We all have things that we struggle with, burdens we individually bear that people may understand due to similar circumstances but will likely never understand because they aren’t wired the same way. There’s a story I heard about a man floating in a river who is hit in the head by a log and responded in irritation but what he didn’t know is what happened a thousand feed up the river that put the log on a collision course with his head. In so many aspects that is our daily interaction with people, we may know what happened in that moment but we will never know what happened to them earlier in that day, week, year or in their life that made them act that way in that moment.
I struggle with my story. I think we all do to some extent. My biggest issue is that I don’t want to make other people look bad by just sharing my perspective, but my perspective is all I have. I can write you a list of people that have done me wrong, but if I write a list of people that have done good for me many of the people are the same. My father is an emotionally and verbally abusive narcissist, but at a time in my life where I needed to live with him for a job he let me rent free and when I was sick for 18 months unable to work he rarely complained. The woman who raised me, she’s made spurious judgments about myself and people I care about and said things that have caused me to want to put up a lot of boundaries, but she raised me when she didn’t have to, took care of my food and clothes when my father wouldn’t and treated me as her own child. Several people in my life have left me broken and sad and feeling useless when they left, but most if not all of them brought me joy and taught me valuable lessons in my life and on how to develop.
I struggle with these things. I struggle with the abandonment issues caused by people that were supposed to be there for me constantly leaving. I struggle believing in myself because the people that I worked so hard to please never seemed satisfied with who I was but just wanted me to keep doing more. I struggle with trusting people because so often people were around me solely for what I could bring them. I struggle with success because whenever I succeeded when I was younger it was always used to break someone else down because I was “better” but the truth is I’m not better than anyone I just excel in different areas, and yet I constantly worry that if I apply myself I’m harming someone else and their chance at success.
A lot of why I write this is because this is how I heal. I write these things that I never meant to share and it restores a little bit of who I am to me because I see where the excuses are and I see where I have disillusioned myself into believing someone else’s view of me. The most unattractive thing I’ve ever heard someone say is “I care what other people think of me,” and yet I hold on to demons from my past that exist for that same reason.
Even though I struggle, I hold out hope. I hope for the day where this struggle is in my past and I know it’s coming because things always get better. To paraphrase Tony Robbins, “Everything in life is a blessing. It is not what happens to us that determines who we are, but what we do with it. It is the choice to be the victim or the victor.”
I’ve been in places so low that I never thought I’d come out, I was filled with a white hot rage that blocked out all other emotion because I couldn’t handle the pain and that’s how I survived. I spent the better part of two decades wishing nothing more than a removal of my life from existence, not just death, but to have never been. I truly believed at one point that every life I’d touched would be better off if I hadn’t been born. Yet now I’m pushing for life dreams, I’m reaching for new hobbies, new ideas, new growth. I’ve established the ability to put up boundaries, to trust people and my own instincts, to communicate feelings semi-effectively and to love when I used to think “I love you” was just how people tried to make up for hurting you.
I’ve struggled for a long time. I’ve struggled partially because I wouldn’t let anyone help me, and partially because I put trust in people that ought not be trusted. Ultimately though, I struggled because it is far easier to blame the circumstance than it is to accept responsibility for how my life is. My failings are in fact my own, my reactions were choices I made, and at no point in time has anyone been able to make me do anything I haven’t chosen to be a part of.
The point of this rambling is this, accepting responsibility for your life and how it stands will remove the struggle of circumstance and frame your life in the light of “I caused this, I can solve this,” because if we have the power to create present circumstances we have the power to change current circumstances.