I can choose to let it define me, confine me, refine me, outshine me......or I can choose to move on and leave it behind me.
The other day I posted this picture on my Random Thoughts
facebook page. I wrote a caption for it that said: "Face it. Learn from it. Make peace with it. Than let it go." The response was immediate and overwhelming. One lady called it the most empowering picture she had seen. Something so simple. Yet so huge to most. You can't erase your past. Your history. It is there, will always be there. But what it doesn't always have to have, is a strangle hold on you. Over the years I have done what this picture portrays a number of times. There is something so cathartic about fire. It cleanses. Its putting everything into a box and burning it. The finality like a slamming door. It can no longer hurt you, you have burned away its power over you. It is done.
We all have histories. No one makes through life unscathed. It is a fact of life. Shit happens and you deal. But you can find ways to release it's hold on you. The past is just that, past. Its over. Going over and over it in your head just means you can't or won't let it go. To some it is like a safety net, an excuse not to be happy, not to be confident or not to live. Instead of learning from it, facing it once and for all and eventually making peace with it. They hold it close. Almost like a barrier against anything worse happening. Or some use their past as a defense- It happened once, it could happen again. But when you do this, you lose your today.
Your today is the most important thing.
Your past: You can choose to let it define you, confine you, refine you, outshine you......or You can choose to move on and leave it behind you. There is usually nothing tangible that you have to hold on to. Journals maybe, a memory box, letters, emails whatever. Keeping things that hold you to something you really need to let go of, are never going to release you.You have to find you power and release them.
Use that one foot you have planted in the past to propel you forward to your future.
Burn it. Write things that you need to let go on a piece of paper. Write it all out of your system. Print off the emails and than burn them. A few months back I had a letter. It was a long letter that to me felt as solid as an anchor around my neck. Those 7 pieces of paper had the weight of an albatross. Words. Powerful words that I never wanted to read again, but somehow couldn't stop. One day I had enough. I got a big steel pot, went outside and I burned that damn letter. I cried, I yelled and then I felt this calm. I had released something that had such a hold over me. I felt free, I felt lighter. I felt that I could finally get a handle on things and move out from underneath them. The feeling of setting those papers on fire and watching them burn and smoke was amazing.
I didn't walk away from burning that letter simply over the pain. When I walked away from that ceremonial burning though I was somehow, cleansed. That in burning it and scattering the ashes far away from me, I gave myself permission to move forward.
We will never forget our histories. The people that made appearances both good or bad. People we love and lost. Hurts we felt or inflicted. Mistakes we made. Time will never erase it, it will never disappear. But it's hold, its power over you, will. You have the ultimate control over it. Use it. Feel that strength. Be bold.
Face it. Learn from it. Make peace with it. Than let it go.
Burn Baby Burn.
☼ Believe in yourself enough to fight for you.☼
When you respect yourself, your time and your life,
others will have no choice but to respect it as well.
There is only one person you can count on 100% in this world to stand up for you, fight for you and demand respect for you. That is you. You have to plant your feet firmly, use your strongest voice and lay the law down. Only you. No one else has that power, as they shouldn't. You wield all the power over your own existence. If you don't, than you are doing something wrong. Allowing people to walk all over you, make unrealistic demands of you, place their burdens on your shoulders instead of carrying their own load, has got to stop. You can give and give to people, however if they never once lift a hand to help themselves, it will never stop. You will end up annoyed, exhausted and resentful. Thing is, you should be annoyed, at yourself. Not them. Really. Because you never once said no, or stood by a 'no' when you said it. You did and did some more until it became habit. You then get resentful because you are constantly doing, looking the other way or shouldering responsibilities that weren't yours to begin with, but are now because you took them. You get tired of always being the one to do things. You get so exasperated that you want to throw your hands up and yell, No More!! But you never do.
Why is just saying No, so hard? We all want to help people, be there for our friends and family. Why is setting boundaries with people we care about so impossible? Why is it so difficult to stand up for ourselves with family and friends? Is it because you are afraid that they will stop loving you? Walk away from you? Be mad at you? So what if they are? There is alot of power in that phrase right there. "So what?" Let them be mad at you, let them walk away. Because in doing so gives you your life back. They don't have to like it. Their happiness is not your responsibility. YOUR happiness is. They don't have to like it. But they have to respect it. You have to demand that they respect it. You have to--HAVE TO stand up for yourself. Stand your ground and be firm.
Be your own champion. You don't need someone else to do it for you. You do it. You take control and stop letting people, family-whoever walk all over you. Its not ok. Stop justifying their behavior. You cannot help someone who will NOT help themselves. And they will never help themselves if you won't let them.
Getting angry at people who take advantage of you is easy. But looking internally and accepting the responsibility for allowing it, is not. You allowed it to happen. You took everything they handed you. Out of guilt, out of fear or lack of confidence, you took it. Seeing this for what it is should show you that you have control. You can say no, you just have to allow yourself. The world won't end. The sky won't fall. People may get mad, they may yell and carry on. That is up to them. They are responsible for their own lives. Regardless of how much you put into it. Give them the chance to live, to make mistakes, to become strong in their own right. By standing up for yourself, by saying no, you are giving them a gift. Though chances are they won't see it as such at first, or at all. But you will.
Take back the power of your life. Learn to stand up for yourself. Walk away if you have to, schedule alone time or me time. Understand that the only way people can take advantage of you, is if you allow it.
Believe in yourself enough to fight for you. If you respect you, your time and your life, others will have no choice but to respect it as well.
