I write a lot about how the past affects the present and the future. I cannot change what happened to me as a child. I cannot change what my parents did or did not do to me.
All of it made me who I am today…
For a while I was angry and defensive. I demanded people from my present make up for what people did to me from my past. I demanded placation from everyone around me. I was mean to the very people who I said I loved.
If this sounds familiar to you, either because it’s how you feel or you’re in a relationship with someone like this, please know the anger is only a mask for the hurt buried under it. I’m sure you’ve heard it all before. There are tons of books and shows and quotes out there about this.
I know. Some of them help I guess. Some of them help whoever is peddling the latest quick-fix remedy. Some of them are just bull shit. But isn’t that what life is all about – wading through the bull shit to find the kernel of truth, of beauty, of rightness?
In the process it’s impossible to not get the shit on you. Impossible. There were days when I wondered if I would ever not smell like shit, feel like shit, or treat others like shit. You may have heard of Joyce Meyer, if not I suggest you check her out – not for any religious reasons, but because what she teaches is practical and there are more than a few kernels there. One of them is – hurting people, hurt people.
I lived that way for more years than I care to admit. And the whole time I’m thinking, ‘What the hell is wrong with me? Why did I say that?’ It was like I was a puppet for some evil monster who was doing its best to destroy every relationship I ever had.
If the person you’re with is even halfway normal they will only put up with your shit for so long. That’s what I kept thinking and I knew that if I kept behaving the way I was I would never have a functional relationship. It was on me. My responsibility. No one else’s. If I wanted to be happy, to come to terms with my past, to learn how to love and be loved I had to change.
I had to take all the puzzle pieces and fit them together to make me a whole person or at least the half that someone else’s other half would want to fit so we could be together. You know, instead of trying to change someone else to fit my dysfunctional half…
I stumbled my way through my 20s and most of my 30s before I figured most of this out. We each have our own kernels and no one else can find them for us. Sometimes we have to slapped across the face quite a few times with them before we notice them. And even then some people die without ever finding any kernels – how incredibly sad.
So consider this one of the times when you’re bombarded with some kernels.
- Only you can make you happy.
- No one is responsible for your choices or life.
- Think about someone else for a change and watch the magic happen.
- The past does not dictate the future.
And if these don’t work for you go find some on your own. Refuse to live even another minute angry over something you can’t change. Because if you don’t you’ll lose every good thing you ever find.