I am a genuine person just like the old saying what you see is what you get. My intentions are always filled with love and respect. I try to stay in the present moment and not allow past feelings of pain and disappointment cloud my perspective. When communication is not clear it leaves a lot of room for misunderstandings. I often make the mistake of believing in the good of others, believing their intentions are filled with respect and love. I don’t like that about myself and although my thoughts and feelings are genuine I cannot expect other people to have the same mindset or values.
I have always thought as a kid I was strong. I grew up in a community where I was the only white kid and I was bullied on a regular basis at school but I never told my parents and I knew telling the woman in the school yard at recess was futile, ultimately my bullies would find me whether after school or a part of the playground where no one was watching. So although I was small I fought back I learned to rely on myself for protection. I learned to be strategic. I was strong. I never thought of myself as anxious or scared. One day recently my mom said something to me that set in motion some light bulb moments for me. She said “you always had a hard time with your father leaving”. I inquired further. She said “you became anxious and sad.”
Let me explain further, my father never abandoned us; my parents were married for 38 years until his death in 2008. I don’t even remember those feeling or times she speaks of. I know he often left on business trips all over Canada. He was involved in suicide prevention for Canadian aboriginals. He pioneered the group home system for the Crees and intervention plans. My father’s clients needed him and he worked very hard for the betterment of others. Yes, he wasn’t very present as a father but I understand he had a calling and he was very good at what he did.
But when I assess some of the feelings I have today I realize I have always had a hard time saying goodbye. Example whenever I have gone to visit my best friend or my mom when I leave to go home, I get anxious and I become very saddened as if this was the last time i would see them. In romantic relationships I have always felt abandoned and my fear of abandonment negatively infiltrates itself into daily interactions. It’s bizarre to make the connection but I equate leaving with abandonment. It’s a hurt that I think has played a role in the demise and dysfunction of many of my relationships
This pain or hurt whatever you want to call it has affected my life in a very direct way. Why is separation anxiety such a difficulty for me? Why does it play a role in my interpersonal relationships? Why does it cause me to become fearful? I don’t have the answers yet.
I feel like I’m reinventing my life every day. I recently went through a challenge that has brought to light everything in my life. I think when you’ve reached a point where you feel you have suffered enough you realize everything has to change. I’ve read 5 self-discovery/ self-help books in the last week and I’m finally getting the point. Life is rough and crappy things happen but it’s how you respond that determines the outcome. We are all enough and we all deserve love but we get so involved in life, in the so-called journey that we forget the point. I took a week off from work to have emergency surgery and literally spent my days drinking tea and sitting outside. I came to many realizations outside, one being that I’m not really present all the time; I’m always beating myself up about the past and living in the future. My mindset being if I do this then that won’t happen and maybe this will happen, playing out all the scenarios before they’ve even occurred, worrying, wondering, and ultimately never being satisfied or living in the present moment. I’m not really enjoying life. There is nothing certain but that’s the point I’m trying to find a road that’s uncertain. How ridiculous is that??? When has life ever been certain, it’s ever changing; sometimes things are good and sometimes things are bad. The only stable thing is the unpredictability of life. So why not live? I don’t mean quit my job and move to a tropical island. I mean accept my current situation and either stay or change it. It’s really that simple. So I’m learning to let go of the past cause I can’t change it and I can’t dwell there without missing out on what’s going on right now. I’m feeling more at peace than ever. I can’t predict the future whatever happen, will happen. The only aspect I can control is how I respond. Bad things don’t happen to me because I’m meant to suffer or I’m supposed to be punished. I’m supposed to learn, accept, and move on. It doesn’t mean I won’t have bad days and I won’t feel depressed but that’s a choice. I can chose to be present instead of living in the past or future. We are all capable and worthy.
There are certain things I’ve done in my life that have left me with feelings of deep regret and suffering. I have made a list of the reasons why it is time for me to forgive myself.
