he past few days have been a complete whirlwind. (I use that term a lot). I think I have a list of medium-advanced vocabulary words that I enjoy inserting to boost the intelligence of my writing. Anyhow…I was not acting like myself. All of the things I have been telling myself to do: to be a better person, to do my best to not over-react or pre-emptively react, to be patient rather than impulsive, etc…
I did not do those things.
I completely over-reacted. I was hard on myself. I was hard on others. I disappointed some of my loved ones. I behaved impulsively. I felt guilty and I had some regret.
I have been working really hard, one day at a time, to improve self-awareness and to find balance in my existence and personality. Everyone has faults. We are not perfect. It is the management of those faults and how we learn from them that define our character.
To pre-sum up (Is that even a term?), I have been making progress in the balance department and I had a major setback. Not my best moment. However, that is the point, right? We aren’t perfect. Even if we think we are, we still make mistakes. Every now and then, no matter how much I try to control myself and fight off my ‘crazy-pants’ urges, sometimes my not-so-perfect, controlling and neurotic self pops out.
I would like to think that I learned something, but I am not even sure I fully understand what happened; what caused my behavior. Obviously it was triggered by something intense or I would have been able to control it.
So I have been analyzing.
I have been considering all the words that were exchanged, all of the interactions experienced and all of the advice given. Like I said, I can’t really make sense of it, but I can pick out some points that went sour. My hope is that by the end of this article, I have some more clarity.
REASONS MY CRAZY-PANTS ESCAPED:
1. Lack of Communication:
Almost every piece of advice I come into contact with stresses communication. I know for a fact that I do not communicate well. I can write, sure. Can I speak? Eh. Communication is difficult. For me, it is even more difficult when my own feelings, or someone else’s are at stake.
Words must be chosen carefully. Misinterpretation is quite easy. It happens everyday. A message is sent by Party A. Party A believes the message is completely clear. Unfortunately, the translator for Party B often uses the incorrect dictionary. Hence: miscommunication. I must think before I speak.
2. Lack of Honesty:
I must be honest with myself and with others. I strongly believe in open communication. Since I have found that dishonesty sometimes comes back and bites me, I try my best to partake in this practice. With it, we have nothing to feel guilty about. Everyone is aware of the facts and can continue on about their lives making informed decisions.
Along a similar thought process, we should be able to be honest easily. If we are surrounding ourselves with people who truly love us and care about us, lying is not an option. Covering up information is not an option. We don’t have to hide anything because we know we will be accepted no matter what. We will be forgiven. We will be loved.
That being said, if we feel that withholding information is necessary, perhaps we should not have knowledge of that information. By information I mean actions. If you start to feel guilty about behaving in a certain manner, perhaps you should not be behaving that way.
OR perhaps the people that you are hiding it from are not as accepting as you once thought. Now, I am not saying that you should ostracize those people from your life. I’m simply saying that perhaps they need not be involved in that area of your life. At least not until you have your own facts and thoughts together. This circles back to communication. (We cannot be upset with someone, or expect them to follow our expectations without letting them know what those expectations are, right?)
3. Lack of Self-Fulfillment:
Be true to yourself! How many times have we all heard that? My roommate in college always told me to “Follow Your Heart”. So did my mom. And my family and friends. People who love you and care about you want you to be happy. That may be difficult to see at times through all the confusing muck of poor communication and lying, but it is true. If you are happy, they are happy.
This is a really difficult concept for me to grasp. For me, it is due to various factors.
The first is that I am constantly taking in information and advice, the “should” and “should-nots”, from the people around me. It comes from a place of concern and the intention of preventing a heartache in me that he/she experienced in a similar situation. We all do it. We offer our advice as if our own experiences are duplicated by the billions of other people on Earth.
Newsflash: Not every experience is the same. Not every situation will end the same. We are different. We are all unique. Situations don’t have the same result every time. We have to do what feels right for us at the time. I have to do what is right for me.
