Throughout this year (yes this is my last blog for the year), I used the word, purging, often to describe what I felt I was going through. Initially I thought my purging was the letting go of people and relationships that no longer served me; or of situations that didn’t bring out the best in me but as I type this I’m beginning to see that the purging that occurred this year was in actual fact, the purging of me; the letting go of striving for perfection, for having to always be the objective, rational one; for seeing sides of myself that I would prefer to deny or hide. No…this year was not about letting go of people or relationships or situations because the truth is none of those belong to me or anyone else, and yet we all belong to everyone and everything. We cannot purge anything but ourselves.
All I seemed to do this year was find myself in situations that forced me to feel my anger, grief, bitterness and at times pure rage towards that which I thought I had already dealt with. I read a quote, “The path isn’t a straight line; it’s a spiral. You will come back to things you thought you understood and see deeper truths.”
I felt these emotions towards many people and situations; sometimes towards myself too. And at first I tried to deny these feelings which only made it worse. It was like it was eating at me from the inside until it got to a point where I gave in. And I allowed myself to feel whatever I needed to. To purge what needed to be purged.
I have always been so worried about letting these “negative” emotions consume me as I have seen them consume so many others; but I am learning that the more I identify these traits and bring them into the light, the more I accept that they do not make me, and they are only a part of me. As I bring them into the light, they appear less. As I bring them into the light, they are teaching me things I wouldn’t have identified. For example, when I become angry it is normally because I feel like a boundary has been crossed. When I become hurtful it is normally because I have been hurt. When I become selfish it is normally because I am attached to something I do not want to let go of.
These traits that are normally seen as bad or negative or sometimes even evil have their uses and if we try and understand why they exist it’s normally to teach us something about ourselves; something that is most likely hard to face. Do I like having boundaries? No. They’re difficult to maintain and defending them is tiring. But when maintened they help me look after myself which gives me enough strength to look after others. Do I like hurting others? Definitely not, but I don’t like being hurt either so then I have to teach myself new ways of dealing with hurt to ensure I do not do the same to others. Is this a walk in the park? Hell to the No. It’s mentally and emotionally exhausting. But I trust that as I share my experiences others can relate to it and it can help them.
This is where you probably going to ask if all this is so hard, why go through it? Because quite honestly, I want to be as authentic as I can be and this will allow me to enjoy everything about life; the good the bad and everything in between. It will help me face the bad times with more resilience and understanding without becoming regretful or bitter. This will help me love the good times without attachment because I’ll have a deeper understanding that they won’t last and be okay with it.
So yes, this year was about purging. It was about purging the image others have of me; purging the image that I have of myself; knowing this changes daily if not by the minute.
And what have I learnt?
I love being vulnerable and showing my emotions. It reminds me of when I was a child and of a time I wasn’t afraid of just feeling and expressing. The difference now is how I express those emotions. When I’m angry or upset, it’s not about throwing tantrums or shutting down (apparently both I used to be expert in); it’s about deciding how you want to have the conversation. Yes, it leads to conflict or pain at times but even then, it becomes worth it because the chances of me hurting someone lessens and the reasons behind me being hurt becomes more understood and easier to forgive. Empathy and compassion.
I love having this deeper understanding of myself. Somehow, it’s like a light has been switched on and I want to understand others a lot more. And yes, I also now uphold my boundaries more. Just because I care, doesn’t mean you can take advantage. Boundaries.
I love the idea of trust and trust that one day I’ll be able to say “I love trusting.” Trusting myself, trusting others, trusting so that I can let go of control because I am not in control of everything. Trust.
I love letting go of this idea of perfection. More than anything else, trying to be perfect is freaking exhausting. I want to be human.
I received this in my inbox this morning and may it set the tone for the new year:
“What exactly is forgiveness?
When practicing mindfulness, forgiveness is simply the practice of letting go of whatever negative feelings no longer serve you.
It can be difficult to forgive, and we humans often hold a grudge.
Sit on this today – forgiveness does not mean that you are excusing another person’s actions, or that you are taking the blame.
Forgiveness is simply allowing yourself to be freed from the negative thoughts and feelings of resentment.
All the love,
The Morning Mind Love”