October 23, 2007

A new day

Yesterday I had an epiphany. Maybe it took a little inspiration from friends who are battling their own demons, or maybe I just needed get a little grace to focus and name what it is that has haunted me, so that I can finally let it go. I have to admit, I feel a sense of shame at having come to this point so late. I could have saved myself a lot of grief by arriving sooner at this point where I am ready to release yet more old baggage.
We've all got baggage, and I have volumes of compassion for what other people have been through in their lives — how it has shaped them and what they have struggled to overcome. But I have never been so gentle with myself. Is it ok for me to finally admit that I too have wounds? That I've been betrayed by people I trusted and it has left me with deep scars? I need to really just give myself permission to say that, without feeling guilty that I have let other people have varying amounts of control over me at times in my life, or that I've wallowed in pain for too long, so that I can finally move on. I don't want to drag around the baggage that has been thrust upon me anymore. Nothing fruitful is there. I want a clean slate, so that I can focus on all that is truly soul-sustaining in my life: all the love and friendship and sisterhood around me. True love. Raising happy and vibrant girls. Filling up my cup so that I can pour it out on those deserving. I have wasted too much time and energy trusting those that didn't deserve it, and witholding trust from those who do.
So, I realized in the past two days that I have a choice before me: I can be the walking-wounded, or I can save myself. And fundamentally, I love myself too much to allow myself to be ruined. I've seen too many ruined people in my lifetime.
I want to love openly and freely and unencumbered by past experiences. I want to trust so completely that all fear vanishes. I want to live every day with integrity and honesty. I want hope and passion and unconditional love to surround me every day, and I want to surround those I love with that too.
Today I choose me. I choose life. I choose love.


vegan.mama said...

It's interesting to me that you talked about how you have guilty that you "have let other people have varying amounts of control over [you] at times in [your] life" -- I think it relates to what I was talking about in my blog on Sunday. I think a lot of people believe that life is a matter of who's in control: you, your partner, your children, your boss, your parents, who/whatever. And part of becoming an adult seems like taking control for ourselves -- ah, finally!, no one can tell ME what to do!

But what happens if control isn't what matters most? What if it's love and connection? What if it's compassion and tolerance? What if it's faith? Or honesty? Or all of the above?

I don't think it's necessarily the case that you've "let" other people take control -- I think people have hurt you. People have been intolerant, disconnected, unloving (even hateful), dishonest, and spiteful in the name of what they called love (or friendship, or family) -- and because you had faith that they were not purposely trying to hurt you, you allowed their needs and wishes to supercede your own. That isn’t ceding control; that’s trying to be a good human being.

But where you are, I think, right: it’s not healthy to be offering all those yummy things to people who run roughshod all over you. And so where control comes into play: making decisions to be good to yourself, treating yourself well, having a bottom-line of what you deserve & refusing to accept anything less.

I’m sure you’ve heard that no one can change anyone else unless they want to change, right? And I’m sure you’re familiar with the serenity prayer. If you can accept the fact that “other people” are one of the things you cannot change, then it also works the other way: “other people” don’t have the power to change you, either. The rub is in realizing that no one other than YOU has the power to control or change YOU, when it comes down to it.

Sorry for the long comment. I’m feeling wordy today!

Anima Sola said...

Thanks for the wisdom vegan mama. Yes, I think we tend to obsess about who is in "control" as often as we obsess about who is "to blame." And yes, I don't need to blame myself for "letting" people control me, you are right. But neither is what really matters. Honesty, love, integrity and faith are far more important.