Monday, September 10, 2012

Ch-ch-ch-changes, Part Two

"Turn and face the strange…"

I love David Bowie's version of that song. I also love the line: "Time may change me, but I can't change time." In this journey and in my recent musings I've definitely been trying to turn and face my own strangeness. I'm trying to embrace time, and the change that it inevitably brings. I'm trying to embrace the good and the bad within me. In Part One (Ch-ch-ch-changes), I've stated what I want, and how I intend to get there, but it's definitely a process. How can we decide what to keep, what to purge, and what our next moves in life will be if we don't go through the process? If we don't take the time to look inside?

There are things I love about me. I have good qualities. These can help to define me in a positive way. I am not going to produce a bulleted list here-not because I don't want to, but because my own narcissism would just be fed. But, there are things that I love about me. My goal is to focus on those loves - work, writing, music, organization and help to provide momentum in making me a better, whole-er, and more fulfilled human being. Conversely, there are things I don't love about me. I have bad qualities. These, if I am not careful, can define me in a negative way. I won't give a bulleted list of those either - because my own critical nature would be fed, and that's not productive to my end goal. But those things I don't love - fear, intolerance, procrastination - need to be analyzed and ultimately minimized to help provide momentum in make me a better, whole-er, and more fulfilled human being.

I want this. I need this. And in the moments where I think this might all be too hard, too much, or too "frou-frou-crazy-in-your-head-there-are-more-important-things-in-life" I need to remember: This is important. This journey about me, for me, and TO me is important. It is necessary. It is vital to my own end goals. And, in those moments, I need to remind myself that I am ultimately worth the trouble. I am worth the effort. I am worth the pain of change. I am worth overcoming fear of change and fear of ridicule for going on this journey, and for documenting this journey in front of the world. Sure, I'm scared that exes, people that would like to see me fail, people that won't understand, and people that are "not on my side" might ridicule me. But this isn't for them. THIS is for me. THIS is mine. I have this litmus test I have used almost all of my life to know if I am living "right" or living "wrong:" Can I look myself in the eyes? Am I happy with what I've done? Am I proud of myself or ashamed of myself? We, as people, can lie to others. We can lie to our families, our friends, our lovers, our co-workers… And we usually do. But we cannot lie to God. We cannot lie to ourselves. We try to convince ourselves that things happened differently, or that we imagined it and we were better and more like what we wanted. I want to rip away that guile and that "politeness" and truly be blunt, forthcoming, and "naked" with myself and others.  Thus, this journey and this blog turn… These are the changes I want. These are the changes I need. These are the changes I am ultimately craving, even if I didn't know it before. These are the changes I am making so I like the "me" that looks back in the mirror, all of me - the inner me, the outer me… the real me.

Oprah or Jane Fonda will likely never read this blog. She will probably never know (in this earthly life) the effect one sentence she spoke had on me. I am okay with that. I may not ever know who reads this blog and what it means to them. I wasn't thrilled with the idea of doing this journey in a blog, and a book, and essentially in public. I feel like God told me (read that as "made") to do it. For myself essentially, to combat fear and to force myself out of a (very) comfortable zone I had gotten in. And maybe for one or two other people that need it - people I may never meet (in this earthly life) and that I may never know if it helped them as well. I am okay with that, too.
But, Ms. Fonda said "It really takes a lot to be whole; you have to live an examined life."
 And, like I said… God immediately began working on me - needling me, if you will - to start this project. The embarrassing part is that I've started something like this before. I've journaled and had journals upon journals, best intentions, and book drafts, outlines and life goals and plans that quickly fell by the wayside. Great resources to go back and revisit for this project, and this journey - but also a powerful and sobering reminder that I have to make this time different. I have to make this time count. I have to "get it right" this time. God, like a parent, will only tell us something or work with us on something for so long… and then he let's us exercise our Free Will. He will use someone use to write that blog, that book, that song… There is something in knowing the tone of your mother's voice when you have stretched her nerve right up to the breaking point, but didn't quite go over. That's kind of what I heard this time from God. He's given me talent. He's given me passion for this. He's given me years of good and bad personal material to work with… now, I need to either do it - or face the fact that I'll never realize some goals and tasks that I feel like He's given me. It is sobering. And I hope it conveys the serious with which I am undertaking this whole "living right-out loud-in public" calling I'm undertaking. But, it's scary. And it's not without challenges. And it certainly isn't without self-examination. Without this part of the process, I can't get to where I want to be later in life.
Without self examination, we cannot diagnose the problem(s).
Without diagnosis, we can't provide a prognosis for help and healing.
Without healing, we can't move forward in our journey. We can't make ourselves whole.
If we aren't whole, how can we give of ourselves or help others?
In this journey, I will have to make some apologies. (I am so not looking forward to this.) There are those I have wronged. There are times I've been wrong. There are things I've done wrong. There are situations I've handled poorly. There are people that I've hurt. It isn't about if it was allegedly deserved or if I was just reacting to bad situations. In some of my self reflection, I've realized that anger in response to anger doesn't fix anything. It doesn't help anything. Pain in response to pain doesn't do anyone any good. Revenge and payback are of no value to anyone. (I should admit that I detest being wrong. So, if you are reading this and you are already rolling your eyes… go ahead and gloat.) I don't like to think that my reactions to people, to gossip, and to being hurt or abused are the incorrect or inappropriate responses. But they can be, they have been, and they were. Someone talking well or poorly of me is ultimately none of my business. I've learned that lesson before and I miss that outlook. Cutting old friends off because they misunderstood my situation, reacted poorly when I needed help, and gossiped about me wasn't the answer. It only caused additional pain on both parts. A better way would have been to explain what they did not know and forgive what they did. Many of those situations will remain private (more for their sake and unless they agree I can write about it… it's their privacy, too.) But, yeah - apologies. Wish me luck on that.

That also leads to Forgiveness. Even if someone never forgives me for some slight, some retaliation, some "mean girl" action I've done in the past… I have to forgive myself. I need to ultimately disabuse myself of the notion that by following God's direction to begin this journey publicly, it will be something that everyone reacts to positively. There are those I've hurt. Those I've heaped my own baggage and abuses on, as well as receiving others' baggage and abuses. I have to forgive them for whatever my perception of the situation was (I can honestly say, I rarely instigate my own personal drama, but I was raised to "handle my business" and that lead to me being a real douche to some people, simply by reacting in kind.) I have to forgive others, whether or not they think they need it. And I have to forgive myself. Otherwise, who is hurt? Who is thinking about it? Who is obsessing over it and taking and re-taking the situation to God? Them? Doubtful. It's me. It's you. When I bite the bullet, put on my big boy pants, and ask for forgiveness, to the person and to God - the next step is to forgive myself and move on. Without that, I'll never truly be free of the memory, the situation, and the brokenness of that perception. Those memories can become powerful - for the betterment and good of your life. I can use them as tools to move forward, upward, and to provide compassion and knowledge for the future. They can also become powerful for the negative. They are like anchors that will weigh you down. They will cause fear. They can cause intolerance. They can make you procrastinate and wait for a lifetime to trust, to heal, to reach out… And if even one of you is reading this - I'm sorry. Please forgive me. I forgive you.

It's a quote somewhere, by someone that the only constant thing in this world is change. How powerful and true is that statement? In my own life, I've learned some a few things; so I want to amend that: Things have changed. Things are changing. Things are going to continue to change. My new directive is to participate fully in those changes, document my journey, and share those changes with others.


No comments:

Post a Comment