Day 7 – Make peace with your past so it won’t screw up the present


What a year this has been. Covid, politics, riots, death, destruction and more politics. My entire life.. nearly.. I have found positive ways to move through and past stress.  It takes a lot of effort sometimes but specifically in the past 15 years, I have legitimately found ways to bring myself into a better state of mind.. invisibility for example (Day 6).  I honestly felt that I had grown up and healed from those crazy childhood emotional wounds.  I felt I had made peace with it all.

Set peace of mind as your highest goal, and organize your life around it.  ~Brian Tracy

I’m trying to get more creative in my approach to finding more humor in everything. Sometimes this feels impossible. It used to be so much easier to do this. I felt carefree and fun for years.  I had about 10 years of absolute humorous mayhem.  Everything cracked me up and most everything made me happy.

A day without sunshine is like, you know, night.  ~Steve Martin

Not sure what happened about 3 years ago.  Don’t think it was just one thing.  I think it was a multitude of events, cuts, burns, stabs, and living in the unhappiness of others.  Trying to make them happier and feel more secure by trying to live in their reality and adjust my style, hair, clothes, and attitude to their expectations of what I was supposed to be.  I did this at the cost of my best self.  Constantly trying to be something I wasn’t.  Yet, even when i attempted to change everything about myself, it still did not make anyone any happier or any more secure. I have felt that I have regressed to that sad, angry, morbid child Sami full of hurt and resentment about the cruelty and unfairness of the world.

Life is too short to waste any amount of time on wondering what other people think about you. In the first place, if they had better things going on in their lives, they wouldn’t have the time to sit around and talk about you. What’s important to me is not others’ opinions of me, but what’s important to me is my opinion of myself.
~ C. JoyBell C

Of course, I knew this.  However, I fought against it despite my knowledge of who I was and how I was.  I always seemed to be surrounded by others who seemed to be doing great with things they way they were.  They were able to fit in nicely in their environment.  They learned to close their mouths when needed. Never did they fight the fight.  No truth to power. 

Or

Even worse, they would do all of the things I had been trying to do.  They would fight, scream, say exactly what I had just said and win…and yes, somehow always win.  I kept trying to to fit in.  Obviously, I didn’t.  I would find out that I really just wasn’t where I thought I was or doing things how others wanted me to do it. The little me had somehow managed to creep back into my head.  She began screaming at herself things like, “I am unworthy.  Nobody loves me. I am a horrible person.  I am stupid and not qualified to do anything.”

I wasn’t respected, loved, heard, and sometimes not even seen.  These facts were presented to me and only compounded the way I felt about myself.  The way I had felt about myself as a child.  The way, I apparently had never stopped feeling about myself.  The more I tried to stop digging in that well, the more these thought pressed forward.

I’ve got a bad case of the 3:00 am guilts – you know, when you lie in bed awake and replay all those things you didn’t do right? Because, as we all know, nothing solves insomnia like a nice warm glass of regret, depression and self-loathing.
~D.D. Barant

Why are you lying awake, thinking that you’re a terrible person?
~~To keep my mind occupied when I can’t sleep. Some people count sheep. I self-loathe.
~Rainbow Rowell

When I was seen, it was always when I was at my absolute least best.  I was starting to get mad.  Starting to hold my tongue and mimic all of what I thought was right and still not succeeding.  I was mad at others and even more mad at myself for doing it wrong.  Being right but somehow always doing it wrong.  I was jealous of others success or apparent success and mad that they were always so happy or apparently happy.  So respected or apparently respected. So well thought of .. so .. so .. everything.  It was a super dark time in my life.  Worst time ever in most recent years. 

Anger, resentment and jealousy doesn’t change the heart of others– it only changes yours.
~ Shannon Alder

The way you think about yourself determines your reality. You are not being hurt by the way people think about you. Many of those people are a reflection of how you think about yourself.
~Shannon L. Alder

A few times I swore that i was going to ignore the perfectness of others and just be myself.  I knew that’s what made me happy.  I would laugh again.  Make others laugh again.  I knew I could do it. I occasionally succeeded and thought I had made progress.  I would ashamedly find out that I was only delusional about my fitting in. I would not hear about it directly, but be blindsided by this information in the most embarrassing of ways.

Punch after punch, blow after blow, hit after hit.  Yeah pretty violent.  Every time I thought everything was ok ……

At the same time, I also knew that I have been in the wrong group and living the wrong life. Doing the wrong thing.  Going against my own grain.  I have been going against myself and my innate nature. It has just not been working out.  But damn.. I keep on intently trying to make it work because the truth is, I love my life, my job, my friends, and my family. 

If you had a person in your life treating you the way you treat yourself, you would have gotten rid of them a long time ago…
~Cheri Huber

I have been in a mental rut.  It has been a dangerous rut.  I am now working hard to get out of that rut and what I have found is that the rut is a rut of my own making.  My own desire to make things right, fit in, be good, a rut of negative self-talk.  It’s the same rut I had been in when I was a teen.  The rut of self-non-acceptance.  Self-talk that always put the blame on me for everything wrong in the world.  My sneaky way of making others laugh to get out of challenging situations and emotions has not been working.

The greatest weapon against stress is our ability to choose one thought over another. ~William James.

So, here I am.  Working on rebuilding my funny bones, reclaiming the paths of resilience that I had spent years building up, and reinventing wacky world of Sam that made me so happy. Getting my funny train back on track has been very difficult and nearly impossible.

