Forest Through the Trees

It’s amazing how taking a step back shows you what you weren’t able to see when immersed.  I have spent the last 6 years of my life miserable and feeling like I lived in a hole.  I lost myself in exercise and yoga and tried and tried to be positive, but it felt like a facade.  Because it was.

It took literally losing EVERYTHING to understand that nothing will make me happy.  That people wont’ make me happy, money, hope won’t make me happy.  Since having this realization, I’ve never felt lighter or happier.

Buddhism says to live in the present.  That to live in the past is depression, and to live in the future is anxiety.  I totally agreed with this.  What I didn’t realize is that my constant insistance on having hope, was the same as living in the future.

It hit me the other day, that hope is hoping, and while it’s not a horrible thing, it keeps you from appreciating and loving what you have now.  I’ve decided to stop hoping.  Instead I will trust that with hard work and good living, I will have everything I need.  I will have faith in myself that I will make good choices.  But I will no longer waste time hoping for the future.

It took me stepping back from basically everything to see this.

But I’d never have seen this without being forced to sit and really think alone.  To organize my thoughts and decide what I needed in life.  I need my kids, my pets,  and my boyfriend.  Those three have shown me unconditional love.  I extrapolated this to everyone else in my life.  I realized, I’ve never had unconditional love.

Not the kind where I knew I couldn’t screw it up.  I realized this last year had been a huge learning curve for me, and that I felt safe enough to learn these lessons because my boyfriend held me together and supported me.  My kids listened, loved me and forgave my tantrums.  And my dogs forced me to go outside even when I didn’t want to.  My cat is great too, but her love is totally conditional upon me feeding her.  I fully believe she’d eat me if I forgot to fill her bowl daily.

But with these three main forces in my life (my kids are being grouped as one) I’ve been able to get through the hardest year of my life.  Through horrible advice from “well meaning” people.  Hurtful words from selfish people and unimaginable stress from narcassistic aholes who wanted to punish me for not being their emotional and verbal punching bag anymore.

But like I said earlier, while I needed unconditional love to show me these lessons, I HAD to learn to be unconditional with my self.  To set boundaries that allowed me to be happy and healthy, and immune to well meaning advice and hurtful words.  I wanted people to be kind to me, but I wasn’t being kind to myself, because I was allowing all these toxic things to hurt me, and giving everything I had to people who didn’t return in.

It’s still a work in progress.  But learning how to set up healthy boundaries and learning what unconditional love truly is is a huge step in the right direction.

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