You Ok Down There?

“Most important thing in life is learning how to fall.” – Jeannette Walls

I was pushed to the floor and beaten down to a pulp the other day. I was knocked down to my knees, and I felt like I was kicked in the stomach a million times.  I was left breathless. I was beaten down so badly that I was making involuntary noises as I was trying to breathe.  Tears escaped my eyes as I tried desperately to hold them back.  They trickled slowly to the sides of face, as I tried to hide them with my hair. No way was I going to show the other person how what they were doing was affecting me.  I wasn’t about to give in.  I fell into a hole and just lay there hoping that I couldn’t be seen.

I wasn’t physically beaten, even though it felt that way.  But my ego took a beating, and it deserved it.  I was laying on the ground, gasping for air and surprisingly it felt good.

Let me back up a bit and explain WHY I deserved this beating. I have been going through a lot of crap, and I think I have every right to b*tch and complain about it.  These last two years of my life have been absolute hell and quite frankly, I think I’m entitled to let off a bit of steam every once in a while.  To wallow in self-pity and be angry with the world.

But it hadn’t become once in a while.  It became always.  Yes, I had suffered a lot, I went through a lot, but I was hanging onto those memories for my dear life.  Those memories were producing fears in me, and every time I clutched one of them a little more, they fed that fear inside of me a bit more and it was starting to grow into an awful monster, starting to take over my life.

So that day when I was taken aside and “spoken to.” I was forced to hear things about myself that were very hard to hear.  This was one of those “life lessons” that we all have to learn every once in a while and I wasn’t ready to hear was being said and I definitely was not ready to learn this life lesson. I wanted to run the other way.  Fast and hard.  But that’s the funny thing about life. It sends to you people to teach you lessons during times when you’re not ready to learn them.

You see, I was thinking that my life was crummy, and I felt very much alone.  I felt as if my life sucked and that anything that could go possibly wrong would do so with me.  I was walking around with a black cloud over my head.  I couldn’t see the good in anything, and I was spiraling downward fast and hard.  As a result I became reclusive.  I wanted to feel loved, yet I was pushing everyone away from me – except for my daughter who I was clutching to for my dear life.  All this was not good.  To me, everything was doom and gloom.  And I wanted everyone to know about it.  I would complain to anyone who would just turn in my direction.  And someone listened.  That’s when I got the crap beaten out of me.

During the talk, the words which stung the most for me was to hear that I was being selfish and thought that everything was about me.  I felt my back go stiff and immediately thought “How dare you say that?!!  Look at what my life has been like and what I have gone through?!!”  How could someone say such things?  Sure, I do have to deal with this crap, and I have to look after myself and my daughter at the same time.  But, that isn’t what was meant by that comment, it was what I WANTED to hear.  I had to take a step and really pay attention to what I was being told.  And when I did, when I really listened, really let the words sink in, that’s when I knew that  wasn’t being attacked, but rather I was being loved.  Someone was looking out for me.  I was being pushed out of the dark cloud I was in, and onto solid ground.  However, I didn’t land on my feet. I landed flat on my face.

When I got up, I walked away from our talk with what I consider a great lesson learned.  Next time I feel like my world is turning dark and grey, I don’t have to worry about it being a permanent state.  What I am having is a bad time – whether it be a day, a month or even a year.  This will eventually pass, it’s not a feeling that I will feel forever.  And with any sadness, or sorrow, comes the opportunity to feel great joy.  There is always an opposite side to everything.  I was choosing to look at the negatives sides, the losses, the sadness, the things I’m lacking, the things missing.

For example, I was experiencing a huge heartache knowing that I had to go back to work, and not be able to build my business/career the way I had wanted to.  I was complaining that my daughter was going with her father that evening, that I wouldn’t get to see her until the next day after school. And that the tedious, expensive and stressful divorce I’m going through is killing me, and I just want to end the fighting, and get on with my life and how I’ve been feeling stressed because of the people on my back complaining about me. How could there possibly be a good side to this?  Well there is.  There are plenty of positives, and lessons.  Such as the gift of a new job to ease my financial worries, the gift of a loving daughter, and to know how much we care for each other, and the gift of patience and tolerance with the divorce, and all the people reaching out to me because they care.  Are these the only lessons to be learned?

