Throughout my years on this planet, I find we often overthink, overanalyze, and worry about the smallest things. We focus on things we can’t change and fixate on them until we feel paralyzed, unable to act, unable to feel, and unable to be at ease. It took me years to understand the difference between what I can and can’t change and what I can do about both. The things I am able to change are those that I make the decisions, the choices, and sometimes create my own roadblocks.
In the process of creating our own roadblocks, we create an device sophisticated road blocks which are built to challenge us because, we created them. We know exactly how to push all of our own buttons, and how to stop us in our own tracks when it comes in the form of a fear of success, failure, or overall blanket change. Humans thrive on consistency and for the few people who don’t have consistency in their life, you know who you are, you work day after day in unknown situations with little worry for things that don’t matter. Meaning, the bare necessities are the subjects at hand, the rest falls by the wayside because the brain can only focus on a few things at any given time.
Being a practicing therapist, I often work with clients who have a set day and night structure, have a house, condo, or town home, a car, dog or cat, children or no children, spouse or no spouse, and usually overall have a “good” life. However, many of those same clients can’t see the good in their life. Several see only the problems magnified, and how overwhelming these problems are, as well as overanalyzing the issues they see in their life. Because they have consistency when it comes to structure in their life, they use their time to overthink relationships, friends, family, and any thing else that comes their general direction. Had their life be less consistent, needing to focus on attaining structure and establishing a routine, the interpersonal relationship issues wouldn’t have time or space in their mind.
It’s wonderful and less stressful to have structure, security, and the knowledge that for the most part, certain things are taken care of. In this life model, in order to ascend to the next level of understanding, one must push aside anger, jealousy, comparing ourself to others, distrust, resentment, hatred, and fear on all levels. Anger is often called a secondary emotion because we tend to resort to anger in order to protect ourselves from or cover up other vulnerable feelings. Throughout life we feel angry because of what was done to us or not done to us. We feel angry after something has happened, it’s like our saving face emotion. We cry then we get angry. Sadly enough too many people are hiding behind anger and resentment to understand the real reasons we are on this planet.
I was raised by two parents, however my father was rarely around due to his job, so to some degree my relationship with him was somewhat interrupted. After I graduating from high school, my father decided he wanted to divorce my mother. In the beginning, I saw my father all the time, for the first time, I thought we were going to have a real father and daughter relationship. However, our spending time together ended abruptly because he was flying out of town to date someone. As the months went by I got sad, depressed, overwhelmed, felt I had been thrown to the curb, and I didn’t know how to express my feelings. As many know, those feelings, when not expressed correctly morph and change into anger, resentment, and hatred. (I’ve always been against hatred and I knew hatred is too strong of a negative emotion/vibration, so I stuck with anger and resentment which aren’t that much better.)
The more time went by with little connection with my father, the resentment and anger grew. Without conscience knowledge, I allowed the anger to flow into all areas of my life. I was happy then sad, angry then mad. My love relationship was falling apart mostly because of me and I didn’t realize it had everything to do with the resentment and anger I carried around daily because of my sadness over losing my father and our relationship. As time went by, my father bounced in and out of my life, with every bounce out, more sadness erupted. The sadness because I didn’t know how to deal with it became more anger and more resentment. Eventually after years, and listening to friends of mine who were 20 plus years older than me telling me about their father and how they don’t speak. Seeing their life from my perspective, I realized this anger and resentment was sucking the life from me and killing me slowly. That’s when I realized, I can control how I feel, I can control my expectations, but I can’t control him. That day is when I got a major wake-up call. I prayed on my new found freedom, praying it was real, and praying for me to continue to believe in myself. I prayed for my father and prayed that he would, if possible come back into my life on his own.
Years went by without communication from my father. One afternoon, around 4:30pm on the day of my birthday, the phone rang as I was driving onto the highway and heading southbound for a meeting. I looked down and saw my father’s name on the caller id of my phone, my heart began to pound. The pounding got louder and louder and the music blaring on the radio couldn’t drown it out. I turned the knob to the radio down then completely off and slowly answered the call. My father said hi and we talked, my heart pounding, happiness, and anger flooding in at the same time. He asked to meet up, we planned for that weekend at Starbucks near my house. When I arrived that day to meet him, he had gotten there early, and surrounding him were packages. Some of the packages had birthday wrappings others Christmas. These packages represented all the gifts he had bought me in the last eight years that he never gave to me. As we talked, it was difficult to overcome by anger, I was mad. I had sent him cards with no response and I let him know. After about an hour, he told me he needed to leave and got up and walked out. To me that represented he was running again and I collected the boxes, put them in the trunk of my car, and headed home. My husband was at the house when I arrived, and I voiced my anger.
Hours and days went by and I decided to pick up the phone and have my father over to discuss what had happened. Hours and hours of crying, yelling, and other emotions came about and I’m happy to say, we are now friends, we communicate, and we’ve forgiven each other, better yet I forgave him. I realize, when we hold grudges and ill feelings towards others, those feelings manifest within us causing us to suffer and creating dis-ease.
The only true feeling is LOVE. When we love, we hold onto no other emotions. When we love, we love one another, accept others for who they are, and accept ourself. Life’s answers are in plain sight because when we do what’s right we get right back. When we tell the truth we get the truth, and when we give unconditional love we get unconditional love. We receive it for two reasons, because we are bringing to us what we are and we won’t accept anything else. As we rise to the occasion, others do too or they fall back and out of sight.
A version of this blog was published this month in StreetZine, here’s the link to learn more about StreetZine: http://thestewpot.org/streetzine/