Many of you know how far I have come in the last couple months. It has been so nice to start feeling release, relief and the ability to breathe a little more freely again. I am confused though – I know what the turning point was (the wedding) but I haven’t been able to narrow down how I was able to finally stand up and step forward. It’s not that I need to understand, it’s that there is so much a part of me that wants to be able to share it with others, to be able to offer words of encouragement and hope to those still stuck in the trenches, to let them now that it can be different.
I know that when I was lost in my pain, I didn’t want to hear anyone be positive. I just loved hearing things like, “you’ll get through this”, “just be strong”, “it’s not that bad”. That’s not what I needed. Those “truths” aren’t going to help anyone in what seems like a never-ending spiral of darkness; they only makes things worse. What did I want to hear, need to hear? “I understand”, “I get it”, “take the time you need”, “your feelings are valid”, “I’m here for you, even if just to listen”. Do you know how many times I wish someone would have just given me a hug instead of trying to spin impossible things into a positive light? To those of you whose blogs I have commented on, when I write HUGS, I mean it!
So now that I am finding my way to the other side, how do I help others? I know they don’t want to hear the positive things and I understand that more than anyone knows. It has made me look back and try to figure out when the change came for me and how. This is what I think I have learned:
- There is nothing more powerful than facing your fears. This is especially tough if it a person. Even if it doesn’t work out or fix anything, you stood up strong and that is something to be so very proud of. And if it turns out good, it is a feeling like no other. I don’t want to be older in my life, looking back at all the things I didn’t do, didn’t try, out of fear. The good things can’t happen if we never try. What’s that saying? “You will only regret the things you never did.” Now, I am still working on this but I am hopeful. Facing my biggest fear, my sisters at the wedding, left me feeling free and exhilarated. I did what I thought I couldn’t do. It didn’t fix anything but it did show me that I have strength after all.
- There is nothing more true than realizing it is up to you! I can’t even believe I am saying this after the millions of times I have rolled my eyes at someone else trying to tell me that. The thing is, I think that deep inside I knew they were right and that is what pissed me off. I could never have admitted it back then but I was mad at myself and just deflected it onto them. How dare they be happy after all! But I was keeping myself from being happy, perhaps even afraid to be happy. Who would I be without all my pain? I am my pain, right? Wrong! I am so much more, if I can just walk forward from the pain and give myself a chance. It’s a risk, it will be good and bad, but my happiness really is up to me. I am NOT my pain but I am how I deal with that pain.
- There is nothing more fulfilling than taking your power back. I gave power to hurtful and cruel people for far too long. The thing is, when we allow others to have power over us, we can never live beyond that. It makes it easy to place blame. Yes, the blame may be theirs but we can only blame ourselves if we let their words and actions dictate how we see ourselves. This is hard to take in, I know, but we have to take that power back and realize that we have to see ourselves for who we are and not for who others think we are or want us to be. Other people can have their own issues, their own demons, their own agendas and bringing us down makes them feel better about themselves. But please see that they are lying to themselves! Those who feel the need for power are often the most insecure.
- There is nothing more freeing than understanding and maybe even forgiving others. I say “maybe” to forgiving because I don’t believe we need to forgive certain actions; certain things are unforgivable. But if you can find an understanding of what led someone to hurt you, it can free you from your their chains. We have to understand that in most cases, it wasn’t us. We didn’t deserve the pain – it was thrust upon us by those who had been hurt themselves. Both my father and my brother had been abused before they ever abused me. It’s not justification but it is an understanding. Once I understood why my sisters did what they did, it freed me – I no longer thought something was wrong with me or that I was worthless or unloveable. Nothing is farther from the truth. My pain was actually, in reality, their pain! Let me say that again, my pain was their pain. Once I realized that, understood that, it was so easy to let it all go and move forward.
I don’t know if this helps anyone but I sincerely hope it does. Our pain will always be a part of us but it doesn’t have to own us. Please take your power back, even if it’s only a little at a time. You have always had your power, it’s just hidden away sometimes.