Who knows?  I don’t, that’s for sure.  Maybe this is the way life, or God, or the Universe or whoever it is that’s sending this message, is telling me that something needs to change, that I need to change.  The bad things and situations won’t end, they’ll keep coming.  The only thing that can change is me, and I need to change the way I look at them.  There are the many thing to be grateful for me to be grateful for: the experience of living in this beautiful house, being able to spend two summers home with my daughter, meeting magnificent people, opportunities to grow and find myself.

I have found that there is always a point in life where you reach that there is no possible way to return to where you have come from.  But I have also learned that there is also point to where you reach where you can’t go any further based on the way you’ve been doing things either.  And I think that’s where I’m at.  I haven’t been grateful for many things lately, and the risk of continuing on this way is just too great for me.  The pain I have been feeling is normal.  Pain is part of being human, but it’s also a reminder that I’m alive and there is always good things to being alive, and for which I’m grateful for.

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Crazy Scary

Today I found out that it’s ok to have an element of negativity in your life. To think negative thoughts is in fact very healthy for you. That people who experience some level of negativity actually have a one up on people who always have a positive outlook on life. I found this strange. Actually, it’s downright weird, to tell you the truth.

You see, I was told that people who tend to think negatively usually are prepared for the worst case scenario in everything. Because their outlook on life is grim, they tend to brace themselves against hardships – they come up with a plan B, C and sometimes D, E, and F!  As a result, when things do happen to fall through, it’s ok, because their plans take action. The sunny people, who always see the glass as half full have a lot of difficulty coping when bad things happen due to their bright disposition. Their fall is very steep, and when they do fall, it’s into sudden, severe depression because they don’t understand the events which took place, and don’t know how to come out of it.

To me, neither one is good actually. What is ideal is a balance between the two.  This was foreign to me until today, until I actually understood what this meant. You see, I’m finally happy. I am very happy. Friggin happy, actually. And I totally love feeling this way. But in the past, when I would feel this happiness, I believed that this couldn’t be true, that it was unsustainable. I would wait patiently for all pieces to fall. This feeling was crazy scary. How could things be so perfect? Not possible, I say. Something has gotta give. And then I would get this dreadful feeling in the middle of my chest, and a brick would be placed in the pit of my stomach.

I would go around and unconsciously try to sabotage my happiness. I didn’t deserve this! But what I didn’t know was that the icky feeling is actually another one of those dog-gone-it survival feelings. That self-preservation tools that our very intelligent life provides for us. That dreadful feeling I feel when things are going so right is what keeps us real, prevents us from getting lost in the moment. It keeps us grounded, our feet on the floor and our heads out of the clouds.

For example, have you ever been in love and adored the person so much that you feel you have to pinch yourself to see if this love is for real?  That you can’t believe that things are so perfect? And then you begin to panic, it’s too perfect, and so you wait for the bomb to drop. That bomb is what I’m talking about. That is your temperature gauge. It is telling you to keep an eye out for yourself.  Don’t get lost.  Be aware at all times.

The risk of not listening to those feelings is getting lost. You build your belief system about the other person to the point of perfection, to the point where you trust them more than you trust yourself. To yourself, you become unworthy, second best.  You don’t know that you’re doing so, but you do. I have been there, many times actually, and when that bubble your living in finally pops, and trust me it will, you will be left lying naked on the bathroom floor in a puddle of your own tears. Your entire life that you have lived to that point will then feel like a lie. You have trouble trusting, maybe not others, but definitely yourself.  And when you don’t have trust in yourself, life is very grim.

So with this new understanding I gained, came many, many questions. The big question was “how?” How do I implement this into my life?  I began by acknowledging these doubts, fears and anxieties. When they came to visit, I pulled out a chair for them, I welcomed them. And I sat with them. I really took a good look at what they were doing to me, and listened to what they were saying. And most of the time, it also hurt like hell. It’s not easy to do this, it’s downright cruel, but it’s also necessary. You need to examine the parts of yourself which, for some reason, you have been avoiding – perhaps a fear of leaving a relationship and being alone?  Or being vulnerable by loving someone?  Or maybe just standing up for you?  Whatever the reason, the process sucks. But it works. There were times while sitting with these feelings I felt as if someone had one hand around my neck squeezing, and the other in my stomach stabbing. I hated it. But I know now that it’s something which I needed to experience – in order to grow, to cope, to heal. It’s a way to stay alive and not get disillusioned, a way from getting lost.