“Your mind can grasp intellectual ideas, but it is in the FEELING where the transformation takes place.”
― Stephen Richards
I have been on this truly amazing journey over the last eight or nine months. When I started, I was almost completely depleted of any shred of enthusiasm or energy for anything other than weeping. And, while I was intellectually aware of my own personal responsibility for my own life, I really was trapped in this terrible cycle of blame...
- "...if HE had done this..."
- "...if SHE hadn't said..."
- "...if THAT situation hadn't been quite like THAT..."
WHAT?? (I KNOW, right? Can you believe I just SAID THAT?)
I realize that I'm SUPER IMPORTANT. I mean, every action EVERY person I know has to deal DIRECTLY with me, right? If my friends looks at me funny, she is almost certainly thinking something terrible about me. "Do I look really fat in these jeans?? I MUST or she wouldn't be looking at me like that!" If someone didn't call me back right away, it was almost certainly because he was mad at me. "He must be really upset that I forgot to run that errand." What I finally came to realize over the last several months is that I probably wasn't factoring into every decision everyone around me was making.
I decided to do a little self-probing. I enlisted the help of my (very patient) therapist and embarked on a massive multiple-week self-esteem program.
I learned a lot during those weeks. I cried a lot. I researched. I read. I did workbook exercises (every one...no matter how foolish I felt). I learned about setting (and keeping) boundaries. I learned about choices. I learned about loving myself. It was a crappy few months. But it was the beginning of a transformation that I could not have predicted.
- The world does not revolve around me. OK, sure, THIS blog world that I've created TOTALLY revolves around me. I realize people have read more about the inner Kelly world than they EVER wanted to know. But the worlds of other people have very little to do with me. People are out living their lives not even thinking about me, for the most part. I probably cross very few minds very few times throughout the year. The actions (and reactions) of people are centered in their own lives and have little (or nothing) to do with me. This was totally mind-blowing to me as a person who has always focused on "but how could he/she DO THIS TO ME?" as if people were just walking around thinking about ways to get to me. OK, I'm sure it's happened....but not NEARLY as much as I once imagined.
- I deserve healthy relationships. I don't think I could have imagined that sentence a year ago, let alone actually type it on a page. Here's the big piece I learned: I have a responsibility to behave in a healthy manner in all my relationships. I have learned to be a friend who is open and honest WITHOUT being so sarcastic and cutting (although, let's be honest, I can never COMPLETELY cut the sarcasm!). I place my trust in people and I deserve to have that trust honored.
- It's OK to say goodbye to regrets. Sometimes I wish for a giant cosmic eraser to rid myself of my whole past. I would like to be born today. New. Fresh. I'd like to start from HERE, thankyouverymuch. I faced my recent past today with an enormous bag of regret. The bag hung over me, heavy with the watery memories of misplaced trust and unfounded hope, and it threatened to drown me with its contents. But these days, I'm wearing grown-up lady panties with heavy elastic. I looked up at the bag, snapped my trusty waistband and moved the heck on. I am too busy dealing with my own issues to try to figure out why someone ELSE is so screwed up. (That part IS all about me...MY part. The part I own.)
Or maybe I'll stick with Elphaba...
I'm through accepting limits, 'cause someone says they're so
Some things I cannot change but 'til I try I'll never know
Too long I've been afraid of losing love I guess I've lost
Well, if THAT'S love, it comes at much too high a cost
I'd sooner try defying gravity
Kiss me goodbye, defying gravity
And you can't pull me down.
Yes, I think that's it. I think I'll try defying gravity.
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And yes, there is a subtle "screw you" in this particular blog post. I can totally channel my inner Taylor Swift, too. :)