“Every forward step we take we leave some phantom of ourselves behind.” –John Spalding
There are some people who knew all too well the person I was – before I started to focus on becoming a more emotionally healthy person through personal growth. I know that a person can’t do the kind of work I have on myself and remain unchanged. However, for whatever reason, these people cling to the toxic images in their minds of my former self. I know that each day brings more depth to my spirituality, and with that comes change.
A friend of mine once shared with me that he begins each day by saying out loud, “O.K. God, surprise me!” Although each day brings new challenge, the one thing it won’t bring is perfection. I know that each day I can expect a mixed bag of experiences and all kinds of emotions to match.
If I begin to feel discouraged because of someone’s inability or refusal to see how different I have become, or even negative about life in general, I cultivate an attitude of gratitude by looking back at how far I have come. I remind myself, its progress I’m looking for in myself, not perfection. There’s always something to be grateful for, including the ability to be grateful!
- The Priceless Gift of Personal Growth (christophersmark.wordpress.com)
- “A Letting Go” for the Holidays (christophersmark.wordpress.com)
- Damn Heels Hurt! When In Pain, Who Knows Best Where it Hurts? (christophersmark.wordpress.com)
- S.T.A.R. A Tool to Choose Healthy Alternatives (christophersmark.wordpress.com)
- For All This We Can Be Grateful and Joyful (christophersmark.wordpress.com)
The Man in the Glass
When you get what you want in your struggle for Self, and the world makes you King for the day… Just go to the mirror and look at yourself and see what that man has to say. For it isn’t your father or mother or partner upon whose judgment must pass, the fellow whose verdict counts most in your life is the one staring back in the glass…
You may be like Jack Horner and chisel a plum and think you’re a wonderful guy – But the man in the glass, he weighs you in as a bum if you can’t look him straight in the eye. He’s the fellow you please, never mind all the rest, for he’s with you clear to the end. And you’ve passed the most dangerous, difficult task if the man in the glass is your friend.
You may fool the world on the pathway of years and get pats on the back as you pass, but the last reward will be heartache and tears if you’ve cheated the man in the glass.
— Author Unknown
“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 is a true proverb, that if you live with a lame man, you will learn to halt.” — Plutarch
Working through the memories of childhood is a task each of us eventually faces. Addiction in a family system contributes to addiction along the way and affects our own individual addiction(s) and creates drama in life as adults.
I have realized that we can decide whether it’s important for us to know if and how addiction has operated in our families. We can gain that knowledge as we need it. But isn’t it enough simply knowing the addiction is real, that it’s present in family systems, and that we didn’t cause it? Knowing we didn’t cause it helps to stop blaming one’s self.
The important thing I have found is to focus on my own recovery. I cannot change a thing about my family or the past. But, I have found I can change my attitude toward them. When ever we feel caught up in the addiction or drama in a family members’s behavior, we can bring our attention back to ourselves. That way, resentment and fruitless anger yield to honesty and humility. Detaching from the things we cannot change, forgiving the harm done to us, and letting go of the past are important parts of our healing.