Kerrious

When Curiosity Doesn't Kill You……YOU LEARN. More Than Just a Breathe of Fresh Air

Archive for the tag “life lessons”

I’ve Learned It’s Okay to Cry

Why do some have to be alone to cry? Rather why do we think it is something to hide? Why can’t we share crying like we share laughter? Is it because we are ashamed? Don’t want to make the other person in our company upset? Is it uncomfortable? Is it uncomfortable to console a crying person? Do we talk ourselves out of it? Do we brush it off and tell ourselves we are okay? Do we think we are too strong to cry? Do we think we are being irrational because that is what we have always heard? Are we afraid to be vulnerable so much that it’s holding us back from expressing those tears when we so desperately need to in order to connect to others and heal? We all do it differently. Some really do seem irrational because they have let it build up so long that by the time it comes out they may need to check into a mental ward if it were witnessed because that’s how confused you can get if you don’t release it as soon as you can. As soon as we realize and understand. As soon as we understand our individual reasons and what we are going through, the more we can pin point your exact source of the pain/problem. It can and will manifest in other ways such as abuse, tearing others down, becoming numb or apathetic, paranoia, you name it, and all can happen before you even become of aware of the way it has made you. And then again some people do cry anyway, but still don’t understand because it is still a process. You can’t just go through the motions of crying without gaining the insight and healing it allows you to do. Without fully succumbing and becoming one with the process. It is intense and some people even procrastinate and continue to do so out of fear or laziness because they don’t wish to go through that again. They know what they are about to face and would rather avoid it in order not to understand but what they are missing is all the ways it helps afterwards, if only they would just keep going.

Some use it to manipulate others and they don’t have to be alone to do it. I think that is a big difference. (and other times we only think they are being manipulative when they are being genuine). Not everyone has a motive, some just need to have shoulder to lean on. Some have to be alone because it is such a powerful and personal thing because they really mean the tears that they cry. Which is even harder in a world that says vulnerability is a weakness. We sometimes have to be alone to cry because it’s that personal and it means that much to somebody. Whereas some people cry to get what they want, manipulation, so they have to be in front of people. Whereas those who cry alone need that space as if it is an almost sacred act. But to truly have people there for you to console you is sometimes all you have. I’ve seen those close to me break down in front of me time and time again throughout my life and sometimes that is all a person needs. To be seen, to not feel alone in their pain. But that pain is really only theirs to feel and then it helps to have someone witness it in order for that person to move on.Plus they do it in hopes that they can be cheered up in the process. I almost always try to have them laughing by the end which is another purpose it serves. Or help find a solution or something they aren’t seeing. Some don’t even know why they begin to cry but then continue to do the same things to hurt themselves anyway. Sometimes they just tell me afterwards, after they’ve cried and need to tell someone. And sometimes life’s circumstances are not in our control at all, like death, which is the most prevalent reason we cry. Sometimes all you can do is be there.

For example, I remember when my first grandparent to pass away died and that was also my first experience with death in my family for me. My mom woke us up for school that morning except she said we weren’t going to school because grandma died. But to get up and get dressed. She did it in her usual way and was trying to stay as normal sounding as possible to not upset us, or herself, really. So without hesitating, I got up and started to get dressed. Then we went about the routine of family gatherings and funerals. But it wasn’t until much time later that I was lying in bed one night and just began to sob. I was angry at God and asked him why? It just didn’t seem fair to me at the time. She was all we had sometimes. It was an unexpected death which is another reason it took so long to sink in and such. I began to feel bad about all the times I didn’t listen to her even. But I did not confront the situation until after everything had already passed. I was never spoken to about death and what we were doing as I think my mom was just going through the motions as well. Although she stayed strong for herself and us, she couldn’t do it all. I remember seeing her upset on the couch and just wanting to hug her so tight but she was so good at being okay that I thought she was okay even though I knew she wasn’t. I just hung out for a bit until she got up. Anyway, that night in bed I cried so hard and long and after my angry conversation with God, I stayed mad at him for sometime after that by the way, go figure. But if I knew then what I knew now, I would have immediately, when I saw my mom upset on the couch, I would have sat next to her and hugged her and we would have cried together. But instead I cried alone some time after her death instead of right away. It’s just the way things were and are for the most part. It always takes time but why should it take us so long to react? There are many factors but if you react right away you set the stage for healing right away.

