It came like a whisper in the middle of the night, much like the phrase above from Vanilla Sky; this sudden realization, like a punch to the stomach. I had been fooling myself all along. Holy shit!
Time and distance has afforded me a clear view of the past, and my immediate reaction was anger – not at anyone else – but at Self: “How could you be so stupid??? You are such a FOOL!”
Then came embarrassment; boiling hot, red-faced, tear-stinging embarrassment. Because I was the last one to see. Why now? Why not back when seeing clearly could have made a difference? Because I chose to keep my eyes closed. I heard and saw only what I wanted to hear and see. And maybe it took this much time until I was ready to take those rose colored glasses off and finally see the truth.
Again, the scolding voice: “You should never trust ANYONE! You get taken advantage of every time you do!”
My palms sweat and clench into tight fists without me realizing. My shoulders tense and my jaw tightens. Shallow breath…racing heart….dumb dumb dumb DUMB! So dumb! How could I have been so dumb?!
I close my eyes and envision a a giant red STOP sign. I take a deep breath and scan my body, beginning at the top of my head. I move down and soften my jaw and relax my shoulders, unclench my fists. I imagine what I would say to a good friend coming to this kind of conclusion. “It’s okay,” I tell myself. “You have a good heart. You trust because you yourself are trustworthy and you believe in Love. It is not your fault that others have their own demons to fight. Another’s inability to meet you where you are has nothing to do with you not being good enough.”
Still, it hurts. Even now that I’ve gained enough wisdom to realize how others choose to behave or treat me is not my responsibility. However, it is my responsibility to develop and maintain energetic boundaries. We must all learn to enforce loving boundaries, because whether we realize it or not, we are all silently teaching others how we believe we deserve to be treated. We must learn to trust our instincts and act on them. But…how?
By loving ourselves and trusting our ability to know what is and isn’t good for us.
By giving ourselves the same loving advice we would give a cherished friend.
By learning how to say ‘No’ when something doesn’t feel right.
By learning how to stop being afraid of disappointing others and, instead, put ourselves first.
Today, I am choosing to be thankful for this valuable lesson instead of angry, embarrassed and ashamed. I am only human, and I am learning. I choose to be thankful for the ability to witness these memories clearly, without the haze of self-deception clouding my judgment.
Today, I am choosing to see the truth – that my ability to Love deeply and genuinely is a gift, not a burden. However, I also see that we cannot let Love blind us. We must resist the temptation to keep our eyes closed so we can always see clearly and love wisely, without losing Self.
Today, I invite you to open your eyes to a situation in your life where you may be deceiving yourself, perhaps by believing what you want to believe instead of seeing it as it truly is. Take a deep breath and know that you are strong, wise and able to handle whatever unfolds when you see things as they truly are.