Regrets (or maybe afterthoughts)
I've been reflecting - it seems this time of year lends itself to that - thinking about choices and decisions I have made, attempting a loving, non-critical way of reflecting, making my best attempt to objectively witness my experience and to understand the impacts on my own life and others.
My breast cancer diagnosis was certainly a wake-up call for me. And I've often said that there are many silver linings that presented themselves. The greatest one is: I began to see life very clearly as a daily gift, and one that I didn't want to squander any longer, hiding my light and my truth, my authentic self. I wanted to honor and cherish this little girl, and see her smile from the inside out again.
I can also see now, with a few years since my diagnosis behind me, wiser, and more aware - that there is much of my story and my actions that were born out of fear. When I became conscious that I was not living my authentic life, fulfilling my passion and potential, I took several unconscious, knee-jerk, fear-based actions:
1) I looked outside myself to place blame on others for the life I was living
2) I took action from a place of fear and reactivity instead of calm, thoughtful, conscious awareness
3) I wasn't supporting my SELF, my own growth- I had turned my back on myself. I could have started my own path of transformation and self-love without looking for permission or validation from anyone else.
Now, I could tell you that my "self-preservation" re/actions are based in my childhood traumas. I could tell you that my desire to run and hide, to cut myself off from others, makes sense based on my experiences. And I can see, as I evolve and learn about myself, about life, that those reactionary patterns are simply what I learned, how I coped, and what I thought I understood. I can also tell you they are based in fear, and that I can decide to choose LOVE over fear.
The fact that I didn't think I could do this, at the time, shows the point of desperation and self-preservation or survival I had gotten to, a "save yourself" mentality that literally felt like a physical threat to my existence. Everything else would have gotten better, if I had chosen my well-being and my evolution. I didn't trust myself enough.
I see now, with a little distance of time and space, that relationships ebb and flow, and that the relationship with myself is the one I needed to heal and work with.
Communication and openness are the pillars of any healthy relationship. I am committed to being connected with myself and others in a deep and meaningful way. I still have moments of self-doubt and negative inner dialogue, moments of utter darkness quite honestly, but I know now that I can work with that, bring myself back to a place of equilibrium, that I can love myself back into wholeness with the healing, nurturing techniques that I've learned.
There is no need to throw the baby out with the bath water, as the saying goes. You can connect with yourself, your whole truth, and do your inner mining and rehabilitation all while remaining in healthy relationship with others.
My wish is this: that you nurture and love your self every day, and that you communicate your feelings and concerns to those who love you, to those who want to see your happiness and your authentic self emerge. We are beings of connection, 100%, and cutting people you love off in an attempt to find yourself is a sure-fire way to feel alone and misunderstood.
Let your people love you. In spite of yourself. Because of yourself.
Love is the answer.