Then some families instantly console each other after a death. Later in life, I once knew a family who did that in my presence and I immediately felt uncomfortable even though I was basically part of the family myself. I wanted to let them do their thing but sure enough they pulled me into the hug but I could not cry. I still had a delayed reaction and was trying to be strong for my boyfriend at the time. All I could do was be there.

Same thing happened when I watched a family dog die. I was with a family and we all sat around crying and consoling each other as the dog was lying on the living room floor. I had just walked into the room to see this. I found myself uncomfortable that time also and embarrassed to show emotion. I didn’t know whether to cry or laugh because of it. I wanted to make everyone laugh but at the same time I knew what they were doing is what they needed to do. And the next day everyone was okay because they reacted right away and was able to move on right away.

Many stories later and even later on in life, I began to accept death. I saw it as something not to be upset about but to embrace. But there is no escaping being upset I’ve learned. Life does move forward whether I am upset at the time or later. And life does keep throwing these things at you and each time I understand more and more.

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Those who cry alone know the burden is theirs and theirs alone. Although, they don’t realize it doesn’t have to be. But even though I would listen to someone cry for hours doesn’t mean they would do the same for me. It’s true and funny enough, life eventually gives you people that you can do that with. You learn to console in a manner you see best at the time for the circumstance. You learn compassion is something that stays fresh in the present, despite what someone may have done in the past. Because when they call on you to cry to, you aren’t thinking about the past or if they would do it for you. All you know is that you are who they thought of when they need to cry because no one else they know would understand. They know you won’t think they are being stupid no matter how many times they try to convince you they are.

Those who cry alone can carry their burdens along with other people’s as well. I think that is the biggest difference.

When I cry I know there is no other solution. When I’ve gone through all the explanations in my head not to and searching for a way out of it. When really, I know now, that if my mind wonders as if it’s looking for a solution to feel better after an ordeal of some sort in life, and I still can’t think of why I feel so lost in my mind, that I just need to cry. It’s hard to convince myself it’s okay because I am always looking for ways to make things better but then I realized crying is actually the one thing that does make it better. And when I feel lost for words and can’t talk. The only solution is to cry and feel everything that I was trying to rationalize away in my mind as if I could take a paper towel and absorb the mess but instead I need to just let it go and see what I can find in the mess. Take notice to the formations, flow, and texture of the tears and how it feels good to do so. Recognize the images they bring to your mind. Grab onto the foreign feelings that come up until you can’t anymore. Have compassion for yourself. Rather than force yourself to think of a solution not to cry, think of all the reasons to cry because the images/feelings they bring are exactly why you are feeling stuck and why you are in confusion. Most of the time it is because we stay strong, because we know there is a time and place for everything. We do what we have to do but afterwards nothing else can be done besides to cry, alone, or with someone who will just be there, because that is the place you will find your answers, not through someone else giving you advice or talking but simply by being there. And sometimes, crying chooses the time for you, and when it comes is when it comes, all on it’s own timing. But now I know when there is no other solution, you must cry. There the answers reveal themselves. Because the tears have to flow out and be exposed to your skin and air then dry back into your skin in order to transform their very nature, which is rather a soothing realization that it’ll all be okay. Everything becomes something different afterwards. If only we can cry and not try to rationalize a million ways out of it because it isn’t irrational at all but the most rational and sane thing you can do at the time. Never keep the urge to control your tears, whether it be out of pain or beauty. Why do we see someone crying and think it’s an unusual and crazy act? Like the person crying is a monkey in a zoo and everyone else just stares or walks by. Never fight the urge to shed some tears. For they are as real of a solution as you can find and you won’t get such a headache from searching for a solution and reason as to why you feel so stuck, instead you’ll feel better. Because you just released all that was holding you back in the first place.

Whatever those reasons may be and all the various ways this can be said and done, just remember, it’s okay to cry.

Remember to check out my blog post titled “I’ve Learned Healing is Feeling,” for more in depth ways if you need tools to begin with or to help.

Copyright Kerrious 2014 with all rights reserved.

I’ve Learned it’s Okay to Get Excited

As we live our lives and grow older and begin to learn more about life and ourselves as individuals, we tend to come across subtle qualities about ourselves we weren’t aware of before. One thing I have noticed is that as we grow older it becomes more difficult to get excited about anything. This came about through years of being told to “smile” and to “cheer up” or better yet, “show some excitement.” On the inside I was excited but I just didn’t get why those around me didn’t see it. As children it is easy to jump up and down with excitement but not so much as adults. The reason I feel this way is because as a child I would get excited about something and then right away it would be taken away from me. Some adults around me would use what I was excited about as punishment. For example, if I got excited about going to a friends house for a party or to go swimming that day, that was exactly what would get taken away from me if those adults found it necessary to punish me for something.If I had a toy I really liked, that would be taken away from me and so on.

