Posts Tagged With: Choice

Value – Are you a 10?

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Subtle and poetic may be beautiful but, after a phone call from my girlfriend’s childhood buddy, it’s not getting the message out. So, it’s time to be cuttingly direct.

Want to know how you actually feel about yourself? Then look at the people you allow in your life. Do they value your opinion? Are they primarily positive or negative? Do they build you up or tear you down?

The people and behavior we accept in our lives reflects how valuable we think we are.

Let’s do an experiment. Where do you fall on the scale below?

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0 = A flea is worth more.                                    

5, 6, 7 = Safe Zone: More is arrogant,  less implies I don’t like myself.                    

10 = I deserve the best always because I’m worth it. 

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 

Not so long ago, I’d have chosen a solid 7. In fact, a swift wave of nausea descended if I even considered anything higher, complete with dry heaving. Then began the second guessing. Oh lord, the lengths of internal damnation saw no end. Truly, every single thing I’d ever felt bad about, every obligation I couldn’t meet, every single person I let down rocketed through my head, then the number fell.

6… 5… But there was that one time I… No, that didn’t turn out well either… 4… Crappy test. Why am I reading this garbage anyway? 

This internal dialogue may or may not sound familiar. For people who struggle with the value of their time, effort, talent, or beliefs it is all too real. Negative self talk is learned from a young age. Abuse, dysfunctional family dynamics, bullying, and media create a lens through which we see ourselves and the world.

You won’t be any good to anyone else, and soon everyone will realize it.

You need to be prettier, thinner, more promiscuous to find love.

If you were smarter your opinion would matter.

You don’t deserve to have anything because you’re not worth anything to anyone.

You’re not going to find anyone else to love you because you’re a mess, so think about that before you leave.

You’re not good enough to make it on your own.

They’ll never hire you, so why bother wasting anyone’s time?

Each one forms a part of who we might become if our input doesn’t significantly change. Sadly, many people (even one person is too many) internalize conscious and subconscious versions of these messages, killing their confidence and spirit. As adults, we should know better, but we don’t. Instead, most people feed the beast by finding other people who also have a negative self-image, and thus reinforce our derogatory and detrimental thoughts from years of conditioning.

Over the past two years I’ve made a concerted effort to retain those people or things in my life that reflect some level of my personal value and cut out that which doesn’t.

Example #1: As hard as I tried to make the West Virginia house a sanctuary, it was anything but. Holes in the ceiling, broken windows, broken water pipes, an ungodly amount of mold in the basement, and deplorable heating. All of it contributed to my bouts of bronchitis and pneumonia as well as worsening other lupus issues.

The landlord? Well, none of the disrepair was his problem. It was my job to fix his house.

Now, on some level, I actually believed I deserved to live in those conditions, a kind of punishment for some wrong or other I’d done. Sick, I know. But rising power and medical bills combined with the inability to do the simplest task because every breath was an effort in itself has a way of bringing a person down to rock bottom. In one particular moment when I was debating whether to call an ambulance or just stop breathing, I looked around and realized how much I’d been beating myself up, and then devised a succinct plan to stop.

Example #2: I don’t deal well with perpetually negative people. If you see a monster behind every face or door, then I shouldn’t be top choice on your friend list. Even worse than dealing with people who indulge random bouts of paranoia are the ones who flatter publicly, but privately destroy. Now, this isn’t a simple venting about a social or business conflict, it’s a concerted and consistent personal attack behind someone’s back, then smiles and sugar to their face. These chaos vampires who destroy other people out of insecurity and fear frustrate the hell out of me.

And I must of had a fucking neon sign above my head because the past several years I’d been attracting them like flies on crap.

This too is a reflection of value. When we begin to value ourselves we then attract people with similar value systems. I began to take a hard look at the people I allowed into my life. Did they value my opinion? Did I value or respect theirs? Were they constantly in some emotional upheaval, always calling me to help sort it out, but never there when I seriously needed support? Did they live their lives poised for the next enemy? Could I be direct with them?

At the time, I didn’t value my own opinion or thoughts. In fact, every word and action showed the belief of my own worthlessness. Speaking up became cringeworthy; being direct, a deathblow. Because who was I to say something?

Snip, snip, snip. That’s the sound of me carefully crafting my life and cutting out unhealthy friendships and relationships. It took some time, but now I’m surrounded by pretty great people. We’re mutually invested in being straight up because blanket flattery is the worse kind of lie. Honestly, when someone spends an unusual amount of time telling me how great they think I am, I run. Seriously, a straight pick up my stuff and sprint because that type of admiration is false and never translates to actual respect.

