We don’t see ourselves the way everyone else sees us. This is pretty accurate, regardless of what issues we do or do not have. It doesn’t matter who we are, we all see ourselves as a wet rat with sloth reflexes and a dragon’s scaly skin under our noses when we’re sick. Funny thing is, many times I’ve felt this way and met up with someone who didn’t know I was sick. Guess what? They thought I was having a marvelous hair day or looked particularly perky. *shrug* We see ourselves differently.
For me, I honestly have a hard time seeing anything good about myself. I’m not being melodramatic or trying to get attention. I simply don’t see it. All I see are the negatives… I can’t keep a job, my health stops me from living, I am in my mid-twenties and have accomplished nothing, my family has to pay for all my food, I’m depressing at times, I complain, I bloat and inflame because of my health no matter how hard I work out, etc. Trust me, I could keep going.
So when people say I am courageous, I seriously don’t know what they’re talking about. The first piece of advice I seem to get from everyone is to write down things I like about myself… Think about it. Someone is trying to tell me to start thinking about all the positive aspects of myself. I’m not trying to be a brat. I simply can’t conjure any up.
On the occasions when I can look at myself and say, “hey, yeah, that’s pretty cool of me,” those small tidbits are overshadowed immediately by the laundry list of things I’m doing “wrong” or reasons I’m a “failure” and so on.
So what do we do? How do we bridge the gap between our own cruel thoughts and beliefs about ourselves – and the positives others see in us?
Start paying ridiculous attention. If multiple people are telling us that we are good people, kind people, courageous people, good at a particular thing… Listen. Watch people’s body language. Body language can tell us a lot about what people think about us. Are others comfortable around us? Able to be themselves around us? Are they easily relaxed? Do they laugh easily? Do people trust us? Do they confide in us, come to us when both happy and in need of support? Learning what effects we have on others can tell us a lot about who we are – without consulting the abusers in our heads that have taken over.
Be aware of what trusted, respectful, honest people think about you. We’re all going to run into haters. Don’t give them real estate in your head.
And for now, simply be aware of what people think. Accept that others see you as fabulous. Start opening up to the possibility that there is a version of you, that you yourself cannot see. Why can’t you see this person? Especially since you live in your own skin? Because for one reason or another, you’ve become bogged down with a magnifying glass in your head that only sees the negatives in yourself.
So breathe and allow for the truth that the beauty others see in you is really there.
So instead of having the clarity to focus and organize a blog post into something readable that doesn’t sound like a non-sensical unicorn on crank wrote it…
I’m just going to give up and throw a bunch of garbled, random thoughts together and hope they form some kind of linear… something.
“The thing about truth is that it exists beyond belief. It is true even if nobody believes it.” Dieter F. Uchdorf
Denial is a disease I don’t want part in anymore. It’s crippling. It’s debilitating. It slips into your skin, digs in deep, wrapping around your heart and brain, and squeezes your bones. It leaves nothing for you but misery and confusion, fear and pain.
Truth, on the other hand, is a good pain. A welcome, healthy pain. It only hurts while it’s exercising the disease sinking into your marrow.
And even if those around you mock, shake their heads, don’t understand, try to keep hurting you – you can hold tight to the knowledge that no matter what, there is something better for you ahead. Just keep being honest with yourself. Because honestly, who do you help by allowing others to pull the wool over your eyes? No one. Who do you hurt? Yourself. Only you. You’re trying to please all these people or run from all these things or tell yourself you’re ‘oh, so amazing’, and it’s not doing a thing for anyone else, except spreading more denial into their veins. And it’s not helping you, it’s not elevating you, it’s not helping you stop the tears at night or the pit of misery in your gut. Nope. It’s just sinking you lower and lower, and putting restrictions on you – telling you – “hey, you’re happy, you like this, smile!”
I like this truth thing. It kinda sucks at first. But once you get the hang of it, you start to see that maybe you shouldn’t hate yourself so much. And then you can start clearing the cobwebs of self-hate and denial away from your blood and start to look at the world with a new vision. One that comes complete with options, joy, and optimism.
“This business of being a writer is ultimately about asking yourself, how alive am I willing to be?” Anne Lamott
I love this quote. It’s a valid question for me to ask myself. How alive am I willing to be? You don’t have to be a writer to ask yourself this question. But for me, who I am is tied in with being a writer, and so it fits me like a second skin. Beautifully attached to my soul.
How alive am I willing to be? This quote does lots of things to me, inside my chest. I cannot really describe them in words. I’m not there yet in my life, I suppose. I’ve learned to put some things into words I couldn’t priorly (I don’t think that’s a word, but I’m a writer – I can make words up if I want to! Ha-ha!) articulate or really even understand about myself beforehand. But this one, not yet. It’s deep and dark and a question that bubbles up a lot of thoughts that are mainly in the form of emotions and color, wisps of shadows and standing on the edge of the cliff, staring down, teeter-tottering in the wind, feeling the adrenaline pound through my body as I leave my mind blank, daring myself to jump without thinking.
