So the past few years have not been my best, for all sorts of reasons. The weight of what I carried inside of me was a burden that I have been finding it more and more difficult to handle alone. I am not a person who is comfortable, typically, with sharing my struggles with someone else. Some of that may just be the way I’m programmed; some of it may be that I don’t want my burden to become a weight to someone else by virtue of sharing it with them.
I had become consumed with anger and sadness and a great sense of mistrust based on the actions of a few people. People I had believed in had betrayed me, some on a massive basis. People I had loved treated me unkindly because they have no edit button in their head. (Suggestion to anyone reading this: just because you think it doesn’t mean you have to say it). People I had trusted abused that trust. All of it left me feeling like a bird with a broken wing and I became a person who blamed myself for trusting people and believing they would change. I didn’t think I could trust anyone ever again. It made me sad to be this person, a person who looked back and thought of how optimistic and hopeful and joyous I had once been. My health suffered, my ability to reach out to people and socialize was compromised, my need to just stay home in my little nest where no one could hurt me was overwhelming.
But I reached a tipping point a year or so ago and the floodgates opened and I began to share some of the things I had been hiding. Hiding not because I was ashamed of any of it but because I wanted to avoid my notion that people would try to solve my dilemmas, some of which couldn’t be resolved by anyone but me. And, lo and behold, it helped. I shared – maybe I overshared – the things that were bothering me with a small group of people, some I had known all of my life and some I had only known a short time. But they were all people who I knew wouldn’t judge me or criticize me or blame me for the consequences of other people’s actions but would continue to love me and support me and believe in me.
So things got better, not right away and not quickly, but they did start to get better. But what I still carried around was the “why me?” persona I had adopted. I didn’t get – and maybe I never will – why some people did what they did. I don’t understand people being able to live with themselves after they’ve hurt someone so badly. I can’t comprehend why “I’m sorry” is not part of their thought process. (And when I mentioned this to someone, she suggested that the problem is theirs, not mine. So true but so hard to accept).
This year, as Christmas approached, I was in a better place but still not a great place. Having my great kid home helped me a lot and he and I started having some fairly deep conversations. Because he too had been where I’d been because of people being unkind to him, or cutting him out of their lives for stupid, silly reasons. His wise-beyond-his-years thoughts and words really propelled me forward. And maybe it made me open to what happened shortly after he arrived home.
Christmas Eve night, as I went to sleep, I was counting my blessings and knowing that I have been given so much. I said my prayers before I slept and, as I did and do every day, asked my beloved Dad and God to show me the way. And that night, they did.
I had a dream that night, one so specific and yet so vague (the way a dream is when you try to recall it moments after you wake up and realize it’s already gone). I cannot tell you much about the dream except that some of the people who had hurt me were there in some way in the dream. And they were there for a reason, I’m sure. To leave my dreams, to leave my thoughts, to leave my heart forever. Their power over me was gone.
I woke up Christmas Day feeling so much lighter in spirit and in my heart. I knew that my Dad and God had done this for me. They had shown me the way; they had given me back my trust in people. They had taken away my sadness. They had lifted up my spirit and made me believe again. And I know some of you may not think this is anything but a coincidence or wishful thinking on my part and I respect that. But I know what I know and this is what happened to me. Many of you know how – when I need my Dad’s presence – Baldheaded Woman somehow begins playing on the radio for me and I know he is the guiding force behind that. And as sure as I know anything, I know my darling Dad and my God were behind this. They gave me back a part of my life that was missing.
So I can let it go, all of the bad stuff, the unhappiness, the anger, the bitterness, the blaming. Instead I can thank God and my Dad for hearing me when I needed them and pointing me towards a brighter new year.
And that is my wish for you. Look forward instead of looking back. Spend time only with people who bring positive things into your life. Let joy and hope fill your heart. Reach out to others. Lend an ear or give a hug. Don’t judge others because they don’t look or sound or talk like you. Do good in this world. Because what goes around comes around.
Happy New Year and I thank you all who always take the time to read my ramblings. You lift me up every day.