I may not know where my road leads. Or what is around the next turn.
I may not see the sudden pot holes nor dark clouds gathering.
I do know that I will continue walking, overcoming all that I find.
I will walk with humor and love.
I will never lose my stride.
I wrote this a couple of weeks ago. I had come upon a crossroad that wasn't on any map on my world. Never saw it coming and then Bam! it was there. Rocked me pretty good. I thought that I may have finally come up against something that I wasn't prepared to handle. For me, this is unthinkable. I have faced and handled so much in my life, I was feeling pretty strong. Til I hit this particular crossroad, with dark storm clouds gathering off in the distance. I stumbled a bit a first. The weight of what could happen took my breath away and felt like the pressure of the universe sat squarely on my shoulders. Still does. Except now I am in a holding pattern, as the direction I need to go in has not been revealed yet. Life has decided to take the wait and see approach to this particular event. To say I am not exactly pleased, is an understatement. However I have absolutely zero control. So what am I going to do, wail at the heavens, plead with the stars? Not my style. I am going to dig deep and I am going to handle it. Whatever "it" turns out to be.
Life can deal some nasty blows and some very unpleasant surprises at you. It is up to you to see things for what they are and deal. You have to deal. You may stumble and feel like the weight of whatever you have in your life is going to crush you, but it won't. It may feel like your world is splitting apart at the seams, that the pressure is going to drive you to your knees. It may. For a moment. That is ok. But only a moment. There was one moment during this "event" that I really was splintering. I wanted to run, I wanted to hide, I wanted to find someone and say here, you handle this. I can't. I went outside and I stood real still. Inside I was waging a war with myself. There was no "it will be ok" or "everything happens for a reason"... What there was, was a knock down drag out fight with myself. I wanted to curl up in a little ball and hide. I stumbled. Ohhh hell did I. For a moment. It was like I had to release all that in order to get it out of my head to realize, I got this shit handled. Regardless of the outcome, regardless that it is completely out of my control. I will handle it. I will hope and pray for the best, but I will prepare for the worst. Because that is what you do. You dig deep, deeper still and you find that never ending well of resolve to see what you have in front of you through. You don't back down, you don't walk away and you don't pretend it isn't there. You face it, you struggle with it and you handle it.
Life is messy. It is also wonderful, powerful and amazing. A bad moment in your life, isn't your entire life. A bad year or two does not define your existence. Unless you let it. You can wallow in all that is wrong, or has been wrong. Piss and moan about all you have been through in the past, having going on today and could have in the future. Or you can see it for what it is. Do not let the pot holes of life define you. Let your strength and resolve to handle your business and get on with living be what defines you. You are strong enough, tough enough, smart enough. Stop telling yourself otherwise. And above all else, you are worth it. You deserve all the happiness and love this life has to offer. But it is up to you to make it happen.
Walk your road with purpose. With your shoulders pulled back and a tilt to your chin. Look the world square in the eye and say; "I got this shit handled." Keep walking because you never know what is around that next bend, it could just be all that you wanted, dreamed of and wished for.
It started as a bad hair day and went to hell from there.
Everything feels off. You are cranky and the crazy in the world seems to be following you around everywhere you go. You glance at the sky to see if it is a full moon, you read your horoscope, sure that it will tell you should have stayed in bed. You get that feeling in your belly, a tightness in your chest and that half a headache that just won't go away. You feel like you are running and running and then realize, yeah you have been running- just in circles. Days when no amount of coffee seem to perk you up and all you want to do is hide from the world. Yeah, been one of those days. The type of day when everything that could go wrong, does. The days when a normally punctual you is late for everything, including getting up on time and out the door. Days where the coffee shop screws up the same order you have gotten for the past 5 years and where everyone on the road decided overnight that NASCAR moved the races to the highway and you are now in the Sprint Cup whether you wanted to be or not. You get cut off left and right, always seeming to have some guy riding your bumper. Yeah, been one of those days.
See it all started as a bad hair day and went to hell from there. I should have known what kinda day it would be really. Raining for the 3 day in a row, totaling over 7 inches of rain since Saturday.. ahh hell make that 4 days.. See, its one of those days when I don't even know what day of the week it is. Sigh. I think everyone I came into contact today was off, crazy or just simply weird. I realized around 3pm that it really wasn't just me. Everyone was cranky, touchy and a pain in my ass. Ok, so I may be generalizing here a bit, but you get my meaning right? For no particular reason either. I slept good last night, did not have anything major pressing today, aside from the stress of a life situation I have going on, nothing to make me particularly bitchy today... but alas, I am. Locked into bitch mode and absolutely no justification for it.
Thing is- it happens. You have off days. Its not the end of the world. Well, it could be for someone that pisses me off. Just kidding. Sort of. But I mean really, you are allowed to have one of those days once in a while. Its called being human. Days when the last thing you want to do is deal with any sort of crisis, ignorant person, well to be honest people in general. Days when you want to get home as fast as you can, get into comfy clothes and just be. I am normally not a negative person, but on days like today, I have learned not to fight it. I do what needs to be done and I head to the one place that never fails to soothe me. Home. I read a book and get lost in a story. I write. I create pictures and posters for my Facebook page or a zone out and watch TV. Anything to shut my brain off and get back to being Jenn. I am not going to sweat it. It happens. I have learned throughout my life that you need to listen to that little voice inside your head. If is telling you the world has gone mad and that you need to go home and hide from the craziness, than do it.
Tomorrow is a new day. Let's hope my hair behaves..