One of the hardest lessons to learn throughout my life journey was that I had lived a long time not trusting myself. This started as a child and continued into adulthood.. What I have learned, is that we are creatures of our environments. If we are raised in environments where love is not given freely and therefore we have to loose ourselves to gain that love from others, we tend to never develop trust in ourselves. What a healthy child would learn is boundaries, but if as a child you never had the ability to set boundaries, because you had to take what you could get, then you will carry that with you into adulthood. Let me make myself clear here when I say, I do not blame the adults in my environment as a child. I know they are human and had problems of their own at that point in time that took precedence, and that is no one’s ideal situation, not even theirs. And that’s okay.
Over the past couple years I have learned this about myself and learned to develop healthy boundaries with others, especially those I love. When my eyes were open to this fact, I looked back and saw every instance in which I did not place boundaries and therefore lost myself. I realized I did not trust myself. I did not trust the person that I was to see that what I was doing was only hurting myself. I placed others above me in order to feel loved, liked, or needed. Then I began to ask myself, if all my decisions in life led me to here, what could be so wrong about that? I am here for a reason and everyday there is a reminder that something is right. Sometimes I even question if it’s in my control at all.
Are we in control or does everything work out how it is suppose to work out in order for you to become who you are meant to be? Maybe that is why we are oblivious to a lot of the choices we make while growing up, to learn from them in a way in which only we, ourselves, can understand. Like a blueprint for our life in which is like a story book, neatly prepared for just us, that has multiple endings, depending on our choices? When the same scenario repeats itself in life, that is when the challenge arises. Do we apply our new knowledge from the past so called mistake? Or do we make the same choice and go around in circles and never know why?! Maybe that is the extent in to which our free will extends? Maybe that is why we are forever tricked into playing the game because we think we have some control over the whole mess, when really we are at mercy to our choices we make, but how do we make the right choices unless we are aware of what it is we need the most? This is why we tend to take the long road. Free will is not so much about control over our lives so much as it is about how we react to life.
Anyway, I thought I must have made my past choices for a reason, to be here, now, in this moment. Sometimes I think I could have worked harder or became more passionate about one thing and focused on that, then I would be more successful. But I feel like I need to go through all this before I can be successful. For the most part, I have always trusted things would work out the way they are supposed to and everything will turn out fine. I have always followed my heart, haven’t I? That is something i don’t think I knew the truth about until recently.
In reality, I was repeating patterns, not so much as following my heart. I would choose people who didn’t deserve my love in order to correct the gaping holes of lost love in the past. It was as if I was trying to make my past right by choosing people who could never love me the way I loved them, in order to change the past to validate my life experiences. To make me right. This cycle will only continue unless I do something different. There is such a strong force in me that wants to continue the cycle so that maybe, just maybe, the person I choose will somehow love me. This reminds me of a quote “we accept the love we think we deserve.” This also reminds me of the quote, “Some people feel like they don’t deserve love, they walk away quietly, into empty spaces, trying to fill the gaps of the past.”
These quotes are important because that is exactly what I was doing for the longest time and still continue to be aware of inside me today. I catch myself doing this and realizing I can change it. For the most part I feel like I have come far and overcame a lot, but another part of me still wants to continue the cycle. I think I do this because I think i trust myself. I say well, my choices got me here and I am happy with all that I have learned and since I handled my past so well, then it gives me the confidence to really believe in myself. But the catch is to be able to apply all that I learned to that trust, and adapt and make the necessary changes.
Maybe my choices thus far got me here but I can still choose where I go from here. Why continue to give love to the people who don’t deserve it? To the people who I feel need it most. Now it is my turn to be loved and maybe this idea is so foreign to me that when someone really does love me and would do anything for me, I will turn a blind eye to it. I won’t recognize it because I never had it. I may have thought I had it at one point, but I’m sure I found a way to sabotage it in the past. (Self sabotage is another story for another time.) I’ve got to be able to trust myself enough to move forward with my findings and not continue the cycle.
Sometimes it doesn’t matter how intelligent you are or all the blessings that are in you life, you will still feel like something’s missing. This is the time to be patient with yourself and trust that the answer will come. Maintain self control and recognize if the cycle repeats and then choose the different path this time around. It may feel as if you are betraying yourself but you are not. It may feel like you are not following your heart but you are. You have to keep in mind there is still a part of you that feels you do not deserve it and you have to prove it wrong.
After being in situations where I would constantly have to break my boundaries in order to feel loved, I had to learn it for myself in order to really make the change. Eventually things fall into place and you are no longer saying yes when you want to say no. You no longer do anything you don’t want to do just to feel loved. You realize that you deserve love in a healthy way and it can be done. Over the past couple years, i have done things to prove this to myself. I no longer believed I deserved to be treated a certain way in order to be loved because I was developing self love. I broke things off with men if they began to show signs that they didn’t respect me. I quit jobs where I was being treated poorly. All of these instances were situations in which my boundaries were constantly being belittled. I woke up to the fact that I did not have to put of with it. I trusted myself to make these decisions because I knew I didn’t need to repeat the cycle. I realized that maybe I wasn’t causing people to treat me poorly! Imagine that. Therefore, I could understand it had nothing to do with me and I did not have to subject myself to these situations.
Overall, I learned to trust myself. I looked back at all the past decisions I made and realized I had made those decisions to learn. That’s just the way I am, I have to learn for myself because I never had the environment in which I could develop this as a child and I’m curious beyond belief. I know I am not the only one. If I didn’t go through all of it I would have never become aware of what it was I needed to change. All I can do is remember the good and learn from the bad. This is life and we are all here to experience it our own way. These days I trust that I will make the right decisions while maintaining healthy boundaries. I no longer look to others for love because I have found it in myself. I learned that some people can be trusted and relied on without wanting anything in return, like I do. I learned I am not alone. I’ve learned that when you face a dilemma, things could go either way. You just have to recognize what choice is the you now or the you then. It’s the very subtle difference in the two, you have to be aware of and be able to distinguish from.
I once had to face a dilemma in which an old problem was arising. I couldn’t help but think that maybe my choices have always been what they were because they were supposed to be that way. Like there really isn’t such thing as mistakes because all those choices came from me and led me here. I thought that maybe that is how I am supposed to continue and trust that I have always been right because those choices came from me. But that is not the case because you must apply what you learn. If you don’t change how you face making choices then you are not learning or applying your new knowledge.
It is difficult to want to have healthy relationships and choices when you were not taught as a child. It is so much easier to give in to repeating the cycle, but that is not why I am here. And as an adult you are the one who has to make it happen. Sometimes, the past is so powerful and it will be so hard to change that it becomes a fight to the death. Although, there is really nothing to win, you must show the past it does nothing to help you and that adapting to new ways of thinking is really in your best interest in the long run. I think when it hurts the most and becomes the most difficult to understand is right when you are getting somewhere because that is the sign of the death of the old you. You just have to hang in there and show it that the new you is who you trust now, because trust me, it will fight til the death. 😉
I learned that practicing yoga and learning balance allows you to learn to trust yourself. This helped me a lot and realizing that when I really trusted myself, I succeeded with my balance routine with no problem. But the moment I stopped trusting myself I would fall. Nowadays, I never fall and when I lose balance it is because my mind second guesses myself. This is a good metaphor and good practice to merge into our daily lives.
(Copyright Kerrious 2014 with all rights reserved).