“I can not control what makes people stay or what makes people go.”
“I can not control how other people receive me or how other people act in our world.”
Those statements ~ …. those two simple little statements ~ … took years … no, …
Took me decades to come up with and over several years to accept as truth.
In 2014 (’13?) I published a book I called, Poppins, on Amazon. It wasn’t remarkable and made a few dollars, but not much. I didn’t do it for fame and a pulitzer. I did it during the very worst year of my life as a way to be outside of myself for a while. I couldn’t control the tsunami of my world falling apart, but I could control what happened in that little book.
It had nothing to do with Mary Poppins. Other than, perhaps, it was inspired by the concept of the fairy godmother, flying in to fix everything. I could have used a real friend back then. Instead, while everything was awful, the universe sent me a truly awful person disguised as a friend. Because I was the walking wounded, I believed the lie which ended up hurting even more. I didn’t pay attention to any of the warning signs, or my inner voice ~ the guardian angels if you will.
I didn’t listen to myself. A funny thing happens on the way to a painful life lesson. You guard up, rather than let go.
When we live through traumatic events, we have this internal need to control everything in our environment. Then, we hold on to the control so hard, it makes us go off the rails ~ sometimes a little bit, but other times, a lot.
Fangs out ~ armor up.
Funny thing about experiencing trauma, we remember it at the weirdest times.
We negotiate with ourselves before we own the solution to dissolving the repeat pattern of thoughts.
No matter how many times we tell ourselves to say or do anything to change a pattern, we must first embrace the hurt.
We have to grieve ourselves ~ those parts of us that wanted so badly for something or someone to be different.
We can’t go back in time, but we can record the history of our experiences.
I think about the Bridges of Madison County, where the adult children of a woman who made a hard choice she had to live with for the rest of her life, found her journals after her death. They only truly got to know what their mother gave up for them, after she died.
The same for Sophie’s choice and pretty much all the Robin Williams movies. We make choices that nobody else knows about and live with intolerable torment that nobody else really understands.
When we need to connect to the outside world in order to hold on to the inside, but all the psychology in the world can only go so far; we can reach out to the poets, the storytellers, the words and wisdom of others and their experiences.
When we hear how other people survived something so inexplicably awful that we dare not to speak of it, we can be soothed by word art. Music can help us to heal but it can also trigger a painful past. We must choose it wisely.
Then, reclaim the idea that any part of our past can hurt us again.
That’s what panic attacks do. They try to take back that piece of you that was hurt long ago.
That’s what fear does. It will rise up when it recognizes something familiar. We have to tramp it back down by mentally taking ownership of our thoughts and mind ~ reminding ourselves that we own the fear, not the other way around.
We also have to remember that just because someone shattered the idea of love, doesn’t mean that love itself doesn’t exist.
Love is in everything we experience. It is the ultimate internal healer.
For entirely too long, I surrounded myself with people who only harbored hate, while I studied the psychology of being human. Instead of receiving love, I received their hate, until their petty, mean spirited, spiteful, belittling hatred became the accepted pattern of emotion I lived with.
I often wonder if I pushed through so many years of dissecting the human condition through the field of psychology because I was avoiding my own acceptance of pain and sadness in every relationship I had.
I suspect it is in part, true.
We do that to ourselves. We convince ourselves that we have to live a certain way as if it’s just “normal” ~ we invite in people, places and experiences that cause us suffering because we condition our minds that the suffering is all there is.
Here’s the rub though ~ when we live with trauma for a long period of time ~ we have NO IDEA what that even means. Self love? What is that? We tell and teach people that they have to ‘self love’ but what we leave out is ~ asking them to first know what love is ~ we have to talk about that more. Help them learn what love is, define it, identify it, realize it is their right to feel that way in the first place.
Then, one day (or in a slow leak), we wake up to remember that our soul craves love ~ fun ~ joy ~ adventure ~ laughter ~ light ~ trust ~ friendship ~ romance ~ curiosity and so many other lighter human experiences.
We deserve to be loved but when we go through being tormented or abused for so many years, we forget that part of us. It’s less painful to accept it than it is to realize it’s wrong but we’re taking it anyway.
- Find your poet or become one.
2. Seek that one piece of music that sets your soul on fire. Create a playlist for your life.
3. Let go of the knowledge that there are people out there who will continue to hurt others ~ there’s nothing we can do about all of them. Exposing them on social media? It only helps to a certain extent, but to what personal gain?
4. Be where your feet are ~ be present ~ Be wholly invested in yourself and then, your children, and then, the world at large.
5. Take that first step to seek to change what you no longer accept.
When we cultivate a state of pure life satisfaction, the triggers all but disappear and the sadness never reaches to that place of a clinical depression or anxiety.
Letting go of control is an art form for people who are survivors.
Finding inspiration both within your own soul and outside from newly acquired knowledge ~ that’s part of the adventure of life itself.
In peace and self exploration,
(c) @happinessnoir @InkHoneyPub @K.ArenHenryMiller
Here’s Poppins if you want to buy it ~ you know … self promotion and all ~ hey, I wouldn’t mind making an extra $3.59 ~ the price of a cup of coffee. 🙂 I wrote it under my pen name, Karen Daly ~