So I would begin to hide my excitement in order for those things not to be taken from me. This, I believe, led to a lot of inaction on my part with a lot of instances throughout my life where I could have applied myself more but didn’t because this was holding me back. I began to realize I hadn’t been excited about much in a long time. I knew there was a lot to look forward to and be excited about but when it came to expressing that it was almost non-existent. All my accomplishments in life were not met with the excitement and gratitude they deserved because of this. I realized there was shame associated with being excited. That those punishments piled up to the point that I had to adjust and hide such excitement in order to keep what it was I was excited about. Because if I let it show then it was in danger of being taken away. I still remember the feeling I would get. Almost like a feeling of betrayal which led to being hurt and then led to hiding it in the future. So immediately following my feelings of excitement would be a feeling of loss. Going from super excited to extremely disappointed and hurt.Even if the punishment did justify what I did wrong there were still times that it wasn’t warranted and that is why it manifested into what it did as I grew up. Because not every time I was punished did I deserve it. The punishment did not add up therefore, I did not understand. So it amounted to more and more confusion which caused me not to see what was really going on. I associated my punishment to being excited when really it had nothing to do with it. Yes, my excitement was being used against me which led me to hide it more, but now as an adult, there is no one to use it against me. There is no reason to punish myself. Self-sabotage is a form of punishment that stems from what I am talking about. Where I would take over the role of the adult and take something taken away from me just because I was so used it, I would delay the inevitable and get something taken away from me because that is how I had been programmed to think. When really, it doesn’t have to be that way, and I see that now.

This revelation came about in many ways, but it became real when I first began practicing yoga in group settings with an instructor. We were in the middle of the balance training and I completed the whole routine without falling. It was like I went somewhere else completely and allowed myself to trust myself while shutting down all thoughts and maintaining focus. After it was over I automatically started smiling and immense excitement took over. But as soon as the instructor noticed and complimented me, I felt ashamed I was so happy and excited. I took note of that incident and finished the class. But I had much more work to do afterwards. My inability to feel excitement was accompanied with shame and succeeding. And even worse, I was embarrassed that I felt it, and that was reflected back to me through my instructor. My instructor was supporting my growth instead of trying to take it away. It was the support afterwards that made the difference and set the stage for change in myself. Something different happened and I took notice. Something so simple opened up a complex pattern I had formed. So, I guess when I realized that, it had a different effect on me, which allowed me to see it differently from how I had before. Having this happen in front of another person is a key element in the equation because they are observing it right there with you, making it more real. It’s one thing to experience things like this alone but it’s completely different and more productive in the company of others, because I thought I didn’t get embarrassed, but what was going on inside me embarrassed me. Others can serve as reflectors and there is a difference between that and projection, so it’s important to know the difference. Anyway, yoga was leaving me with no choice but to express and it came about automatically. This can be attributed to the fact I shut down my thoughts and allowed it to come through me to be expressed, easily. There were no filters or hiding anymore which eventually left nothing but the truth at that moment in time. It was a moment I’ll never forget and really weird at the time, but it never happened again. Eventually, I’d do my yoga and the excitement and appreciation for my findings, remained with me each time. If I succeeded, I’d smile with the instructor and thank her instead. I’m no longer ashamed of my capabilities. It was okay I was getting good at my yoga. No one can take that away from me and I see that now. I’ve learned it’s important to take responsibility for your successes as well! Never downplay your potential or how far you’ve come. I’ve learned it was me who worked hard to earn those successes.

Then I remembered something. I think I was remembering the first time it ever happened. It reminded me of the time my mom heard me sing a song about a homeless man I saw sitting across the street and my mom gave me a compliment as she was walking by me. I couldn’t have been older than 5. I remember not caring if anyone was listening but also hoping no one was. Because if no one was listening I could sing about this man with all I had and not be embarrassed of the emotions I was feeling. I was intrigued with empathy for this man which was the gist of the song. My mom told me it was a beautiful song and instantly I was embarrassed and ashamed just for expressing myself. Maybe even more embarrassed I was caught having empathy and curiosity and that man. I don’t think I ever sang like that again. But I turned to writing eventually, so maybe it all worked out. Anyway, it’s like the more compliments and evidence appearing that I was good at something, the more I’d not want to do it anymore. I was learning to hide. It started that young if not earlier. I’ve also learned to accept compliments, but that is another story that shall be told another time.