(1) these regrets have prevented me from fully loving myself
(2) I have suffered enough
(3) I’m not the same person I was back then it’s been over 15 years ago
(4) I have always judged myself very harshly and critically
(5) these regrets have stayed with me a very long time and are preventing me from moving forward
(6) I would never repeat the same mistakes now
(7) I was young and didn’t fully understand my actions or their consequences
(8) If my best friend had made the same mistakes I would advise her that it’s time to forgive herself and let go of the past
(9) Maybe the reason why I keep experiencing events in my life that make me suffer is to remind me it’s time to forgive myself
(10) It’s very painful to not forgive myself and I don’t want to be in pain anymore
(11) I’m ready and want to change and forgive myself
No matter what regrets you have in life they are not worth you suffering or being in pain. There has to be something positive that comes from all the bad experiences events don’t just happen for nothing. Events that shake you to your core are meant to wake you up. I believe in my case I was meant to forgive myself.
I read this book called “The 4 agreements”. The basic concept is that all our beliefs about ourselves and the world are agreements that we made with ourselves. For example you believe you are fat that’s an agreement you have made with yourself it may or may not be true. Essentially to be happy and free the author is suggesting you live by the 4 agreements. The 4 agreements are be impeccable with your word, don’t take anything personally, don’t make assumptions, and always do your best. It was enlightening to say the least. I spent a long time in a relationship with someone because I took everything he did personally and I made assumptions. I didn’t love myself enough to be truthful with myself I swam down the river of denial for years. Though I feel I didn’t waste my time because I believe the experience taught me some valuable lessons about life and what I want. I made the assumption he wanted the same things I wanted instead of clarifying and asking questions. I lived in the dreameworld of my assumptions. I always believed he knew what I wanted so therefore if we continue the relationship we must want the same thing. I didn’t want to hear the truth. I internalized his struggle with alcoholism and his own lack of self love. I took his behavior personally so I made the agreement with myself that I’m not good enough I don’t deserve better. So all of the disrespectful behaviors and cruel things he said I took personally when really it was all about him and his self hatred. If I loved myself at the time I would have spoken up, I would have left the relationship. It took me many years to love myself but once I finally did I stood up for myself, I asked questions, I held him accountable, I didn’t make assumptions anymore I was honest with myself. The denial I once lived in for years was over. I realized that he wanted me to be different he didn’t accept who I was which truly meant he didn’t love me. Honestly I didn’t accept him either there were a lot of things about him I didn’t like. But his self-destructive behavior and disrespect towards me had nothing to do with me. I thought I could change him and I could be better then our relationship would finally work. But I got lost I wasn’t myself anymore I denied who I was to fit into what he wanted. I suppressed a lot of my feelings to keep the peace. I was voiceless. The denial was deep. For some reason this book has given a type of understanding about the relationship that gives me closure. It has allowed me solidify my moving on and moving forward, forgiving myself and him. The pain of the relationship doesn’t have as much power over me as before.
I have mentioned my previous relationship in posts before. It took a long time to end that relationship when truthfully it should have ended before it started. It lasted 7 years. I ask myself why did I allow the relationship to continue? I wasn’t happy, I wasn’t supported, I wasn’t in the place I wanted to be, but yet I became complacent, comfortable in my discomfort. I don’t want to repeat that pattern with anybody. How do I change that pattern? Be more vocal about my feelings but that means being vulnerable and that’s not a pleasant feeling for me. I’m scared, how can I ever move on without repeating the same mistakes. The relationship has been over for a long time now I don’t miss him nor do I ever want to get back together. It’s the pattern of not being happy in a relationship and continuing that’s what I want to avoid. In a new relationship you’re never comfortable enough to be vulnerable so how can that relationship progress how can I move forward without communicating your concerns. If the man I’m with does things I don’t like, does that mean they’re red flags? and I need to move on? or am I expecting to understand too soon in the relationship. And without talking about it with him how can I expect him to understand where I’m coming from? I no longer trust me own feelings and that’s why I believe I’m feeling so lost.