Freedom is a strange thing. You can only have it if you allow yourself to have it. You have to make that decision all on your own.
“Write what disturbs you, what you fear, what you have not been willing to speak about. Be willing to be split open.” Natalie Goldberg
This is a quote from the book I’m reading right now, “Wild Mind” by Natalie Goldberg. I think I’ve always yearned to be split open. Not physically thank you very much, but metaphorically speaking. 😉
I believe that’s something we all want, secretly. To be exposed for who we truly are, all the gunk and ugliness, and incompleteness and strangeness shown to someone important, and all the good bits of us too, and to be understood. Accepted. Embraced.
It’s terrifying to think of splitting myself open and pouring my soul into a book. Letting myself be vulnerable, writing something I truly believe in and can be happy with when I see it on the shelf. Something that can touch someone like the books I’ve read have touched me (get your head out of the gutter!). I’ll never forget the first book series that really thrummed in my heart. Told me on some level, that it doesn’t matter how messed up I am, how many issues I have, if I see a therapist (because damn skippy, I see a therapist now), if I’m moody and strange and a little lot confused. I’m still lovable. I’m still worth something.
To imagine myself writing a book that raw and honest, leaves me cold and shaking. Okay not literally, but you know what I mean. Because in order to do that, I have to lay myself bare. I have to be okay with who I am, have a pretty good idea of who I am, what I value, want, think, desire, need, feel, emote, etc. and open it all up and give it to whoever is willing to pick it up.
“A person is a fool to become a writer. His only compensation is absolute freedom. He has no master except his own soul, and that, I am sure, is why he does it.” Roald Dahl
Absolute freedom is only absolute freedom if you don’t allow these invisible chains to hold you down. So many of us wear them. The world tells us we are wrong, we aren’t enough, we aren’t acceptable the way we are. Those hateful voices strap us down to a creature we aren’t, and tell us we must pretend to be this thing, or no one will ever love us. We’ll be disgusting, disfigured, good for nothing, and shunned by society.
That’s simply not true.
If I am to be a good writer, a great writer, and help people, connect with people, and enjoy my writing – I must be my own master (minus the creator of the whole freaking universe, right?) and not allow those voices to strip my freedom from me.
I must be willing to be ridiculed and looked down at for doing the very thing we all crave. To be who I am. Fling caution to the wind. So what if I fail? At least I tried and had fun doing it! At least I learned something, grew, experienced, gained knowledge and most likely made friends along the way. At least I will have lived.
And freedom, it’s a feeling no one can describe in words. It has to be felt, inch my inch as you gain it. And its mesmerizing.
Does anyone else feel this way – it’s a shift I’m only feeling so very recently. But it’s as if I’m literally in bindings. And as I let the cares of the world fall from me and decide to be really free, it’s as if I feel actual weight lifting off my body, heaviness stripping away one slow strap at a time….. Anyone else get that?
“Holding onto anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.” Unknown
Ugh. Forgiveness. SO BLOODY HARD!!! It’s like pulling a saber tooth tiger’s fang tooth with only your bare hands. Not a piece of cake (or an oreo, or a chocolate donut). It’s hard!
And it’s something you can’t understand fully until you’ve felt it yourself. Until you experience it, it doesn’t really make sense. Nor does the reasoning!
But trust me, forgiving someone doesn’t mean you approve of what they did. Nor does it mean you’re going to allow them to hurt you again. It simply means you acknowledge that they’re human, everyone makes mistakes, and while you may know that what they did was wrong, cruel, etc. – you are healthy enough to let it go. And move on. You’re not hurting them by being angry. You’re not making them feel bad. You’re hurting you. Resentments and growing bitter hurts you. It changes you into something pitiful to behold. And it doesn’t matter how mad you get at them. You cannot control them, force them to change, or see the error of their ways.
Let it go. Find a way to move on. Don’t let the past keep you from building the future you want. Learn to live and let live. You can learn to love people who make normal mistakes and see them as people too. This can improve relationships, it can improve you. Sometimes, all you can hope to achieve is to let go and move on from that person, as you know they’ll try doing it again.
But let go. Forgive. Just don’t forget the lesson.
“You’re only given a little spark of madness. You mustn’t lose it.” Robin Williams
I am given only a small amount of the spark that is my creativity, my genuine personality, my unique madness.
It’s my responsibility to guard it. Not to let the world tarnish it. Not to hate myself for it, but to love it. Learn to take it and grow within it. Let it spread into my fingertips and eyelashes. Build upon it.