However,  I am ready.  I get it.  I am still here. I am still as good as anyone else, not better than, but equal to. I am o.k. I am working on choosing the words that go in my head. It’s not what they say, it’s what you hear. It’s not what I say, it’s what they hear.  

Never forget that once upon a time, in an unguarded moment, you recognized yourself as a friend.~ Elizabeth Gilbert

I am working my way back through music, art, meditation, good friends, real friends, letting go of what does not bring happiness, and mostly bringing focus and intentional actions back into my life.  Going back to minimalism, preparing for retirement, and learning to laugh again.  Like really laugh. 

In relationship to work.. I am shooting for mediocrity.

Only the mediocre are always at their best.  ~Jean Giraudoux

In relationship to friends… fame… fortune.. etc. I have decided I would rather just be myself.  wish me luck.  Please.  Myself is a pretty good thing to be..I know this is true, but just have to keep reminding myself.

Don’t let people who fuck with your mind enter into the door of your mind.
~Curtis Tyrone Jones

I will not be “famous,” “great.” I will go on adventuring, changing, opening my mind and my eyes, refusing to be stamped and stereotyped. The thing is to free one’s self: to let it find its dimensions, not be impeded.
~Virginia Woolf

Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them. About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. Because they change things. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.  ~Rob Siltanen

Other voices that rang in my head:  Thegirl; custard; lucid; language; catladysings; compound; anxiety; bop; method; mon; dry; gladgame; writingbug

9 thoughts on “Day 7 – Make peace with your past so it won’t screw up the present

  1. Hi Sam! Thank you for sharing your thoughts on how life brought you to this place. I think we all can relate to struggling to find ourselves at least once, likely way more than that, in a lifetime. You’re well on your way to the Sam you deserve to embrace wholeheartedly and laugh with daily. Thank you for the pingback – it’s nice to meet you here in cyberspace. 🙂

    • I appreciate that. It’s a true statement. Coming to terms didn’t quite fit. It’s sort of as if you are at war with your past.. your childhood never really leaves you. One time someone asked me what I would do if I could go back in time. I said that I would give my little self a hug. We grow up learning how to deal with certain things and think we grow out of those emotions or manners of dealing with certain things in certain ways. Sometimes they come back and kick your butt.. so yeah. until you make peace with the childhood ghosts.. they will always be there.

  2. I have a very different history than yours, but I have felt all of those things. Some of them dragged me into alcoholism, and in recovery I’ve learned that I have to be my authentic self to live. When you’re used to be a people-pleaser, like I was, it’s hard to break out and say no. But one wise person told me that once I changed, others around me would change too. It has worked that way. As I’ve set up boundaries, and learned to express myself rather than dwelling in unspoken hurt or resentment, I speak up for myself, or take a break and rationally explain why something doesn’t sit well with me. I’m still the mom in the family, the caretaker, and as a teacher I fulfilled that role too, while extending my knowledge (MEd and tech courses) to teach technology at a gifted and talented school. I frequently tell myself I’m not good enough, and I try to counter those thoughts and embrace “mediocrity.” I do yoga almost daily, and love it for its mind/body/soul connection. It is my hour. I will not change the world, but have the power to change the lives within my orbit, and I try.

    • All of that true. I’m an interesting mix of being a people pleaser and super defiant to “prove them all wrong” person. I had a boss recently say to me, “Why are you always so defensive? Why do you always need to feel like you have to justify everything you do?” It was a great lesson. I thought I was “cured” but then I started working in another place where I was not trusted and everything I did was under doubt and I fell immediately into the old patterns. So I’m back to square one! However, I have a few more tools under my belt. Self-talk is my killer though. I had a different boss recently say to me, “Maybe you need to be a little less self-aware. Sometimes other people are just jerks.” So one more tool in my belt. Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

  3. I have arthritis from aging. I used to say naughty words when I climbed the stairs. Then it dawned on me that I COULD go upstairs without terrible pain — and began the mantra, “Thank God, I can still climb stairs.” Sometimes a shift in perception can be helpful. I didn’t like my mother, and though we got along day-to-day, she was irresponsible, and did say to me when she was angry that her life would have been easier without children (I had a much younger sister, too.). My father was somewhat better but a workaholic. His childhood on a Wisconsin farm had been hard, and he was always trying to justify his life decisions. He died when I was fourteen, and left us without a rudder. Since he committed suicide (bi-polar), I was handled with kid gloves at school for a while — and it took me time to overcome feeling like an outcast; it shifted my world on its axis. And what a shove into adulthood at too early an age. Some friends were very kind and that helped. Life is not a walk in the park (though it does seem to be for some people), yet I have learned that other people’s lives are rarely what they seem. I try to say to myself “Just stop” when I start with the negative thoughts, but to get sober many years ago I had to do that anyway, and use affirmations instead. We are not and never will be perfect; we have to live with what has been thrown at us, and it seems to me that you have enough positivity in your life that you can that you can slay the dragons. In the middle of the night substitute your best days, friends you had fun with in the past, times when you felt strong and why. Laugh! Live!

    • Thank you for this. For the most part I do..and have been doing for many years.. but I thing those little negative monsters popped out of the back of my head and each hit felt like a blow to the soul.. the fact I am writing again is a step in the right direction for me. When I keep to myself and shut others out is when even I get worried. I appreciate your candor. Luckily I never turned to alcohol or drugs.. but self-hatred is as bad of an addiction.. I believe you about the good friends and good thoughts. Sometimes just need constant reminders. So I thank you one last time.

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