What is the biggest struggle with loving yourself?
I started the 30day self love challenge a little over 2 years ago after a breakup. In re-reading my 1st post, one of my biggest obstacles mentioned was that I don’t deserve to be happy. So I’m still struggling with that one. It is often said to compare yourself to others is not productive and not beneficial. However in seeing others in happy relationships I realize and I’m willing to admit I’m jealous and I ask myself what do they possess that I do not. I’m kind, smart, loving, caring etc. I know I have a lot to offer but I always feel like I’m not enough what if I said something wrong or did something wrong. Did I divulge my feelings too quickly. Was my reaction not enough, was it too much. Do you see the theme here? Have I made any progress in the last 2 years? Maybe yes and maybe no. The whole reason I had started this journey was because I went through a breakup with someone who truthfully didn’t respect me or value me. When starting a new relationship I’m always looking for the red flags trying to anticipate what they might look like. I’m making myself crazy instead of living always afraid of the pain. That previous relationship whether I want to believe it or accept caused a lot of trauma. Trauma that really hasn’t gone away. How do I get rid of it how do I move forward without bringing along all this excess baggage that doesn’t serve any purpose. I unfortunately don’t have the answer.
An update so on my road to self-acceptance today is a victory. I have finally realized I am enough and if that isn’t enough for someone else that’s ok. I am confident in the person I am. I’m not perfect I make mistakes. I’m not always pleasant. But I try every day to be a good person, to love others, to take care of others etc. I am a kind person who doesn’t deserve anyone’s mistreatment. I am strong and I can rely on myself because I have gotten through the worst and if things go south I’ll get through that too. Maybe it’s age or maybe it’s the awful experiences I’ve been through. I am enough
Lately for almost a month now I fall asleep like any other normal human being but I wake up like clockwork in the middle of the night, sometimes I make it to 3am. No I’m not waking up to go to the bathroom. Sometimes my heart is racing or it’s pounding so loud it rings in my ears. My co-workers think it’s anxiety we’ve discussed it many times after being told I look exhausted. But honestly is it a wonder why I would be feeling so anxious. There’s the Covid-19 pandemic where I watched patients die daily then ended up getting very sick myself. I am very thankful the coronavirus did not render me in the hospital as was the case with many others. My symptoms were just a nuisance…I have a fever of 103-104 for several days, muscle aches all over, nasal congestion and pain, along with loss of taste or smell for over a month. Then the systemic racism of this country reared its ugly face showing proof of its despicable existence causing peaceful demonstrations and unfortunately riots. The unrest of this country alone is enough to make one anxious. The brave new world where we wear masks every where we go makes me cringe. I’m treated like a leper even though I now test negative biweekly an indicator the virus in me is no longer contagious. All these exterior stressors alone would keep any “normal” person awake a night. However let’s add my work stressors, currently I have a patient on my unit who is psychotic, she yells profanities pacing up and down the hallway outside my office all day followed by crying out for her mum. She hugs you then attempts to punch you. This patient’s plight alone brings me to tears to boot she is my mum’s age, which is even more heart breaking. My personal life is unstable…all I want to do is sleep through the night…..this too shall pass, like a kidney stone…but it will pass.
When starting a relationship one must earn trust….why is it that everyone seems to assume trust should be given freely. Perhaps it’s my reserved nature but I am having issues trusting. My relationship with myself is only now trusting after 38yrs. I used to ignore my “gut” and pretent those bad feelings of intuition were just a figment of my imagination well now I know that was my body… my protection….. saying “run”…… something doesn’t feel right….intentions or actions should not be trusted. I must also remember one’s actions speak louder than any words. How someone treats you is exactly how they feel about you! Remember your 1st love and all the trust you gave him or her then remember all the betrayal you felt when your heart is broken. The pain of betrayal is what we all want to avoid in any relationship. But for me that fear of being betrayed is very strong and always seems to be at the forefront while starting any relationship. How do you proceed how to you allow a relationship to grow without trust?