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Sunday, January 05, 2014


I've found, in my experience, that it's therapeutic to write when you're feeling down.  Actually, I've found it's therapeutic to just write.  Noticing that I've only posted to this blog a handful of times this year, I reflect on the fact that I have probably neglected not only my therapy, but my joy.  My soul feels this neglect.

There have been many changes that have caused this lapse; a new job, a new puppy, gains and losses.  My life is no different from anyone else's.  Everyone experiences these peaks and valleys.  It is just a fact of human existence.  I think it would be a bit egotistical to say that my life is any better or any harder than someone else's.  If there's anything I've learned in my 53 years of life, though I've lived through some pretty horrific situations, there will always be someone whose life is much more challenging than I could ever know.  How do I have the right to get hung up on myself?

These last few months of 2013 have been amongst the most challenging of my life.  I've hesitated to share, because some things have been said to me that have caused me to really take my inventory.  I've gone back to a tenant of a twelve step program, and though I don't give myself over to the thought of a higher power, I do take it very seriously when people who I consider important in my life tell me perceived negatives about myself that could use "tweaking".  It is not comfortable or pleasant to hear; "You are too soft.  You take things too personally.  You are annoying.  You are too sensitive."  Some of the more hurtful things, I keep to myself, but try not to dwell on them.  I keep them in this place in my mental safe where I can use them as a touchstone to remind myself that if I am not careful, the things that I have always thought were positives of my character, can be thought of to others as negatives.  It's a bitter pill to swallow.  Especially for someone who has always fought to look beyond the hardships and keep depression at bay. 

On the other side of the coin, I remind myself that I am not entirely responsible for someone else's perceptions.  I have never been purposefully hurtful.  It isn't in my makeup to cause pain.  Quite the opposite, I think that I can be a detriment to my own well-being because I often put others before myself.  When you're in the moment, if your heart is in the right place, you don't do these things for recognition or thanks.  You just do them because it is in your soul.  Not having been blessed with monetary surplus, you try to give of yourself because that is what you have to give.  Sometimes, you give too much of yourself and you get hurt.  These are the risks going in.  You know it, and yet you do it.  You put yourself out there.

I have been told that I should stand up for myself more.  That I shouldn't let people walk all over me.  I've tried this in the past few months.  The problem is that the end result doesn't make me feel like a better person.  It makes me feel argumentative and small.  It doesn't edify my soul.  It makes me feel like someone I am not.  I don't like conflict.  I don't fight well.  I end up crying because I'm "overly sensitive" and I keep asking myself if I felt better when I let people take advantage of me, or if I felt better when I stood up for myself.  Are these the kinds of growing pains one should feel when they're 53 years old?

Someone recently told me that 80% of my Facebook posts were negative.  It was a dagger in my heart.  I knew this wasn't true, but I couldn't help but think if that was really what people's perception of me was.  Then I thought back to the others who told me I was too sensitive and took everything too personally.  I asked myself if I'd rather be thought of as too sensitive as opposed to 80% negative.  Again, I'm back to perception.  The last thing I want is for people to think of me as negative.  Perception is a funny thing.  I can claim responsibility for my overly sensitive nature, but am I responsible for what someone else thinks of me?  Do I have to entertain the thought of merit in their opinion?  Does it speak to my sense of humanity or lack of character if I don't? 

I took a good, hard look around me at the people I choose to surround myself with.  There is not one person amongst them that I wouldn't call cream of the crop.  Good, honest, kind, loving souls.  The kind of people that I hope think of me the same way.  If the measure of a person is the people who call them friends, then without any sense of conceit or regret, I have to believe that I am a good, kind, loving soul.  And yet, I have come to realize that there are other people who have a much different perception of the person that I believe that I am.  How can there be such a great disparity?  How can I not bear some of the responsibility for this perception?  What is there to be done?

These are heavy thoughts that have weighed heavily on my soul.  On the one hand, am I being that typical overly sensitive Pua and taking things too personally?  Or have I somehow been neglectful of someone else's feelings and managed to make them dislike me enough to say hurtful things? 

As I move into this new year, I have much to reflect upon.  Mostly, I have been asking myself on an almost daily basis, "What can you do, Pua, to make someone's life better because you've been part of it?"  I can't help but think that these are not the thoughts of a negative person.


Blogger auburnpisces said...

Pua, my dear sweet friend, I can't help but wonder if it's one of your "cream of the crop" friends saying these things to you. I suspect not because THOSE friends know and love everything about you. Unconditionally. You can't pick a friend by adoring some traits and despising others. That chasm is too wide to negotiate. Instead you adore the traits that make you smile and the traits that don't, you accept that are things in life people don't always handle the same.

Sometimes we have toxic people in our lives that we can't get rid of - that we cannot just walk away from. For those, and, yes, I speak from experience, you have to limit exposure and serve yourself a big ol' helping of self-preservation. There is nothing wrong with putting yourself first. It doesn't make you selfish. It makes you smart. YOU do it so infrequently that when you do put yourself first we all know it's gotten to the point it's become necessary. It's up to you to protect your heart. Sadly the times you have to put yourself first appear to those who don't like it like you're being an asshole because it probably doesn't suit their needs.

You know who are and what you stand for. Stop letting this person or people get inside your head. Stop giving that person/people power. You can draw a line in the sand with love and say no more. It doesn't make you the bad guy. And frankly, babe, if this person or people don't like it...there's the door. You'll be right there with love in your heart when they can be respectful in a manner which suits you. You have to teach people that way you want to be treated.

It hurts my heart that you're aching spiritually and that you're questioning all the things about you that make you the beautiful, compassionate human being that I adore... Sweet girl, you know who you are. You're not negative. You are loving and thoughtful and selfless. Hold your head high. SHOUT FROM THE ROOFTOPS THE INCREDIBLE PERSON YOU KNOW YOU ARE IN YOUR HEART! Hit cancel on those self-defeating thoughts as soon as you have them. And when all else fails, I can drive Stella up there and we can run a bitch down! Just sayin'

I know, would that I could run my life as well I could run every one else's...but we are kindred spirits you and I and I'd step in front of a train for you. I'm just telling it like I see it. I'm around if you want to talk.

Forever your sister,

8:46 AM  
Blogger Pua; Bakin' and Tendin' Bar said...

How I love you.

3:02 PM  
Anonymous TK said...

I kinda like ya for who ya are. Cheers to Pua~! Don't worry too much about other's views, they are always distorted. This can be for the good or the bad...that really depends what is distorting the view and that my firend, is in the eye of the beholder! oh and to really finish on a cheesy note...You take the good, you take the bad,
you take them both and there you have
The Facts of Life, the Facts of Life.

3:02 PM  

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