You know, I really don't like to hear whining. That's a very negative thing for me to say. I'm sorry. I've always been an objective person, I think. Maybe to excess. This character trait looks like naivete at times; I know. I've been accused of wearing rose-colored glasses on more than one occasion. I expect the best from people. Discussions with undertones of negativity usually spur my brain to jump to the most positive aspect it can find - and then it follows that thread on a more encouraging trail.
As I've mentioned in past posts, I always try to keep it positive. Yes, always. (Let's emphasize the word TRY there, also. EVERYONE has issues; and I'm not exempt, believe me!) Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat... and especially Facebook - I use my social media feeds to connect with my friends and family. Of my 650+ friends on Facebook, less than a handful of them are people I have not met in person, or communicated with in some other form (outside of Facebook). I am acquainted with them all! Most of them know me as a "put your best foot forward" kinda gal. I like it that way. How could this new grandma who posts all those cute pics of her family be a negative Nelly? I don't think so.
My personal journal entries are even pretty positive. I won't call myself out directly on things I've done wrong... even in private. I always jump right to the most positive solution I can find for the issue at hand and start writing about that, sparing myself the negative self-talk. What good would THAT do? It's less stressful. It's how I cope. I don't know where it came from, but it works for me... most of the time.
So, what on earth was going on in my last post (The Purpose of Struggle)?! It really was the most negative thing I've ever published. Comments about always identifying with the victim side of my personality, hiding the real me from everyone, not wanting to spend time with my own kids - SO not me! I was whining. I was complaining. I was wallowing. And... I'm not sorry.
I am not sorry, because it's who I really am. I don't like to (or want to) hide the REAL me. What you see is what you get. That's what I learned from that post. If anything, I feel bad for not reaching out to someone at the time when that all happened. I can't apologize for spilling my guts to you guys here on my website though. These are exactly the kinds of articles I've always wanted to write; but couldn't figure out how to, without being offensive. I have a lot of experiences to discuss - negative ones. I am a REAL person. I have REAL issues. And, I think I've figured out some pretty positive, workable answers for some of those issues. With my overly-objective personality trait, I can put an optimistic spin on almost anything. I feel like that is a gift I have been given. I feel like I should use this ability to help others. Does that make sense?
I have received several private messages, phone calls, and even had personal, face-to-face visits with people after writing about certain topics on my site. They have all been positive responses and thank yous. I am seriously humbled... and encouraged. Not to tip the scale into bragging; but, I am so happy to turn this seemingly negative character trait of mine - "those rose colored glasses" - into a constructive, encouraging counseling tool. Taking this route has enabled me to learn lessons from my own stupid mistakes, as well as the unavoidable challenges of life; and then, turn around and help others clear the same hurdles that I knocked over. I think that is the epitome of WIN/WIN!
I stopped making typical New Year's resolutions years ago. Instead, I am resolving to be as REAL as possible... all the time, not just this year. If that means showing my negative side to the outside world once in awhile, so be it. It's me. It's who I am - flaws and all! (Well... some of them. Lord knows you don't need to hear ALL about my bad side.) If I can figure out a way to make that undesirable situation smell like roses... you bet you'll see it here first. I promise! For the times that I just can't dress it in upbeat clothing, I'm sorry. You're going to hear about it anyway, if I think it will help. As for the rest - not sorry. In fact, I'm happy to help.
I write. A LOT. You might not think so, because very few articles have shown up on this site... where I keep promising to add more. My writing is mostly personal. I have journals packed full of the meanderings of my mind. Lately, I've been struggling with a few things, so pages and pages have been filled. It's my therapy. Occasionally, I will have a break-through, like I did this morning; and I feel an urgent need to share with my close friends who may benefit also.
Let's get right to it; shall we?
