Monday, November 10, 2014

Doing things for myself

Part 2

This is a continuation from yesterday.

5. Forgive all those people who have hurt you

Hardest thing about this one is people mistaking forgiveness with putting yourself back in harms way. I am a big believer in forgiving at a distance. If I am still in danger this is not a time to forgive but a time to protect myself and get myself to a safer place with people that are trustworthy. Too often I was asked to 'forgive' someone that had no intention of changing.  I put forgive in quote mark because the forgiveness they were talking about was a manipulation to shut me up and keep the status quo.  I do believe that nor forgiving past hurts ties me to the past.  Here is the main point.....PAST.   Meaning they are no longer in the process of hurting me.  My childhood was littered with horrible experiences.  Those people are gone and many dead.  Holding onto they hurt ties me to corpses.  They need to be buried and left to rot.  People in my present will hurt me.  Some by accident and some on purpose.  Setting boundaries and protecting myself are healthy choices to their behavior.  Allowing their behavior to control me is a disservice to myself.  Forgiveness is one of those things like love that people twist around to meet their own agendas.  To me, I can forgive without reconciling.  Part of forgiveness is accepting them for who they are.  If they are destructive towards me, accepting them for who they are means I learn that they are not safe to be around.  Walking away is not holding a grudge.  Sometimes walking away is creating a healthy strong boundary.

6. Release all judgments you have placed upon yourself and others

Judgment is another one of those words that get batted around by abusers as a way to avoid consequences.  They scream, "Don't judge me," as their are kicking the crap out of you.  We are required to make judgements everyday.  We decide if it is safe to get on the freeway.  We make decisions about what we will eat.  A basic attribute of the decision making process is making judgments.  I also been on the receiving end of judgments.  Being shunned because I have a mental illness, PTSD.  People jump to conclusions about me when they hear I am in counseling.  Some of those judgments are unjust.  What I am working at doing, with the help of my counselor, is gaining new perspectives as to why people do what they do.  This summer I experienced a major paradigm shift.  I judged my mother to be safer than she actually is.  I gave her too much leniency that nearly had huge negative consequences.  I had to reassess my judgment of how safe she is or more accurately how dangerous she is to my emotional well being.  She may be in her 80's but that doesn't make her tongue any less vicious.  I am accepting that she can no longer physically hurt me.  But that doesn't mean I can judge her to be a safe person to be around, I especially cannot be alone with her, ever.  No matter how sorry I feel for her, no matter what empathy I may feel, she is not safe for me to be around her.  I am only kidding myself and setting myself up to be hurt again if I release that judgment.  I do agree that I need to judge myself less harshly.  I need to reassess how I view myself.  Treat myself with the same compassion I would treat someone else.  I believe it is healthy to question myself with my perspective of people and situations.  I also believe in trusting my own instincts when for some undefined reason I judge a person or situation as not safe.

7. Expect the best from life

I think this one goes with number 6.  How do we judge life?  The opposite of this is awfulizing, expecting disaster at every turn.  When bad things happen in life, I start to expect more bad things happen.  Then my behavior sets the very thing I fear in motion.  Self fulfilling prophecy holds true with positive or negative events.  So in a way by expecting great things in life, I set in motion actions on my part that great things happen.  Another point of view on this thought is you get out of life what you look for.  I remember my husband and daughters went on a camping trip.  My husband expecting things to go wrong.  My daughters looked forward to a fun weekend.  When they came home, my husband told me about the awful things that happened, where as my daughters shared their great weekend.  I knew they both went to the same place at the same time but their expectations influenced their perception of events. 

Part 3 tomorrow........

You can mourn because rose bushes have thorns; or rejoice because thorn bushes have roses.


1 comment:

colleen Kellie said...

'Walking away is not holding a grudge. Sometimes walking away is creating a healthy strong boundary'

I absolutely agree there Ruth. Forgiving someone because they are sorry and ask for forgiveness is easy. Forgiving a person who hurt you and is not sorry is entirely different. I no longer want to be emotionally tied to someone who has intentionally distressed me. So rather than feel resentful, bitter, angry and revengeful I cut myself free by forgiving them; that doesn’t mean I will ever want to see them again.Colleen