Do you guys ever feel like you just want to talk, heart to heart style? I’ve been struggling lately (hence the lack of posting). When I’m feeling less than positive my creativity shrivels up and I find myself in this cycle of frustration for not wanting to work and frustration for not having ideas that motivate me to work. Basically its a lot of frustration and that just makes the entire thing worse. #frustrating
I’m no stranger to the reality that hard things make you a better person. So as I’ve been embracing the crap and sifting through it for nuggets of understanding, I’ve also been learning a lot about myself. And hello, we all could use a little bit more self awareness and clarity right? So I thought I would share. I don’t do this kind of stuff often because I know most of you are here for project ideas and paint colors, but I hope that maybe the stuff that I’ve learned about myself the last little bit could maybe help one of you. Feel free to come back tomorrow if you are only lookin for projects, I’ve got a goooood one.
Ok so, you know those things that weigh on your heart? Like every time you think about a person or the way that you handled a situation you are stabbed with guilt and regret? I have. I do. You would think that sitting in two 12 Step meetings a week for the last 5 years would have helped me work through it right? Sometimes it takes a shift in our self awareness to be willing to do the work to get rid of these things. So I have 2 stories for you about forgiving ourselves and others.
Many years ago I worked for a really great family. It was at the time that I was pregnant with Ivie and Court was at the height of his addiction/in jail. I was so over my head in turmoil that I wasn’t able to see what a huge blessing their stability and love was to me. It is so easy to get wrapped up in our own perspective that we are unable to see the situation with clarity. This is exactly what happened to me. I left the store on not great terms because of the way that I chose to handle things. I severed a relationship that I didn’t think I needed anymore for reasons that I cant even remember. For 10 years I have felt bad about it. Guys, 10 years is a really long time. The family had since moved out of St. George so I didn’t have to worry about running into them (because hello, that adds a whole new level of guilt to it right?) but I still thought about the situation frequently. About a month ago I finally got enough courage to message them on FB. I apologized and told them how sorry I was for the way that I acted. When I hit send it was one of the scariest things that I’ve done in a really long time. I wasn’t sure how they would respond. I’d heard rumors from former coworkers that they hated me and thought I was a horrible person, but I didn’t want to live with the stabs of guilt anymore. They say people don’t change until the pain of the problem becomes worse than the pain of the solution. That is where I was. It was less painful to send the message than it was to worry, and project my over dramatic feelings onto the situation, and feel bad anymore.
The response that I got was wonderful. For 10 years I had created this insurmountable problem in my mind and pushed away these people who cared about me at my worst because I was embarrassed and ashamed. How tragic and honestly what a waste of energy. It’s incredible how quickly healing can come when we want it more than we want to hold onto the pain.
This weekend we were at Dylan’s dance recital (she was absolutely adorable btw) I walked out into the hallway to find Court and found him talking to a family that he used to work for at the height of his addiction (obviously we are super into that sort of thing?) It was so great for me to see them, they had always been so wonderful to him, especially when he didn’t deserve it. As we were standing there talking, one of them started to cry. Before Court and I were married she sat down and told me that I could do so much better and should leave, and for like 13 years had felt horrible about it. She avoided the restaurant and was so concerned that we were still mad at her about it. Truthfully I didn’t even remember it, I mean lets be honest, everyone in my life at that time had that conversation with me. But she held onto the guilt about it. I was so glad that she said something so that I could tell her my point of view of the situation, that they were wonderful and I was so grateful for the support that they gave Court.
9 times out of 10 the situation is SO much worse in our minds. When Ivie was a baby I swear every time I turned on the TV the same commercial would come on with its stupid catchphrase “Immunize by 2, its up to you!” I was a first time mom and in the aftermath of Courts addiction. Whenever I would hear that phrase I was racked with guilt because I was convinced that Ivie wasn’t completely immunized and that I was the worst and only mother on the planet that had messed this up. I felt like I had already failed her so many times in her short life. I couldn’t even do this one thing right. It was horrible. Finally when she was 3 I had had enough and swallowed my pride and embarrassment and called the Dr. to make an appointment to get her all caught up. Guess what? She already was. She had been immunized the entire time. And hellooooo, there are people who don’t immunize their kids at all (lets not open that can of worms). I had made this so much bigger in my mind than it was in reality. Its really easy to do that. We feel like we are too far gone, we’ve failed too many times to find peace in our lives again. Its simply not true. There is always a way back, it might not be easy but man oh man its worth it.
When people hurt us it is only normal to want answers, but the thing is sometimes we don’t get them. And guess what? We get to move forward anyway. Their choice and the way they handle the situation is filtered through their life skills and perception. Not ours. The best we can do is find the nugget in the junk and let it make us more compassionate toward others and grateful that we are able to learn from the situation. Because how many times are we the ones that wronged others? And don’t you want compassion and understanding too? I know I do.
Mostly I just want you guys to know that I think you are wonderful. That’s all. Life is hard enough without unnecessary weight of choices that we’ve made that we are still lugging around. Stop agonizing over the details and your part in them. Take a deep breath and reach out. Its pretty incredible when the weight is gone.