depression. I have linked to it below. It was blogged by “Hope Despite Depression” at blogspot and is titled “Grateful for Depression?” http://hopedespitedepression.blogspot.com/2010/11/grateful-for-depresson.html
May we never allow depression to consume ourselves as much as it has in the past, ever again. May we begin to see our life experiences in different ways.