So, back to the phone call, which turned out to be a woman living with abuse because she believed she didn’t deserve more. She literally listened to someone who said, “You always come back, so what’s the point in leaving? If you hadn’t left in the first place, then he would be nicer to you.”

A person who values you would never, ever, ever say something so unimaginable. Having said that, there are a few things I want to point out that a lot people may not want to hear.

Living in an unhealthy relationship or chaotic situation is a choice.

Valuing everyone else’s thoughts and opinions and not your own is a choice.

Allowing people in your life who don’t value you is a choice.

Settling for less is a choice.

Change may not be easy at first. Hell, just getting away from a bad situation could suck beyond all reason. But where has staying gotten you?

Just for a moment consider the possibility that when you choose to let go of the people and things contributing to your destruction or, at the very least, holding you back, you will then attract an immense world of others who cherish the fact you exist. They’re waiting for you to release everything that doesn’t serve your greatest good.

What are you waiting for?

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Categories: conscious choices, the fear that binds us | Tags: , , , | 2 Comments

My Broken Road of Blogging and Social Media

Blogging has been a love/ hate relationship from the beginning. When this all started I used it for very personal reasons. It was a vehicle to break illusions, confront fear, and meet other people because words are good for all three.

In my life, I often tap out events to see them from a different perspective. I’ve found they look completely different when I get them out of my head. The result is that I learn far more about myself and other people. If these posts help someone else in the process, then so much the better because we grow from other people’s experience as much as our own.

That’s the purpose of a collective consciousness, to share each laugh or tear and in the telling of life stories become more of our true selves through these teachers. I’ve had many who’ve opened my eyes to a larger universe and helped me avoid otherwise painful lessons. Not always because I’m as human as the next person and, sometimes, very stubborn. But eventually I see the light of wisdom in the advice I receive.

The problem I recently faced with all of this is one I hadn’t anticipated. This tool for breaking through illusion and fear has caused a fair bit of turbulence in my personal life and relationships. Though I explain time and again the purpose of writing out my life and struggles, they eventually offend or upset someone.

So I have two choices — walk away from social media or stop worrying about what people think. The second being the more difficult because I have big love for the people who are or have been in my life.

It’s an excruciating decision.

“You’ve become an amazing woman,” a good friend recently said. “When I met you two years ago, you were this unsure girl who accepted everything everyone did and let people walk all over her. You’ve grown so much, and I’m happy I got to see it.”

These changes were forty years in the making and took every ounce of strength and courage. It nearly broke me, and by that I mean I was ready to send my daughter back to California and fade off the face of the planet.

It’s interesting people say, “Love yourself and do what’s right for your life.”

It’s a double edged sword, isn’t it? Because what they mean is… do it so long as it doesn’t change anything with them. We admire people who blaze their own path, but demonize them when they fall short of our expectations. No one is immune from this human failing, not even me. But over the past several years, I’ve come to understand that I won’t understand why or how people do things, but I respect their journey, even if it’s far from mine. And I’d hoped for the same respect in return.

But when I started saying:

“Hey, I want to help, but I just can’t.”

 

Or… “Look, if you want to be here you need to start contributing because I can’t afford to support you.”

And… “I’m not going to be your part time playtoy, so if you want a relationship let’s do this thing.” 

That’s when I found out who was here to be part of my life and who wasn’t. I found out who truly respected me and who didn’t. I thought I’d be more angry, but not really. I mean, sure I’m sad because we’d put a lot of time and energy into those relationships, but they also created a lot more turmoil than I’d realized.

I have many fond memories, and they’ve all been wonderful teachers of one kind or another. So none of the time we spent together was wasted, at least not from my perspective.

 

Looking back serves one purpose, to see my strengths and failings in any given moment, and possibly do it better in this one. In my mistakes and successes, I find lessons and teachers. In my words, I cut through the crap and find the reality outside the complicated mess of thoughts and emotions twirling through my head. Though these posts have evolved, this process hasn’t changed, but I have through it.

So, I suppose I answered my own question in the course of writing this post. It isn’t a big screw you to world, but rather points me back to something I wrote this summer.

Authenticity because anything else is slow death.

Just as I don’t have the right to tell any of you who you are or should be, no one has the right to tell me either. We might be able to try on other people’s shoes, but we can’t walk in them because their road is paved by a lifetime of experiences we can never know.

Ultimately, we have power over one thing – Choice. Not the outcomes or consequences, but we choose the path to our next lesson. And mine is a dirt road where maps or GPS have yet to conquer. Though I may hit a pothole of two, I have a feeling it will end up being one of the biggest adventures of my life.

And in this very moment as I write these words, I’ve decided you’ll find out about it right here, if you choose to join me. 🙂

Categories: answers, breaking illusions, Choice, love, relationships, the universes we create, what once was | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

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