At the tail-end of this past summer, matters of the heart suddenly jumped to the forefront of my everyday life. After seven years of desert conditions, it felt like giant waves of cool, refreshing water just filled every dry, cracked area of my heart. Yep! I met someone. It was wonderful while it lasted! Then it was over. Just like that. My point has nothing to do with the actual relationship itself, so those details are not important here. I will tell you, it was good. I have emerged with a fascinating new friend, whom I will always think of fondly.
Because the relationship was always positive, I found it very difficult to cope with the loss. I am a deeply emotional person, and he was... not. It's okay. People are different. Honestly, I think that was the attraction. You know what they say about opposites. I went through all the stages: denial, rationalization, self-deprecation, blame, anger, hurt... A close, personal friend of mine could tell you what a roller coaster of personalities I have been over the past several weeks.
I believe all of this is a good thing. Those steps are important. They should not be left out. Healing is messy sometimes. Okay, it is probably always messy if we're honest. But, healing is the end goal. It must take place before moving on. You can't drag all of your old wounds around with you into the next relationship. It will be flawed right from the start. Every new person you meet will have to deal with your old hurts... directly or indirectly. That is not fair to either one of you. Some people get stuck here, and decide all relationships are hurtful, so they stop hoping. I refuse to do that. I know I am not here on this earth to be miserable.
Here is where I tell you, there is always a silver lining. Always. You have to look for it. Sometimes the clouds are so dark, and so big that it's hard to see past them. But... they are movable. They're not solid. You can push through them, or skirt around them. They really only look like monsters. It's an illusion. Has anyone ever told you, "This too shall pass"? Believe them! It's true!
I have a very objective inner voice. It likes to play hide and seek though. Fortunately, it has very good timing. Just when I think, 'I can't do this. It's hopeless', my voice tells me, 'You've got this! Have faith in yourself.' That's what happened this morning.
Here is the analogy that played out in my journal:
Your heart is like your child. It is YOURS to take care of, nurture, teach. It is your responsibility to protect it. You are its caretaker. Just like your very own child, there will come a time when you need to let it go out on its own, to find the place where it belongs. You cannot place it there. It has to find its own way. If you truly love your heart, you will be less likely to just let it go prematurely. You'll weigh the decisions affecting your heart more carefully. You'll watch out for its well-being. What it boils down to is... self love. You have to love yourself first. If you don't, your heart will not be prepared for the great big, real world out there.
Okay, so this all sounds a little daunting. No matter how you come to parenting, at some point you realize this is your baby... literally! It's your ballgame. You call the shots. You are in control. You have to be. Yes, it is a huge responsibility to parent your heart; but, there are also tremendous rewards waiting for you. I fervently believe this! Parenting requires faith.
One of my favorite quotes: "What if I fall?" "Oh, but my darling, what if you fly?"
If you've been nurturing, paying attention to what your heart's needs are along the way, it will grow wings. When you get to that jumping off point, you'll be able to fly.
Up to this point in my life, I can tell you... my heart has only experienced this wonderful, soaring flight pattern once or twice. I've had a few false starts, and had to fly the plane back to the runway for refueling. And, I've had some pretty long flights, full of turbulence. I've even crash-landed a few times. But, I refuse to close the airport just because life gets rough sometimes.
As for those hurts and scars - healing. Healing takes time and attention. This applies to all kinds of grief. Some things are just not in your control. I've lost a few loved ones in the past couple years. I thought my heart would break right in half, and be unrepairable. It's hard when you can't control the outside situations that affect your heart. The key is to build up your heart to be strong. When things like that happen, you'll be able to withstand the blow. It's like wearing a bullet-proof vest. Yes, there will be bruises, but you won't die.
Love yourself. Nurture your heart. Be a good parent. Don't stop caring about other people. These things make your heart strong. When the time comes... you'll be ready for take off! ;)
As for me, I can now return to my regularly scheduled life. All those emotions have been sorted out and placed in their respective cubbies. They make sense to me now. Sometimes, one of them will crawl out and try to wreak havoc; but, because I'm paying attention, I can wrangle it back to where it belongs without too much trouble, hopefully. In the meantime, I will be preparing for the next... or last flight.