One of the biggest challenges I have faced over the years is making peace with where I am, truly embracing the power of NOW. It was not until I began my journey on WordPress in the brainstorming of my novel that I was able to understand just how important this is.
Appreciation is one of the most fulfilling feelings anyone can feel. And for me it is the easiest to reach for in a moment of struggle. I didn’t realize I was doing it at the time, but as I wrote my story, I noticed the constant repetition of this behavior during my early childhood. When the world around me was falling apart, gratitude was always my guiding light.
Now, as I begin writing the next chapter in my story, I am noticing a very significant change in myself during that time. In my early childhood, I always seemed to be able to keep focus on the good things in my life to get me through the bad.
After the disappearance of my mother, my thinking took a drastically darker turn.
It seemed that by the time I started high-school, the pain from my past had finally caught up with me.
I had deep seeded anger and shame in me that was slowly gurgling to the surface. I held a great deal of resentment towards my mother, but yet I longed for her to come home. Part of me wanted to yell at her for taking my childhood away, never allowing me to just be a kid with no worries about what may be lurking around the next corner.
And the other part of me wanted more than anything just to have her near. I never knew how to feel from one moment to the next. Reaching for good feeling thoughts became harder and harder to do.
At some point, negative thinking became my standard way of thinking. I guess I figured I had experienced so much pain already that setting myself up for more was a chance I wasn’t willing to take. I would say things like, “No point in getting my hopes up, because then it won’t hurt so much when I get disappointed”.
Eventually, I internalized my mother’s behavior and became ashamed of myself – what’s wrong with me?
As a child, I just didn’t understand, but now it all makes sense. As children, when the ones we love hurt us, we don’t have the comprehension to realize they are the one with the problem. Instead, we think there is something wrong with us. And the younger you are sometimes the harder it is to overcome, because you are so deeply rooted in that mess.
Part of my healing process was writing about it. Forcing myself to work through my anger, disappointment and shame. In revisiting that time with a fresh understanding and appreciation of myself I have been better able to recognize certain patterns in my behavior that gave me a much different perspective on my life during that time.
For example, one thing that happens when you have been deeply rejected is that it affects your perception. It affects how you perceive things. You begin to imagine that things are happening that aren’t happening. This was extremely evident in the pages of my high-school journal! There are some stories in there that the adult Tiffany and the teenage Tiffany seem to recall very differently! The same person experienced the exact same moment in time, but their perspective in that moment was not the same by a long shot.
When I was teenage Tiffany (and the Tiffany for many years to come) I was not able to separate myself from my opinion. When someone rejected my opinion, I felt like they were rejecting me, because rejection was so deeply rooted in me that I was unable to separate the two.
For so long, I was afraid to be tender and soft because I was afraid I would get hurt. No one is going to push me around again! I was afraid to be vulnerable and as a result I was missing out on life.
It was a very sad place to revisit and I think that is why I had such a hard time getting started. For some reason writing about my early life was much easier than this next task has proven to be. I have worked very hard to break my negative patterns of thinking and it is eye opening to go back to where they all began.
It’s amazing what understanding can do for us.
The journey back from that dark place is one that I look forward to continuing. Growing every day, being in full acceptance with who I am and what I desire with no caveats.
How freeing it is to live with no expectations. Make peace with who you are in this moment. Life can change in an instant and your perspective may be a whole lot different tomorrow, so why not try your hardest to live for today! Appreciate the little things and soon you may see even more to appreciate 🙂