Tuesday, June 12, 2012
Testing, Testing, One, Two, Three
1) Accepting the things I cannot change
Off the bat, there's the past, whatever good or bad came from it, and whatever good came out of the bad. That is a miracle, and something I will always cherish.
But too often, we become bogged down: "I will always be dreaming of a better world"... OK... now, the "better world" need not be big or splashy... I need not build a monument to myself with feet of clay. Nor do I need to make money hand over fist, quite possibly forgetting exactly why I went into that business in the first place. Other people? Yes. They have needs, rights, responsibilities, etc. of their own. There sometimes needs to come a time when "I cannot be a part of your life, but I do hope it's blessed and fabulous"... needs to be bestowed in benediction, before old doors are finally shut. There are things that seem impossible to change "I hurt. I behaved like a freaking idiot and feel guilty that I exposed someone else to that. That I let stupid things hide out in the recesses while attempting to think positive... I kept white washing rather than dealing and moving on. Now I can't do that anymore, and I'm terrified that all people will be able to remember is the negative". Here comes wisdom. I need to go through my handy little list of regrets, and poke holes in some of my theories. Yes, some things are impossible. While I will never be able to walk a tightrope across Niagara Falls while said rope is on fire, (although many social situations kind of feel like this, including the flutter in my stomach,) or run a perfect marathon, there's a lot of things, like simply enjoying a day out in the sunshine or wandering among old books, or curling up on the floor and enjoying a quiet moment... that I can do. As for health, I can ensure that I am tougher on doctors, and quietly, maturely let them know when they're hurting me by treating symptoms and running un-necessary tests. I can shrug off the stupid, nasty things people may say...we're all capable of it... including me. I can keep at my goal not to apologize for everything. I can learn how to deal with negative emotions before I let them build up and boil over. So these, once in a list of "Never can change"... are no longer water-tight.
2)Needing the courage to change the things I can
I can ask for forgiveness if I have scared someone during one of my "boil-overs". I can remember not to take things as nasty, or to shrug it off. I mean, does it matter if someone in West Bumfuk, Nebraska thinks I buy my friends and keep a string of human toys? No. What matters is: that I treat both myself and those I care for, and even those I don't like, with patience, forgiveness, and remembering not to keep a record of wrongs. What matters: is that I see people being joyful, happy, that they feel happy and at peace around me. I can take time to pray to learn to forgive myself, and for more courage out in this cold world. Yes, it can be gray and gloomy. I don't have to be. I can learn all sorts of things, from how to fix a bathtub, or a drain, or how to replace an old pipe, and feel good. And I think I know that occasionally I can lean, and can be leaned on if needed. I can ask bluntly for what I want instead of being scared...and if scared, can say so right away: "Um, I'm the wrong person to ask that/ are you sure you meant <Insert problem here>?" until I learn to ignore the tiny, silly ones. I can focus on a goal and rejoice in seeing progress. I can keep going. I can learn to ignore the negative... at the moment, I'm taking time to take stock and get my health back... and avoiding negativity from a few different sources that unfortunately, ends up getting conflated into one gigantic hell beast. I can get past my triggers or find ways to avoid them. I can put the safety on.
3)May I have the wisdom to know the difference
Here is where these lists I make come in handy. I can go out more, and, with some blockades... what I can/can't eat or drink, what I'll do if I feel nervous... and I can learn to say no without shame. I can say "I like this, but like ice cream, I wouldn't want it all the time", or, "I don't like that...that's scary for me." I can make these lists and cross off the "But"s, the "ifs" and just live. I can poke holes and change the things that don't hold water. And... I can just live, smile, focus on the good, laugh at the bad, and give myself room, knowing that mistakes and bad days can, do, and will happen. I can quit analyzing everything. Or I can use that for good. I can, um... learn to tell the difference between "Doesn't need you over-thinking", and "This needs to be worked out." I can quit giving myself things to feel guilty for. I can let myself feel, without worrying about judgment. I don't have to live in fear constantly. I have survived, can, and will... I can live and breathe freely now.
I can love myself.
PS. No, I cannot say I live in the best of all possible worlds... mine is certainly not pink and peach and gauzy. But I can remember to love, to enjoy, to feel with my fingers and my bare feet, to enjoy, to smell, to taste... and I can "cultivate" my own garden (regardless of the fact that that consists of an orchid named Jack and an oxalis named Bobbsey sitting on my dresser in mismatched pots. And I can be happy. I am happy.