“Do not let the memories of your past limit the potential of your future. There are no limits to what you can achieve on your journey through life, except in your mind.”
― Roy T. Bennett, The Light in the Heart
Bad things happen to all of us. What I may consider a bad thing someone else may think, “that’s not so bad” and vice versa. We each have our own story, our own life events, big & small, and our own perceptions and ways to deal with our “bad” things.
Sometimes we do not deal with them at all and just accept them which is a truly bad choice. Ironically, I think we let the bad things affect us more than we do the good things. We give them power, power over us.
So what should we do ?
First, I think we have to acknowledge that it happened. It is amazing how we can ignore “stuff” and push it into a corner somewhere. Why do we do that ?
“Thwarting emotions is not good for mental or physical health. It’s like pressing on the gas and brakes of your car at the same time, creating an internal pressure cooker”. From <http://time.com/5163576/ignoring-your-emotions-bad-for-your-health/>
It is possible to let our reactions to the bad things simmer on a back burner somewhere. We react to all things, good or bad, emotionally. We are human; it is part of our DNA.
I am not as certain about other generations and how they react but I know I learned at a very early age that reacting emotionally was not always a good thing. As a child growing up there were few displays of emotions; if there were I do not remember them. You learn how to react from the example of your family, in particular your parents. I do remember guilt and I not know if that is a result of displaying emotions or my perception that it was not okay to share them.
We make excuses for bottling up emotions for many reasons. We do not want people to judge us. We do not want to be embarrassed. No one wants to be considered as being weak.
All of these affect pretty much everything we do. Should we let them ? I have been reading some articles (I seem to be doing a lot of that lately) and there appears to be different opinions. Some people think we should just ignore the “bad” things and treat them as if they are not important so why should we think about them.
My personal experience is the opposite and believe me I tried. I just could not get them out of my mind. I would be fine and then something would trigger me and there it was. It made me sad, it was humiliating; how could I have let that happen, why didn’t I stop sooner. I suffered and I did it in silence.
I did not share those feelings with anyone and I wonder now if anyone really knew what I was going through. I was trying to maintain everything in my life but looking back I know that much of what happened during that time was influenced by how I was “dealing” with it.
Others believe we should seek out help and I so wish that I had. I think it is really important to deal with it as soon as possible. I did not have a good support group. There was no one at work that I trusted and I was divorced so I did not have a spouse I could talk to and I was not comfortable talking to family. I wish I had gone to a therapist.
Seeking out professional help is not a bad thing to do and you should not be embarrassed about doing it. They will be non-judgmental in a private setting which will allow you to be more open and honest about your experience and reactions. It is a safe haven.
For me the hardest part of dealing with my bad experiences is forgiving myself. The hours I have spent going over and over them in my mind. The sleep I have lost. The affect it has had on virtually everything in my life and it was because I did not deal with it. I thought I was. If I had brought all my angst out into the open I would have been so much better off. Time lost, feelings hurt and the list goes on.
Now after many years I have arrived at a point where I am more comfortable with it, where I have accepted the feelings and let them go (for the most part). I have decided not to punish myself any longer. I am human and I have made mistakes and I have forgiven myself.
I have also apologized to my children, more than once, and now having written this I will apologize again. Before I die I will again. That is my deepest regret, that I hurt them. My angst should not have been theirs and I know it was.
” There are so many great things in life; why dwell on negativity? ” Zendaya
So what can you do in the future ? Here are some suggestions:
- Build a support group. A close friend(s), develop a mentor at work or at church. Talk to a professional.
- Accept your past and deal with it a piece at a time. Do not let it overwhelm you & do not store it away somewhere.
- Confide in and apologize to any one who may have been affected by your actions and be willing to accept the consequences.
- Forgive yourself.
- Make a plan for how you want to move forward and
- Set goals for how you are going to complete you plan.
“Attitude is a choice. Happiness is a choice. Optimism is a choice. Kindness is a choice. Giving is a choice. Respect is a choice. Whatever choice you make makes you. Choose wisely.”
― Roy T. Bennett, The Light in the Heart
As always thank you for reading my blog. Have a great day !