First of all, I want to thank everyone who sent their kind wishes my way in regard to the loss of Tara a few weeks ago. Having been a part of my life for thirteen years, her loss is something that is still hard for me to grasp and I find myself thinking about and missing her with each day that passes.
I’ve been working hard recently on trying to make the words in this week’s quote part of my daily mantra to myself. This has been a year full of changes for me and I feel that, if I looked back at who I was twelve months ago, I would not recognise that person as being the same as I am today.
Perhaps in many ways I am not the same person. Though my physical characteristics may be the same or similar to what they were a year ago, those things which are less tangible and are inside me have grown exponentially. Maybe I was too hung up on holding on to past resentments, using them as a way to justify why my life had stalled so badly. To blame what happened to me when I was young would never change what happened in my present, but it felt as if I could use it as some kind of excuse to stay angry and miserable.
It’s taken me many years to realise that living in the past is pointless. There have been countless hours of therapy sessions where I’ve worked hard to let go of a lot of those bad memories and negative feelings. It would be foolish of me to say that I will never think such things again; it’s likely that, when I feel down, those negative feelings will find a way to creep back into my mind.
But I can counter that by realising what I have in the here and now. I have my health, a certain level of happiness, and I am no longer dependent on anyone or anything. I support myself financially, I have no debts and I have the freedom to be able to do pretty much anything I want to (within reason.)
I have a lot more than some folks I know. I work with people every day who are much more disadvantaged than I am and it reminds me to be thankful of everything I do have and not to mourn for what I may have lost in the past. Grieving for what you’ve lost is natural for a while, but there comes a time when it begins to be unhealthy and almost self-serving in a way. Grieving for something that you’ve never had is even harder and yet highly illogical at the same time; how can you miss something you never had?
Even through the darkest of times, even when things seemed at their bleakest, some small part of me never gave up hope that perhaps there was a better day out there waiting for me. While it is not always easy to do, I realise that I need to keep looking forward to what lays ahead and make the most of the experiences on offer. I’m not naive enough to believe that there will never be hard times ahead, but I am comfortable enough in my own skin to know that the bad times will pass and that good things will come my way again.
I guess that life is a matter of perspective and the filter through which you view the world defines the way you interpret it. When I feel down or angry, I need to remind myself to change my perspective and see things from a different angle, one in which life doesn’t seem as bad as it was before.
Life, after all, is what you make of it.