Thursday, August 28, 2008

Wrestling Joyously With Difficulty

Some days are just easier to exist in than others. For no apparent reason, I'm very contemplative today. My world, as I knew it, was shattered over the last year. Well, the last three years to be precise. My world wasn't shared by anything really bad, just emotionally traumatic events, people and words. In order to exist without remaining in the fetal position, I had to learn to tear everything down...all the seeming structures I had built, all the thoughts, beliefs and everything that I thought I knew. Once the devastation of all of that work settled, I had to rebuild my life again. It wasn't easy but I worked on it a little at a time.

My whole life I have spent as a mostly co-dependent individual, working to be invisible, be what everyone else wanted and needed...rescuer, confidant, financial supporter, mentor, friend, daughter, wife, mother, boss and employee. These labels can be a dangerous thing because you can quickly lose sight of who you really are and what you want while you assume the roles everyone else wants you to play. I've learned this year the importance of setting down those roles as if they were masks I chose to wear for a time. I'd take them off when I was done with them for the moment and pick up a new one. Then, eventually when the work day was done, I'd put all those masks away and just focus on who I was.

For a long time I didn't know who that was. Part of me didn't want to know and didn't want to explore because I was simply too afraid to see. But the events of the last year and some passive-aggressive relentless attacks from a couple of individuals really helped me to want to see and see with crystal clarity. I found some things I wasn't so happy with. I found fear, mistrust all the lies I told myself. I found pain and anger. I found sadness and frustration. You can only cover those things for so long with masks that you wear and pretend to be who everyone wants you to be. I'm happy to say that I don't wear masks any more. I've learned that the only way I can survive in life is if I face it with only one mask. Well, its not a mask. I made a commitment to myself to show the world only one face from now on. I decided to move in accord with the source of my own truth, acting in line with who I really am...dealing with those I care about with openness and honesty.

It's scary, I'll admit, to walk outside of those hardened steel mile high walls I built around the person I really was. Walking outside means I'm no longer invisible, I can't hide who I really am or what I think or who and what I care about. I have to live authentically, in reality not being jaded by my past or worried too much about what people might think of me. The perceptions of me made by others does not change who I really am and that lesson sunk in deep because it meant also that my perception of others does not change who they really are.

So each day now I wrestle a bit with my thoughts and my feelings. Things are a little sharper and more clear even when I don't want them to be but I'm living life instead of hiding myself away. I just can't do that any more. My attempts to hide was dishonest and changed all of my interactions with people, particularly in relationships that were really important to me. I choose now instead to trust until I can trust no more and realize that my openness and honesty will bring those to me not out to test me...hopefully... it will bring me those of a like mind, more healing and authentic relations. That's really what I want and for as long as it takes, I will wrestle joyously with difficulty if I should encounter rejection, fear and insecurity. Those things cause me a fair bit of anxiety but no longer rule me. In changing my perspective, I have changed my life. I will no longer be ruled by fear.


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