For another example, it also reminded me of a time when I was six and we were playing around the world with multiplication flash cards. I was really good at it and won every time. Eventually, the teacher agreed to skip the kids who usually won to let the kids who never one play a game with just themselves. So in a way I felt like I was being punished for being smart. I didn’t mind letting the other kids play, but I remember the feeling of being left out of something I was extremely excited about. The teacher decided this after she announced we were playing so I got up all excited to only have sit back down with disappointment in a quick minute. I was always so excited when the teacher would say we were playing that game and then it was taking away while implanting a seed that implied being smart means you will be left out or that it wasn’t a good thing. Plus the game was taken away from me at the same time. Once again, my excitement proved to cause something to get taken away. I knew then and know now I wasn’t being punished but it still made its impact on me. It’s funny how these things manifest later in life. I was always two grades ahead in math throughout school, but eventually I not only learned to hide my excitement, but I also learned to hide how smart I really was. Even though I was always two grades ahead in math, I sometimes wonder why I wasn’t smart enough to know it was better to be smart than to fit in so I wouldn’t be left out. I felt punished for winning every time when I should have been supported. I see now that this is the past and just because I felt that way doesn’t mean they had bad intentions, I know that, I’m just pointing out how these little things do add up and do make impressions on us as we grow up, especially as a six year old. And how we can be oblivious to how they manifest inside us and affect us throughout our lives. But as we get older we get a clearer perspective and realize it doesn’t have to a part of us anymore. We don’t have to let it define us. Sometimes we take the past and make it out to be much worse than it actually was and other times we take a look at the past and realize it was more important than we thought at the time. We either blow it out of proportion or we don’t give it enough significance to begin with. I’ve learned to take notice of just the importance of past incidents and see them for what they were instead of blowing them out of proportion.

Then I realized that this little habit had been holding me back from expressing much throughout my life. It stopped me from expressing appreciation for those in my life also. With no excitement came a mound of other emotions that weren’t being expressed due to me being shut down as a child. My ability to express excitement eventually ceased which led to the emotions that normally occur afterwards to cease also. I began to wonder if this led to people thinking I didn’t appreciate things they were doing for me because I couldn’t express it. Like I had a built in mechanism that prevented me from doing so out of fear that it would be taken away or that it was too good to be true. I didn’t realize how it was effecting those close to me. All because of these incidents long ago.

Overall, I’ve learned that it is okay to be excited! Which led me to learn to express gratitude. Which led me appreciate those in my life more and be able to show them also. I saw the foolishness in it and since have recovered my inner child and accomplished feeling excitement again. This was accelerated through my yoga practice while it allowed this problem to magnify and come to the surface to be expressed in order for me to understand it better. Although I was caught off guard at first, it was exactly what needed to happen in order for me to discover and heal this aspect of myself. That day in yoga allowed me to feel excitement/happiness and then express it and then I was able to observe my negative reaction to it especially in the presence of another person. That was key. I came to the conclusion that only I can take away the things that I’m excited about, and that there is no one else that can. This also is great insight into self-sabotage behavior which overflows into relationships because even people would get taken away from me, but that is a story that should be told another time.

As I ventured down this road further, I’ve learned if I build up a lot of excitement and things don’t go as planned that that is okay also. It’s important to understand that when things don’t go as you pictured to not let it disappoint you. It’s okay to be excited and have expectations but it’s important to not build up what the outcome will be and then be disappointed when it doesn’t happen exactly as you thought. So even though I am now able to express excitement when I am excited about something but I also do not create expectations. With expectations comes disappointment. It’s important to let go of control with the outcome. I’ve learned that through discovering my inability to express excitement due to my fear of it being taken away (whether it be a thing, event, a pet, or person), that it led to many other inabilities that stemmed from this. It almost led to a life of apathy from just this isolated incident. But if you are aware of what caused it then you can go back to the root of the problem and understand why you are the way you are and it is possible to recover what was once lost. Because it is still a part of you, you just have to find it again. But most of all, I’ve learned if you hide your excitement you are missing out on the one thing that allows your passions to come to the surface. And without knowledge of what drives you, you will never know what you want or what will make you happy.

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(Copyright Kerrious 2014 with all rights reserved)

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).

