There has been a lot going on this month. Some of it is good, some of it downright crappy. Like losing friends and friends losing parents. Right before a time of year which is stressful all by itself.
Then there was the stress and anxiety (for me) before all of the death and loss occurred that had me struggling. Within that struggle, I found out some things about myself. I figured out new strategies and ways to help myself in those times.
I generally think that is a good thing. It wasn’t pleasant while going through it, but I am self-aware enough to learn. Self-aware learning may be one of my superpowers.
What is the Meaning of This?
One of my many self-awareness moments has led me to see how far I have come in the last three years. I have accomplished monumental goals. Ones that I didn’t even know I had at the beginning of this…Journey? Expedition? Exploration?
The words we use matter, I want to figure this out for me. You can use whatever word works best for you.
The Definitions of Journey, Expedition, and Exploration, as found on dictionary.com
Journey: passage or progress from one stage to another: the journey to success.
Expedition: an excursion, journey, or voyage made for some specific purpose, as of war or exploration.
Exploration: an act or instance of exploring or investigating; examination. The investigation of unknown regions.
Well, I think exploration does the job. That is the word that I will use going forward as long as I can remember that I decided to do that. Some words have become stale due to over-usage. Those words then lose their meaning and power.
Does that mean we change the word or change our perception of the power of that word? I don’t know. For me, I want a word that defines what it is I have done and will continue to do until the day that I move on to the next life.
Wrong vs. Happened
Since words have power and meaning, so do that phrases and questions. For years and years, okay, like pretty much my whole life, I have asked myself the same question.
What is Wrong with You?
That phrase would rattle around in my brain, whether I had done something wrong or not. I was parroting back what I had heard my mother say over and over again about me. I heard it enough that it became incorporated into my programming.
What I now refer to as the ‘old programming.’ Old because it serves no purpose currently, nor did it ever. All it ever did was make me question myself and question whether or not I am a good person. I would never do anything right, and there was nothing that she could do to fix me. I was broken beyond repair.
When I used to drink myself into a stupor every night (which I now realize was that I could sleep at night), and I would wake up the next day asking myself, ‘what is wrong with me?’ ‘why can’t I…(insert whatever I was hoping or wishing that I could do differently). I didn’t realize that asking myself that question is very counterproductive.
Now, when I act or have feelings or anything that is hard for me or have that internal struggle, I ask, ‘what happened to me?’ What occurred in my life, somewhere, sometimes, that causes me to react like this? And what can I do the change how I react?
Here is what I now know to be true. Our truths do not exist in a vacuum. Just like our truths are fluid, what we know to be true one day may and most likely will change the next day. Everything that we do, how we interact and react, is formed throughout our lives.
What happened to me throughout the years? All of those experiences lend themselves to my worldview today. All of those experiences don’t happen in a vacuum either. All of those things have brought us to where we are today.
Even though I try so hard to be aware, I still slip up. And I will continue to; I am not perfect. No one is, and no one should expect that of anyone. Perfection is a lie.
In some of the more difficult moments, someone’s behavior triggers me. I usually feel like someone has pulled the rug out from under me. A feeling that I don’t know the rules. It was how I felt growing up. I never knew what would set my abusers off on a tirade.
It is a quick and deeply painful reaction that usually includes ugly crying. It hits on a deep, open wound that I didn’t even realize it Thus far, sometimes very quickly and painfully, by something someone else does. But that is MY TRIGGER. I will work through that because what happened matters. And what happens next matters too.