What the blog??

This blog is a textual account of my triumphs and struggles in daily life. I've discovered the core of who I am, now is my chance to discover the vital pieces that make up that core. If you know me well enough, I invite you to leave comments. These may be words of encouragement, observations, memories, Bible verses, or whatever else you deem necessary. I'm always open to hearing what my loved ones have to say.

5.17.2010

Out of the Shadows...Afton the Great

There comes a time in each of our lives that we finally begin to realize who we are, what led us to this place on our journey, and where we want to go from here. For some, the realization happens early on and is usually spurred by an example set by important figures; for others, it takes time and requires help from an outside source. I am part of the second group. I come from parents who wanted to be protective and make sure they had some say in all of the things I did as a child, adolescent, teenager, and young adult. It seems many of the things I did in my life were in an effort to please them, uphold a reputation, or meet an expectation. I learned how to live for others at a very young age (I am perfectly aware of the specific events which led to this survival mode, but those events are not nearly as relevant now as the realization of the behavior patterns I developed as a corollary of those events). This unhealthy pattern is present in all of my major life relationships, and contributed to the demise of many of them - including relationships which could have resulted in true love, intimacy, marriage, children...the major milestones which, to date, are lacking in my life journey. Some of my relationships were able to survive the unhealthy patterns as I began to identify and dissect those patterns, causing the relationships to thrive and develop into incredibly mature connections without any level of co-dependence present. Other relationships are still in the process of determining survival possibilities. Yet, others came to an end in the middle of my journey to find myself. They say when God closes a door, He opens a window. I have to say that the window to my soul is now open, mostly for my benefit but also resulting in the benefit of others who are trying to get to know the real me. It is not always easy to be open; it is still not quite in my comfort zone to let the walls down and cast aside my old patterns of guarding my heart until I determine if someone is trustworthy. I will never become the person who is suddenly careless and lets anyone and everyone into my world. However, I found in my introspection that even with those I knew I could trust I still held back for fear that I would eventually do something that caused them to change their mind about my worth. Today, I know who I am and I know my worth…neither of which will I allow to be defined by another person.

Those who are around to see the change in me cannot help but express their observation of this change. While it is nice to hear those words of encouragement, in the past I would have lived for the words rather than living for the feeling this change is bringing within me. For those who could not tolerate the process I went through to get here, they will never know the real me. They will only know the me that I was being for them, the me that began to break from that unhealthy cycle, and the memory of the version of me to which they choose to hold on. In the past, that would also bother me…I cared what people thought of me and wanted to make sure I made a good impression, “fixed” things when something went wrong, or got the last word in my own defense. Now, I feel the freedom of just being myself and not living to please others or make sure they have a positive view of me. If I could calculate the number of hours wasted on sleepless nights worrying about others, I could probably take several weeks off from work to try to get those back. But, we all know what they say about catching up on lost sleep, so I will press on in a career that I love, practice the self-care that sustains me, love the people who love me, and continue to make sure that I am sleeping at night as I should be…not waiting for the phone to ring because someone needs to be rescued somewhere or because I might be missing out on something. To those who continue to stick by me, I am forever grateful and know we will continue to grow together. To those I lost along the way, I wish you nothing but success and happiness…which, most importantly, is also what I wish for myself and will continue to strive for on a daily basis.

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    I was listening to a radio program once and didn't get what the original topic was, but when I joined in they were talking about how to deal with worrying what others think about you. I have always worried what others thought about me as well...but what stuck with me about the radio conversation is that caller said that, "When you stop worrying what people around you think you will realize that they are rarely thinking about you." I thought that was interesting....not to say that others don't care - but that they don't have time to worry about our life because they have their own life to worry about. Anyhow - I thought it was interesting, because I have never thought of that before...and it seems to be along the same lines as what you have discovered...

    Hope you are doing well! It's been a long time since we have talked. I'm so glad you love your job! Most people probably can't say that! Good luck with everything!

     
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