I’ve Learned Self Hatred Stems From Judgement

Throughout my journey I have learned that we judge ourselves harshly. We can repress those feelings towards ourselves to where they come out later through judging someone else or self hatred. If you really felt good about yourself, you would not need a reason or even feel like judging another, especially ourselves. We judge ourselves when we feel we have done something against our standard moral code. Our moral code that we only think is permanent. We think that we put so much work into developing this character we play based on our perception of our beliefs, that it can’t be changed. It would cause too much pain and is too much work, we think. We cling to it as if we are so scared to start again. What we don’t realize is life will do that and it’s inevitable. Life will prompt you to change. Will you allow it or will you fight it and continue to suffer? It’s important to realize there will be no instant gratification and you will need to keep that in mind.

Life will throw situations at you that you never thought you’d be in and leave you with the choice in how to handle these situations. When we have to make choices that go beyond our present beliefs about right vs. wrong, we seem to think we did something wrong. Hence this judgement against ourselves. When our actions do not line up to our core beliefs and you have to act outside those beliefs, we feel separated from them and feel that we have done something terrible. But did we really do something terrible? Or were we just adapting to the game of life? Of course, it depends on the situation. I’m not talking about huge ethical dilemmas like murder, but rather our personal, self image type dilemmas. Although, that sounds like another story for another time. So many variations can come about in our personal lives and I’m sure everyone has a different one.

Anyway, this dilemma inside of us causes a great deal of suffering, if not most of it. We can’t avoid suffering but we can adapt. If you are suffering, take an intense look into your belief structure of right vs. wrong. Some of your beliefs may have been developed such a long time ago that they just became so natural you aren’t even aware of them. So, when you feel you are suffering, it is time to take a look at the very core and existence of these beliefs. Where did they come from? When did I develop this belief and Why? You may not even believe the same thing anymore but since you are so used to it you aren’t aware it is causing you to suffer. As we go through life, our lives and who we are constantly change. If you can’t adapt your belief systems to what you have learned, then you will deny any new information just to stay comfortable. And it will cause you suffering.

There have been many instances throughout the last couple years where I realized I had been holding on to fantasies, for example. Fantasies in which would never be a reality. So, when the world didn’t match up to what I imagined, I suffered. I realized I had adapted to beliefs as a child that were keeping me from growing. So I went back. I went back to the root of the problem. Where the fantasy first game into action and why. I realized it was time for an upgrade. Time to balance my fantasies with reality. To see the world as it truly was and that meant I had to re-wire my whole outlook. For example, the way people treat each other astonished me. I couldn’t understand that not everyone treated each other the way I would want to be treated. When I realized the world is full of cruel people due their own problems, I had to change my perspective. So I planted seeds of truth in their place. I realized it wasn’t as bad as I thought and I had been suffering for no reason at all. I learned that my old beliefs were causing me to suffer because I hadn’t changed them as I matured. So I was growing faster then my beliefs and they weren’t matching up and therefore, I suffered. I am now able to see the world as it is. There are cruel people and I will come into contact with them. This only led me to see that we all face this dilemma to an extent. This is why we don’t trust people. We encounter day in and day out all the cruelty of the world which leads us to believe we can’t trust anyone. But then what about the people that can be trusted? We tend to forget there are good people out in the world. This dilemma makes it difficult to distinguish who we can and cannot trust. I learned that there are people who treat others poorly but there are still people who do not. I thought to myself at one point, if I exist then other people like me must exist too. Then I realized that I had the potential to treat others poorly but choose not to. I learned when and if I do treat others poorly it is because I am suffering due to conflict between my actions and beliefs.

Furthermore, we suffer because we feel we have done something outside of our moral code. This whole life we have lived has been built inside the walls of our beliefs of right vs. wrong. That is how we make decisions. We must consider how our decisions will affect us after it’s all said and done. I’ve learned this is also where anxiety comes from. Anxiety comes about when we are not aligned with our moral codes of who and what we think we should be. That is just it, we shouldn’t have to think about who and what we want to be. This is a vicious cycle of trying to perfect the human condition as individuals. It will drive you mad if you try to be perfect, by trying to be this or trying to be that. It doesn’t matter how many articles you read in a magazine about the perfect way to do something, you will not always get it right the first time. In reality, we are human and therefore, we will always be in conflict with our beliefs and ourselves if we don’t realize that there is no right or wrong in which to perceive ourselves. And it all depends on the life that you have led. Therefore, there are as many different varieties of belief systems as there are people on this planet. It’s so complex but you can only navigate through your own system and understand yourself. And there is no black and white, here. You have to learn to just be. To let go of old beliefs and create new ones that match your current life.