“You must ask for what you really want. Don’t go back to sleep.” Rumi
Once you see it, it’s tempting to close your eyes again. Don’t do it.
What’s going on with you?
What issues are you fighting with?
What struggles are you battling?
What joy can you highlight in your day?
Have any chocolate donuts you’d like to share with me? 😀
There is one opinion held by many people, widely accepted, which makes me want to blow people’s houses up. Okay, not really, but I swear I turned green a few times.
This opinion hurts people, worse than they’ve already been hurt.
What is this opinion?
When someone cheats on you, someone you love, someone you’re in a serious relationship with, the consensus is this;
“You should stay. Don’t be weak. Work it out. Leaving is the easy way out.”
ARE. YOU. KIDDING. ME?!
*turns green* *fumes* *smashes things*
Leaving is not weakness.
Staying is the easy way out.
Reasons Staying is the Easy Way Out
Your relationship will never be the same again. Period. End of story. You KNOW this already, but you’re denying it to yourself and nodding along as your friends tell you things will work themselves out, or you guys can work this out.
Your gut is telling you that this is wrong. But the world is telling you not to ‘give up on him/her’, not to ‘be so weak’, ‘it happens’, etc.
Have the strength to believe in yourself, your feelings, your needs and wants.
If they cheated on you once, they will most likely do it again. I know, I know, everyone says this.
But think about it. Why did he/she cheat on you? It normally isn’t a big issue, like you ignoring them for years and years.
The reason is normally more shallow or spur of the moment. In short, dude or dudette has issues they need to work on. Issues don’t go POOF and never bother you again. They take years to get worked out. And if you stay with said person with issues for years, even if they’re getting their issues worked out? They’ll most likely cheat on you again.
Now, even if you are the couple where the cheater finds solace in another’s arms because their partner has ignored them into alienation and/or neglect? What kind of loving person could ignore you for years, putting you and your feelings and needs aside? Do they really love you that much? Do they care? I don’t think so.
You will always wonder. If you stay with someone who has cheated on you once, there will always be that sense of foreboding or wonder. Will they do it again? There cannot be trust in a relationship if you’re wondering why your spouse is home late. And this normally leads to a negative, bitter hatred of self and your partner.
You’re afraid. Leaving is hard. You’ve spent a lot of time on this person, on this relationship. You’d have to start over. Maybe a new job, new house. With no one there to support you. It will be a lot of hard work, a lot of unknown. Where will your life go? What will you do?
If you have children, you’re teaching them that cheating is acceptable if you stay. And that opens a whole ball of wax you don’t want to touch. Like, who will your children grow up to be, believing it is all right to cheat on the person you say you love? And if you think they don’t know – you’re insulting them.
If you stay with a cheater, you will constantly wonder about your self worth and your decision making skills. Second guessing yourself because there is no harmony or trust. You have no solid ground.
You have to convince yourself you’re not a failure. And that’s hard. Failure isn’t failure in this case. You believe leaving your relationship, giving up on it, is bailing or ditching, or failing. It is not. Staying with someone who doesn’t treat your with respect is failure. Settling with what you have, is failure.
This person made the choice to cheat. It wasn’t an accident. Not oops or sorry. It wasn’t something they were forced into.
They made the decision to cheat on you.
Knowing it would hurt you.
Honestly, if you stay – it doesn’t make any sense. If this person will hurt you on purpose, you’re not in a relationship. And it certainly isn’t love, real love.
This person will not respect, honor or sacrifice for you.
Don’t settle. Consider your value, your self worth, self respect. What do you want? Do you honestly want what you have? Take a look at your life, at your relationship, a good hard look. And answer that. Truly.
You deserve better. Don’t settle for less than what you deserve.
Look at it this way. If your husband/wife/boyfriend/girlfriend/fiancé,etc truly loved you, they wouldn’t cheat on you. Love is selfless. Instant gratification isn’t on the list.
I asked my family what they would do if someone cheated on them and I had an instant uproar of painful sounding revenge, and once we got serious, they all brought up valid points. I’m going to use “he” to keep things simple. This was their serious, non cutting body parts (*cough cough* Holly) answer:
“He made a promise to me that I was the one he wanted, he was going to love me forever. So if he cheats on me, he doesn’t deserve me.”
This discussion always bodes the question:
How can you stop being someone who you have loved for so long?
How can you stay with someone who doesn’t truly love you?
So, answer me this…
Would you stay with a cheater?
Why or why not?
*note: this post was not written to put anyone down or trash anyone who has stayed with a cheater. This is simply me telling you, that in my opinion, you deserve all the happiness possible. Please keep in mind that I do not think anyone who has stayed with a cheater is a moron. It is your choice.*