Preserving Energy, Space, and Peace of Mind
As we grow older we become increasingly more responsible for our own happiness. We hopefully learned from our parents or other adults in our lives how to set boundaries, how to question what feel wrong or hopefully more often than not what feels good.
Most people will experience loss of friendships and important relationships in their lifetime. Sometimes we are the ones who are left, and other times we are the one who has to leave. And let me offer a word of advice sometimes leaving the people we love most is one of the most liberating and life altering experiences in our lives. There is a lesson in leaving and making decisions to put oneself first.
I remember having relationships in my past where I would prioritize the people in my life above my own happiness. My biological mother for example. Having her in my space mentally and physically as a child was toxic. She was unpredictable often going into fits when she didn’t get her way, taking money my father sent me when I spent six weeks with her in the summer, leaving for hours at a time and I would be worried sick not knowing where she was. In essence I was her mother…withdraw symptoms would persist during the middle of the day and I would make her a salad and bring her food in bed, or make dinner. Although it was only every other weekend I dreaded the nights I spent with her. I loved her, deeply. I loved her hair and the feeling of her hugs. Her laugh was contagious and her sense of humor and love for spontaneity reminded me of myself and still to this day are my favorite things about both her and myself. I love that I got such an amazing part of my mother. I loved her soft hands and her voice could comfort me in ways that almost seem unimaginable at this point in my life. Yet, for my sanity and for my peace and harmony (ironic) I had to let her go. At the age of 12 after a nasty custody battle I became estranged from my mother until my 15th birthday. Rage and agony filled my bones. I carried this heavy weight around with me. I’ll never forget when she told me I was the reason she began to use drugs again. Over and over I would hear her voice replaying in my mind telling me that I was evil, and unloved…that I was never welcomed to see her again. Heartbreak didn’t even begin to describe just how much I ached. For years I felt this deep seated pain that followed me around like a dark shadow even on the sunniest of days. I knew living without her was what my soul needed to heal and it started to do just that…but it took therapy, years of it in fact. Suicide attempts and self-mutilation lead me to the edge of the earth looking for a way to escape this pain that truly cannot be accurately explained in words. The loss of a primal relationship that really did mean everything to me was such a profound moment. Being motherless (well by my biological mother) my choice was the most difficult decision. So I found myself in other relationships trying to save people, in essence trying to save my mom but I was acting it out with different characters. Older men, friends who didn’t actually give a rat’s ass about my well-being. I found myself in this endless cycle. I was a rat in a wheel chasing around the clock constantly, waiting, wishing, hoping…and yet just as empty as when I started and more exhausted than ever before.
I found myself in a place where choosing me as an adult was an integral part of my healing. I was with a man who I loved dearly. I thought that I would marry him, mother his children, and take care of him when he was old. But he disturbed my energy, and he stole what little peace I did have at 19. Again I was a rat on a wheel chasing, chasing, chasing. I found myself again at this overwhelming cross roads. I thought to myself that as an adult with access to mental health resources, and a wealth of support I am responsible for my happiness. I am responsible for creating an atmosphere where I feel loved and valued. After several failed attempts at letting him go I finally decided to choose me. That meant letting him go, it meant cutting ties with my mother’s side of the family again, it meant making decisions that were tough and didn’t feel good. It meant finding peace in chaos. It is a process learning to move on from relationships that felt fundamental to your sense of self and being. It is an ever changing action to continuously sever relationships with those who still reach out despite the toxicity of the interactions.
I have heard people say that I am selective and that I should be more forgiving. What they don’t see is that I am forgiving. To forgive someone means that you have spent time seeing the world from their eyes it means allowing people a different truth than you. Forgiving is not synonymous with inviting someone back into your life. I do believe that people can change but I also firmly believe in listening to your gut about what decisions you should make in your life. Quiet your mind and listen to what you feel in your stomach, notice how your heart reacts, or how you start to sweat. Listen to these things, energy or vibes or whatever you’d like to call them reflect very accurately most of the time. I do forgive, and sometimes I do allow people back into my space. People also miss how hard I had to fight to even create a space where I could exist with myself peacefully and love who I am. I had to fight for it and insist upon it relentlessly and still to this day I have to remind myself incessantly that I am enough. Those who hurl words like “move on” at me don’t truly grasp what it means. I have moved on from many things and people in my life who have hurt me but I also am very picky about whose energy I allow to interact with mine and I will not apologize for it.
To insist upon your own peace of mind is brave and courageous. You shouldn’t feel bad about doing what you need to do for yourself. Yes, even if it does hurt the other person. It isn’t something that I enjoy having to leave or love people from a distance but it is an integral part about finding true peace and happiness with oneself and one’s surroundings.
Finally I come to the act of forgiveness as a means to protect and create a space of peace…Guilt is an emotion that I felt all the time and is the biggest emotion that struggle with. I had to learn to forgive myself first and foremost in an effort to rid myself of the guilt relationships that I had to end in order to protect my mind, heart, body, and soul…to say that I wanted to walk away and live without people who were so engrained into everything that I did is simply not true. I wanted to keep being that rat that chased on the wheel but at a point it became unrealistic and it was draining me until I was nothing and had nothing and felt nothing. I had to tell myself “you are worthy of love, you are allowed to let things go that do not add to you.” I had to forgive others. I walked around wanting those who had done me wrong to feel the pain that I had. I had to see the world through different eyes and really flex my empathy skills. I eventually came to a place of wishing nothing but love and light even towards those who had hurt me.
I believe that when you move things that take up unnecessary room in your life you give God the space to flood you with good things and things that add substance, love, and amity to all that you do.
I hope that if you’re reading this that you find the courage to examine your life and find the things or people that have been historically toxic to your existence on earth. Question who in your life gives you something to hope for. Find the types of things you’d like to find in people and then surround yourself with them. You are worthy of healthy love that makes you feel like a somebody and you owe no one anything before you owe it to yourself. Be kind to yourself and one another. Love yourself and one another…allow God to flood you.
Sending you love & light