Maybe when you look back to when you first developed a moral reasoning, you’ll notice it was because that’s what someone else said to believe. But as we grow and mature, we realize we are not what we once believed. We get so used to wanting to be what everyone else wants us to be because they told us to. I’ve learned this causes suffering because it covers up who we truly are and what we truly want as a person. If you are constantly clinging to beliefs that no longer serve you,  you will never learn or change. I’m not talking about religious beliefs. I’m talking about what and who you have always believed yourself to be internally.

The more we learn, the more we must be aware of what we learn about ourselves. If we can’t align and balance the past with the present, then it causes us to split off and become so conflicted that we think there is something wrong with us psychologically. We blame ourselves instead of realizing that we were just handling life the best we knew how at the time. That’s why there is no right or wrong. I think there is only right or wrong once you become aware. If you have the knowledge that something is absolutely wrong and you keep doing it, then that is where the line is drawn, and it becomes “wrong.” For instance, if you are aware that judgement causes suffering and you do nothing to change it, then it is wrong for you to continue questioning why you are suffering. It is right to take in new information and apply it to your world now in order to make things right inside you. It is not necessary to suffer the same way your whole life.

Some people cling to their old beliefs so tightly that it defines them forever. They build onto the old instead of creating the new. Their whole lives are based on tragedy because they cannot look inside themselves long enough to realize that it can change. It’s always going to be there, the old beliefs, but they do not have to define you or cling to your existence. You can acknowledge their presence but know that you gained the knowledge through experience to know you do not have to suffer anymore. You can forgive yourself and realize judging yourself only causes harm. Eventually, the old will fall away and become a distant memory but will not affect you.

This is where most self-hatred stems from. We learn to hate ourselves because we are programmed to believe we have to be a certain way in order to be accepted. We think we have to be who everyone else says we have to be and when we cannot, we fall into the pit of self-hatred. This makes me question if we all are just walking around hating ourselves so therefore we hate everyone else. The reflection of our inner world to our outer worlds lingering in our vision and we know it, but repress it, therefore keep doing it. Not realizing it doesn’t have to be that way. But I’ve realized sometimes, people, even people you love, will fall into the abyss of self-hatred and never return no matter how much you love them or let them know what you really see in them. You see the flaws and ethical dilemmas they face, but you love them anyway. You know they can never reciprocate, but you love them anyway. It exists in all of us and you understand that, but it is up to the individual to decide if they will feed into it or not. No matter what you do, you cannot change a person, they must change it within themselves. I’ve spent years on people that I loved, thinking I could help them see all the good that I saw in them to no avail. Those wars are futile. If you spend too much time and energy on another person, you will lose yourself. You can and will become exactly what you were fighting against if you don’t learn you cannot change people. It can become a selfish act and if you really loved them, you’d let them go. Everyone has their own path with or without you.

When we go through experiences like this with other people, we tend to become something we are not. We can fall into the pit with them. But if we are lucky enough not to fall with them and instead let go, we find that we take a piece of them with us. This causes conflict in our belief systems in which we judge ourselves harshly due to our relationship with them, and the merging of belief systems that occurs. It is so subtle that we don’t even know what happened until after the seed they had planted sprouted roots and we supplied the sun in which they grew. It’s really important not to lose yourself because you think you love someone. This was a belief system I had to update and change in myself. My belief of what love was, was completely off the mark, that I had a lot of re-arranging to do with my belief system. I realized I not only had to change my idea of what love was, but also change the way I was absorbing the people’s I loved beliefs as well. I took pieces of everyone I loved with me and had to learn that they were not my pieces, but theirs.

Overall, I’ve learned when our actions, due to life circumstances, cause us to go outside our normal boundaries of morals, we tend to judge ourselves harshly, needlessly. It will manifest in our outer worlds in ways such as judging others and self harm/hatred. If we can overcome judging ourselves, and learn that our belief systems can change with some work, then we can ease our suffering. After all, we are all human, living an experience in which we have no control over, and who knows what we will be faced with next. We must be flexible enough to change with these experiences. This sometimes may constitute we change our beliefs to match who we are today while applying our new knowledge of who we are today. Don’t fall into the trap of self-hatred. There is a solution. You will have to search deep inside yourself for the place in which this judgement stems from, and it is not easy. In the end it is you and only you, that has to live with the choices you make. If you can see where you were coming from in the first place and then forgive yourself, then judgement can and will cease to exist.

(Copyright Kerrious 2014 with all rights reserved).

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I’ve Learned to Trust Myself

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).

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