Which brings me to my 2nd point. I am constantly worried that my decisions will upset the people around me. My loved ones may be disappointed. Of course, I care about them and I want them to be happy for me and support me, but in the end MY happiness is what really counts. Their support will come.
Remember what I said about our family and friends accepting us for who we are? It has come full-circle again. Even if we disappoint them, or don’t follow the path they would have in a ‘similar’ situation, they will still love us. And if not, they either need to take a hike, or not involve themselves in the topic at hand.
I must live for myself. I only get one shot at this life thing. I may make terrible choices and fall flat on my face. But I get back up. I try to find clarity. I keep positive and I push forward. I may not have a religion, but I do believe that everything in our lives happens for a reason. All of our interactions have meaning. One day, everything will make sense. One day, I will know why I fell on my face. And preferably sooner rather than later, I will have learned a lesson and will do better next time.
4. Lack of Self-encouragement
Don’t be so hard on yourself! No one is perfect. We all make mistakes. (This is a take-home point if you haven’t grasped that already). If more people were accepting of this idea, we would all get along much better.
It is okay to slip up every once in awhile. The people who matter will understand. They will know what to do when you are having a crazy day. For me, you must feed me, let me sleep, get me some exercise and sunshine, and make me a cup of coffee. It is a recipe that works 95% of the time. Whether someone else is initiating the protocol or I am doing it myself. It works.
I have talked down to myself for the past couple of days. And I do it more often than necessary (which is next to never). I keep telling myself that I screwed up; that the turmoil and tension surrounding me was my doing. My creation. In many aspects, it definitely was. Looking back, I would have conducted myself in a much more mature manner had I taken a step back from my situation and had been patient with myself. But I didn’t and I continued to be hard on myself.
In the words of Bob Marley, “Don’t worry about a thing. Every little thing is gonna be alright now.” It is okay to make mistakes. It is okay to be neurotic. I am okay. I am NOT perfect. Not even close. I can’t expect it from myself and no one can expect it from me. I can only be the best version of myself possible, and I am still working toward that version. I probably always will be.
5. Lack of Patience
I have none of this. At all. When I decide that I want something, I want it now.
I am working on it.
Patience is important. Whether in regard to a relationship, a new job, a big financial decision, etc. All major life choices should be evaluated thoroughly rather than acted on impulsively. Making decisions too quickly without all the information can cause a lot of regret.
I find that once I convince myself to make a decision, I make it. Right then. And I can talk myself into anything. I can convince myself that any decision is the right decision. We all can. With all of the previous factors in place, it is really difficult at this stage to decipher who is talking who into the decision making process.
That is the part I haven’t figured out yet. I am aware of what is happening. I am aware of the factors affecting my ability to make decisions for myself. I am aware that in the end, every decision in MINE. I have the final say. What I haven’t figured out yet is how to prevent all of these factors from influencing my life’s choices. That is the battle.
So in my situation, I need to step back. I need to focus on myself and my needs. If I cannot figure them out, how can I be true to them? How can I involve others in my life without knowing and understanding who I am? How can I stick to my own morals and principals? I have been in this stage a lot over the past 7 months. This stage does not involve the commitment of myself to another human being. It only involves making the choices and participating in the activities that make me happy.
Of course, I always consider how my actions are affecting others, but I do not have to be accountable to someone else. I can be free. I can explore. I can have fun but also have me time. Yes, I know all of these things are part of a relationship as well, but that also involves me knowing what my expectations are for a relationship.
In a previous blog, I wrote about what I am looking for in a partner. My criteria for the ‘perfect man’. So I have an outline. I know who I am. And I know who I want. Now, it is simply a matter of filling in the blanks. The expectations I have. The needs I must have fulfilled right now. The what to my happiness.
I know everything will work itself out. That is life. All of the answers will probably smack me in the face someday when I least expect it. But as always….one day at a time.