I’ve Learned What’s Important
Throughout our lives we have a tendency to take people for granted. As we get older and if we have been hurt by certain people we tend to re-write the past and sometimes make it out to be worse than it actually was. Sometimes we let this pain linger until it manifests into a disease. Sometimes we are confused as to why we may be remembering a certain memory at this point in our lives from the past. For example, when I first had my illusions shattered after a tough time in my life, I developed symptoms of PTSD. One of the most distinct features of this was the fact, almost automatically, I had flashbacks. Now, some of the flashbacks were accurate memories and some of them weren’t accurate but the time was too late to act on it. So instead, these elaborate memories, whether true or false, felt very real to me at that time. I noticed things about people I didn’t before. I noticed every single time someone betrayed me in the past and made sure they knew about it. I’m sure at the time of the betrayal I repressed it enough to continue living without any disturbance by the actions of others. I even went so far as to confront those closest to me about these flashbacks. I felt so sure that they were correct and needed to be addressed. These memories fought my sanity to the death.
When those closest to me were confronted, the reaction was not what I expected. I expected for everyone to just apologize and admit what they had done was wrong. I thought that once I confronted them with what I perceived to have done me harm by them, then they would instantly feel remorse and make me feel better about it. But what I didn’t get is even if they hurt me they most likely were not even aware of it at the time or thought that their actions had any effect on me. It’s so easy to reflect back on these times with embarrassment but my intensity was intensified by a complete loss of my structure of reality. Everything about my life was appearing exactly how it was and I did not like what I saw. I especially was upset with myself for the people I let into my life in order to have caused so much pain. Then I realized I had been doing this my whole life. My needs had always been over looked in order to make someone else feel better or the center of attention. I automatically would give up a lead role in a play to anyone who wanted it.
I had completely lost myself and my needs in order to please others. I’ve learned I am important. I’ve learned my needs must be met first before I can give anyone anything. I’ve learned that is the most important thing. After that the most important thing is family and friends. So after my episode I did snap back to reality. Truth is, I knew I wasn’t crazy and know people will say anything to you in order to not look at themselves. Instead of them taking into consideration what I was meaning, their defenses automatically took hold and the attention was turned back onto me in order for those around me to not look at themselves and how they hurt me.Anyway, It wasn’t so much that I lost touch with reality, I was going through a hard time. I was hurt and betrayed by someone so harshly that it opened up wounds in the forefront of my most dark thoughts. My repressed feelings of always being looked over. What I didn’t realize is I did the same thing to people at times. The reason why I was confused was because I was in so much pain, I didn’t realize the pain was coming from inside me. Instead I blamed everyone around me. I was in pain and so they would know it. They caused me pain and so they would know it. I once heard a quote “hurt people hurt people.” We do, we really do.
Now, I see that I would never want to hurt anyone just because I am hurting. I am aware of this occurrence in life now. I’ve learned that there is really not much anyone else can do to help you. It’s vague at this point how I got over that time period. I know I moved away for a job and found a new life. I moved but still, my mind still went with me. I could not run away from that. I’d describe that time period much like a retreat. I had been looking into spiritual retreats and such, but never imagined I’d find what I had been looking for all on my own. With the distance and new life, I ventured into the depths of my pain. The healing begun and never stopped. I started yoga and got in touch with my body and mind. There is so much more to yoga and meditation than one would expect if you are open to experiencing it. And a lot cheaper than a therapist.
Anyway, after I spent some time in my new life, I soon found out even that was not exactly what it seemed. I realized that even if I moved away from the source of my pain, I would have to face it wherever I was. I realized my job I thought was perfect was an absolute nightmare and I was surrounded by truly insane people. Ironically, I found out what crazy really was. They too, took pain and fear out on others. But they built onto the foundations of hatred for years and years. I knew then I would never be like that. I endured until the end while discovering qualities in myself I never knew existed. Sure, we all may go through episodes of experiences so painful they drive you mad, but how far will you let it take you away from what’s important? Will you let it distort your whole life? Will you let it consume you until you lack the ability to cope with any life at all?
I did not. I was lucky enough to find solutions that worked. I wasn’t crazy and I laugh about it now. I think I pointed out some things those closest to me may have done wrong in the past. I believed at the time if I just confronted them, then things would resolve. But what I didn’t realize is I was making things worse by hurting them. Our relationships are stronger than ever now. I’ve learned we are human and that is what life will do. I am grateful everyday for the people I do have in my life. I don’t attempt to have a lot of friends or family but I do attempt to make the relationships I do currently have stronger, instead. A wise man once told me back in my college days that, I may not be important to the new people in my life but I am important to the ones already in my life. Hence, taking people for granted.
I’ve learned friends and family and the relationships we build and connections we form are all we really have in this life. I once read that even Buddha left his family to find his way, but I do not think that is my way. These people we love will not always be in our lives so we much take advantage of the time we have while we have it. Around the time I moved away from home, my dad also developed stage IV cancer. I felt so selfish but I believe it was something my dad had to go through on his own in a way. He has recovered and his cancer hasn’t returned. He learned a lot and I really got to know my dad in a whole new way. I saw him for what he really was and I am okay with that. I’ve learned to accept my parents for who they are. Although, I’ve learned how to set boundaries and the things that used to effect me no longer do. With love for myself and all the healing that took place, I was better able to love those around me.
Overall, I suggest everyone move away from home for a brief time in order to find their voice. In order to find themselves. It is not the distance that is important with what I am talking about. It is the the fact that you will be taken out of your natural/normal environment in which you grew up in. That is the point of this exercise. When humans are taken out of their environments neurosis may development also. Without any external distractions, we are better able to address any issues we have and deal with them. It is not something you are burdened with for your whole life. There is a solution to pain. There is a solution to all problems we face internally. The road was long and I know I have a ways to go, but to know how far I have come helps. I am still healing daily. New experiences emerge and I have to face them. Instead of taking them out on others, I only consult myself first. I ask if this is something from my past that is making me feel this way. Sometimes it is me and sometimes it is the person I am having a reaction to. Discernment is an ability I had to cultivate. I still get confused every once in a while, but I now have solutions.
I’ve learned that if I never would have taken the small steps to heal, I would have never had a breakthrough. Without all those small actions and my strength to really see this through, I would have never discovered the bigger picture; what’s important. I’ve learned I am important. I’ve learned the only thing that matters in life are friends and family and the times we share. I’ve learned I need people in my life. I can not do it alone. This doesn’t mean I take advantage of anyone, but I have realized the best times are the ones we share with others. I’ve learned I can be alone and be happy in my own company also. I have found my voice. I still struggle at times. But these days when a struggle presents itself I do not let it control me. I know it’ll be okay. I’ve learned to recognize when it emerges and work through it instead of repress it. I’ve learned that while I thought my world was collapsing, I was actually falling away to make room for something better. Overall, I’ve learned what’s important.
(Copyright Kerrious 2014 with all rights reserved).