I was calm in the car today. I didn’t cry as I drove home, and as I started to think of why that could be, I felt a sense of empowerment and relief. I know I’m not the easiest person to deal with sometimes, and those are the thoughts that sometimes swirl for far too long: self-worth.
It’s nothing new, this feedback loop has been going on since my church going days, but I’ve learned how to quiet the super negative thoughts with more practical ones about my everyday behavior; there’s nothing wrong with some healthy introspection.
Sometimes I am downright difficult. I’m intense, and I study people, I’m always thinking, daydreaming, pondering something, and most of the time it is about the people in my life. It’s why I pursued an undergraduate degree in Psychology. It’s not a cliché, I really wanted to know more about the people I knew. Yes, I did start diagnosing everybody, including myself, but that has subsided now that it’s been almost a decade since graduating.
It can be intimidating for someone to be studied, for me to say things that I’m guessing about their personality and not necessarily be accurate. If I am accurate, they’re usually impressed, and we usually become fast friends. That’s how it’s always worked. It’s not always serious either, I have this ridiculous sense of humor, and depending on who I’m with can laugh for hours and forget about my daydreaming until they’re out of my sight again and then it’s back to analyzing all of mankind. Oh, woe is me.
This burden of just wanting to know someone to their core, even if they don’t want to be known, has its benefits as well; especially if layers are peeled away slowly and you start to see progress. That’s where it can hurt, though, when your timeline is not synced with someone else’s. Or your ideals are totally opposite someone else’s and you’re not able to really discuss them.
There’s fear in radical honesty: Two people just being completely honest with each other. It stands to reason that you would have to know them at their core then, and that is scary. It’s a risk to reveal the pieces of a greater puzzle than to only reveal the fragments of an ideal.
I am not an ideal. I am a human being that’s trying to figure this mess out along with everyone else, and when I think about my family, some that believe in things that I used to wholeheartedly believe in, I see myself from that perspective, a phantom me from the past.
I know what it took for me to change my views on critical things such as humanity, homosexuality, religion, race, politics, and it was cumbersome and life-altering. It’s been like a domino effect in my family though, the more that have left the restrictive edicts of my former religion, the more there have been that have questioned their own faith and started on their own journey toward whatever form of enlightenment they hold to be true. My form is that I’m still on my path, and I don’t have all the answers.
All I know for right now is that despite what I’ve experienced and learned from those experiences, I am going to radically accept who I am. It doesn’t mean I am going to make allowances for everything I do, or use the term “no regrets”. I do have regrets, I do have things I wish I could change, I have things that I wish other people would change that will never, ever happen. I wish I could go back in time and intervene in critical moments in my children’s lives and protect them from monsters lurking in front of my very eyes. I can’t. There’s nothing I can do about that now. Healing isn’t easy, it’s gritty, needy, messy, moody, and not always logical.
I don’t claim to be logical most of the time. I have a friend who uses logic for emotions, and whenever I’m really in a rut, it’s so easy to call him and receive some clarity. Matters of the heart aren’t often clear, but over time they can become that way, and sometimes wounds don’t heal the way we want them to. Sometimes they just make us stronger and more perceptive and a little more in-tune to others’ needs, and maybe that was the lesson we were supposed to learn all along.