Reading about the Chinese New Year for 2016, I read, “Anything and everything that is no longer serving your highest and best interest (aka, your soul) has to go. It is time to end any thoughts, habits, beliefs, people, places, or things that are no longer worthy of moving forward with you into the new. I read this about a month ago and I truly felt it. I continued reading….
“For me, the Universe threw me back to my hometown to literally clean out my closet and any relationship issues still lingering from past oversights. Guilty as charged! Speaking of anything remotely related to guilt, shame, resentments, or regrets must go. They are like leg weights that will keep you rooted in old suffering”
I didn’t realize how much I would relate to this until now.
I’ve spent a little over a year consistently working to better myself, for myself. We all have ways about us, usually rooted in some fear developed at a young age. I’ve made leaps and bounds, learning to unlearn some of my ways and facing my fears to say, “i am not my fears and I don’t have to be afraid. I am not every thought that enters my mind. I am enough. I am worth caring about. I care about myself.” The universe seemed to both be appreciative of my efforts and tickled by them, saying, “Let’s see what happens when we challenge everything he thinks he as learned, by taking him out of the comfort that being away from a lot of people and challenging situations offers, and putting him with a familiar face.” While I understand the universe’s sense of humor, we do not share it.
As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, my relationship with my father when I was a child, was a terrible one. When you are 6 years old and you start getting beatings and verbal abuse from someone who has otherwise been an acquaintance, there’s a lot to deal with and 6 year olds aren’t often good at that (surprising I know). I’ve spent the past 10 years trying to unlearn the fear of being noticed, of speaking, of doing anything wrong, because I was so heavily, HEAVILY, criticized as a child. You can only tell a child that they are, “not normal”, “have no common sense”, are “stupid” so many times, before it crushes their will to live. It only takes a couple of slaps across the face that leave you hearing temporarily lost, to know, “I don’t like being hit.” I’ve done my best to let that go and leave it where it belongs; the past. I don’t want to be ruled by past experiences. I want to grow from them as much as possible.
So, spending the past 2 months in the same house with my father, has been interesting. He is almost the exact same person in most respects and when he criticizes my every move now, it doesn’t hold the same weight, because I don’t care and because I know that intense criticism has less to do with me or more to do with someone from his own past. While I understand this, I’m also not here for it. I’ve learned new, better ways to deal with such negativity and unlike when I was a child, I’m less concerned what people like that think about my behavior, because I know my intent, I know the person I am, the person I’m trying so hard to be. So, today, when a conversation that could be just that, a conversation, escalated to someone screaming at me, telling my what a horrible person I am, I couldn’t help but feel grateful. Grateful, that I have had these years to grow and that now, this behavior does not bother me in the ways it once did. I know I’m not a perfect person, but I know I try to be as fair, and good as I can and one thing that I am proud to say I can’t and won’t tolerate are wild attacks of character and put downs. And this time I was more clearly able to SEE the behavior.
It was suggested that I cater to my father; anticipate the things that could potentially make him upset and work to avoid them. And I don’t know what to think of this advice, because I can’t justify spending my energy anticipating what someone else will find wrong with me. I spent my entire life afraid, trying my best to not be what a “caregiver” didn’t like to avoid being told how incredibly stupid, gay, or unusual I was. I cannot do that as an adult who spent so much time learning to accept myself. Reasonable conversations: yes. But, no. I cannot mold my life to someone who has been that person in my life and continues to attempt to be. It’s not worth it. I’m not upset. I’m sad. Sad that this is what I come from. This is a person that was to serve as a caregiver but truly served as a harmgiver. Do I think badly of him? No, I’m sure he has his own issues, but damn, I want better for the world and I hope that I can be a source of positivity in the world greater than the negativity I have had the misfortune to experience.
I just hope anyone else out there who feels trapped, knows they don’t have to accept relationships like that. There is another way of existing. We can be nice to each other. Everything does not have to be an argument, a fight, or a battle of name calling. You do not have to accept that way of life. And if you continue to grow and others misinterpret your behavior, it’s okay. That often happens. I try my best to remember the Four Agreements.
Be exceptional with your word
Don’t take anything personally
Don’t make assumptions
Always try your best
And I try me best to keep those around me who also honor these principles and let go of those who are still experiencing needless suffering from doing the opposite of these things. It is not your responsibility to cater to these people. Love yourself. Always try your best, because you are enough and you deserve the best. You can change, you can change your life! It’s possible. Just believe it! See it! Love Yourself!