Over the past 3 years, I have really been working hard on self-improvement.  It stems from many things, but mostly, seeing people around me and their resultant children and wanting better for myself and my children.  It was not a “We’re better than you!” type of thing, but a, “I don’t want my children feeling that way, thinking that way, or doing things that way.”  I know that neither myself nor my children will be perfect, but the sense of entitlement, playing the victim, and the unwillingness to do anything for themselves was overwhelming.  I didn’t want my kids doing any of those things, and it seemed the best way to avoid that was to just not model the behavior myself.

 

I’m a cry baby.  I wouldn’t say I am a drama queen, but I am a cry baby.  It’s so easy to hurt my feelings, to do or say something that will forever change my perception of you.  It’s ridiculous.  I know that.  3 years ago, if half the things that have happened in the last 2 years happened, I’ve had about a quarter of the friends I have now.  I’m at a point where, 90% of the time, I can honestly say, “If that works for you, keep it up.  I’m not judging you, but it’s not for me.”  What kills the other 10% is when that respect is not returned.  For me, there is a huge differene between different practices with mutual respect for the others’ choice, and different practices with blatant disregard for the fact that it may work perfectly for the person making that choice.  I’m at a point where, you can hurt me and I can let it go.  When it festers NOW, I know that it is truly something that I need to address, as opposed to sleeping on it and waking up, deciding to just let it roll and forget it.  The last 3 years, I think I have gotten much better at stepping back and asking, “Why is this hitting me so hard?  Why is this upsetting me in this way?  What can I do to change it?”  I put it back on me.  Sometimes I find that it’s genuinely something that the other person was just really and truly wrong about.  I talk to them after I’ve had a chance to sleep on it a night or two.  If they’re okay with their actions, I decide if that is something I could continue to be okay with it.  If not, I just let it go and put some distance between us.  By that point, they know the deal and that’s that.  Other times, I find there is something there from the past that has hurt me and I am holding this person and this instance responsible for the past.  That’s not fair.  I take some time to seperate the past from the present and decide if I am only upset because of what has happened in the past.  If that’s the case, I build a bridge and get over it.  If the case is such that I am hurt because it genuinely cut me, I tell the person and then build a bridge and get over it.  What’s the point in carrying all that around?

 

When I really think about, I think I carry 2 big things with me at all times.  I don’t know that those two things will ever be things I feel I can set down, or build a bridge and get over.  I hope to let one of them go.  The other, I am carrying out of self-punishment.  Plain and simple.  For now, I don’t feel I *deserve* to set it down and rid myself of its weight.  But even a year ago, I couldn’t have said that.  Everything else…  Well, it may come up, but it doesn’t conjure anywhere near the hurt, anger, and malicious feelings it did before.  I think it takes more to make me cry, more to make me angry, and still more to keep me crying and angry.  I find that talking to my husband and my Nae is usually enough to help me put it in perspective.  With few exceptions, I bounce my thoughts, ideas, and feelings off other people who may know the other person involved, specifically before approaching the person themselves, but it’s a chance to make sure I’m not going to come at them all wrong.  I wish I could say I never gossip, but I think I gossip a lot less now.  I find myself not saying a whole lot I haven’t already said to the person in question.  It’s easier that way.  But then, I’m still a girl, and I’m still pretty soft, so things do come out of my mouth that are hurtful, mis-directed, and sometimes downright mean.  I just hope that when that happens, people call me on it.  I can’t fix what I don’t know to be broken, you know?

So right now, I am kinda’ feeling like I sh*t rainbows.  I’m not perfect, but I have come a long way.  My “THOTM” project has worked wonders to open my eyes to the trees in my forest.  I am still blind to a lot of things, but I think those things are fewer and farther between now.  When they’re pointed out to me, I damn sure have an easier time seeing them now than I did 3, 2, and even a single year ago.  I hope that I never stop trying to be better.  I don’t want to be better than anyone.  I just want to be the best *I* possibly can for myself, my children, my husband, and all those other awesome people in my life.  Today is a good day…  and I will make tomorrow even better.

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