I used to think that learning
to accept myself was to be the final step in my personal climb to wellness.
At first it seemed this intuition was correct -- benefits both expected
and unforeseen materialized as belief in my own self-worth bloomed.
However, with it came cynicism and disappointment in the world as I
conceived it. I also detected an alarming fury mounting within me -
fury at a planet that had for so many years wronged me incessantly and,
I now believed, undeservedly. I felt myself hardening and, in so doing,
jeopardized a very special relationship I was in. With the possibility
of this loss came incredible clarity: a realization that if I'd almost
driven away this angel I must be doing something very wrong. Maybe self-acceptance
was only a way station - a plateau on which to rest before embarking
on new and succeeding ascents. I had learned to accept myself. But now
I had to learn to again accept everyone ELSE.
Yes there has been plenty
of hurt. It IS justified anger. There WERE tough times in the past and
they DID ache. It is not somehow small, weak, inferior or stupid to
feel bitterness: there are totally valid reasons for this. But I must
move on regardless. I cannot allow past interactions, or the assumptions
they produce, to tarnish or squander new opportunities.
I have done so in the past:
it was a protective function, and an understandable one. For a very
long time this was an adaptive way to be - odds favoured that my actions
or words WOULD be misinterpreted or reacted to in the most negative
of ways, and I was scared to hurt anymore. It was safer to pre-emptively
anticipate and react in order to dull the subsequent blow and avoid
a rage borne of surprise.
I realize now that I'm reading
from an old book though - ironically I was starting to put my walls
back up just as others were ready to finally take theirs down. I have
been diagnosed. People around me are now educated, aware of why I am
the way I am, and ready to apply this new information. TS in general
is so much better known and recognized today. I, through education and
experience, have become a considerably different person who now elicits
very different reactions than in the past. Now it is "safe"
to be the loving person I've always wanted to be.
If I continue to assume
the worst of new people and situations then it is MY behaviour that
is now in question -- now it is I who is not being fair to the WORLD.
It's time for me to catch up to the circumstances and show forgiveness.
In my heart and not just my head. If I damage my own future by not doing
so this allows past unfair acts to continue to win. They don't deserve
to have this power over me.
I will not replace old assumptions
with blind optimism: this only puts a new face on the same mistake.
I will instead do my best to treat new situations with a clean slate.
And if I do happen to be treated unjustly my newfound self-assuredness
will lead me to DO something about it rather than endure it passively
or fester over it heatedly.
It seemed appropriate that,
having experienced this catharsis, I should send out a "Hello I'm
back" correspondence to the many friends and family members I had
feigned impenetrability to. It also seemed appropriate to take a chance
on some new people I had summarily dismissed. I received in reply such
openness, kindness and generousity I was ashamed to see how many people
had been willing and waiting to show me affection if I'd only let them.
For one thing, I have this
phenomenal sister I never knew I had. I can't wait to get to know her
Until next time, my friends!