Friday, January 20, 2012

Forgive Yourself

Two thousand eleven was one heck of a year!! And I don't mean in a good way.  My world was rocked in more ways than I ever care to experience again, and I'm still feeling aftershocks.  Doubt, self-blame, anxiety, shame, anger, and a whole host of other emotions that I won't bother to list. All of that has brought me into two thousand twelve with some serious baggage I didn't realize I was carrying.

I'm a firm believer of confronting the emotions that are holding you back (in your own time - I really dislike confrontation), however there are occasions where you are just going about life (on auto-pilot) and don't recognize the fact that you aren't going anywhere.  That's how I've been the past 6 months or so, and I just realized it last night (well maybe last week, but last night was the straw).

When I am stressed I have a tendency to eat; I become the Human Garbage Disposal.  I eat late at night, what my kids don't finish on their plates, cookies, cake, ice cream, whatever is handy.   It's a wonder I haven't gained more weight, but I'll just be thankful that I haven't.

Guilt.  Yeah that's another one.

I digress, I've been eating like a cow (grazing) and occasionally guzzling, like last night.  I can't even tell you what I did it was horrifying to myself.  Suffice it to say I saw the light finally and know why I'm "killing myself" this way.  Yeah I went there, because that is exactly what I'm doing.  I don't workout...once every two months does not count, and I definitely could cook a little healthier.  I'm carrying around the middle and that is dangerous, especially with my family history.

Absolution...I desire it, but not from the living, and the dead have nothing to give.

When one of my dad's died in June I felt bad, not that he was gone, we knew it was coming, and with a little advance notice I handle death pretty well.  Why then was I so upset?  Because I wish I had been a better daughter.  My dad was sick, but I was angry with him (because he wasn't taking care of himself ironically) and I wouldn't talk to him.  Thought about him all the time, but didn't go to great lengths to see or talk to him until he could no longer talk back.  I went and sat with him at the hospital when he was in a coma and told him that I loved him, and I was sorry that my girls hadn't known him.  I hoped he would get better, but the prognosis was never good, and I'm a realist when I have to be.

In November when one of my sister's passed I was devastated...utterly and completely.  My husband,  (thank God for him), carried me home and took care of me because I was unable to do so myself.  She was 30 years old and I hardly knew her, which could be said for most of my siblings.

Split in two, I lay in pieces, the person I wanted to be, and who I really am.  My husband carried me home and slowly, I began to heal.  The scar is invisible because the wound is emotional.  It exists nonetheless, a reminder of what I no longer desire to be.  Incomplete, less than, island.

I don't make resolutions, people rarely stick to those.  I made a goal to be a better "daughter-wife-mom-sister ... friend".  I don't want to cry again because of all the things I didn't take time to do.  From here on out my tears will be due to the memories that I shared with the ones I've lost, not the regrets I have for not making more time for them.

To move forward though, I must forgive myself - the dead give no absolution; and make amends with the living.  I absolutely must make these changes or I will eat myself into an early grave, and I just told my husband I wanted to spend the next 50 years with him, and I would love to see grandchildren, and even great-grandchildren.  That won't be possible if I don't take care of myself, and my emotional and mental health play a role in my overall longevity so I've got to get it together.

Forgive yourself.  We are not perfect beings, but if we work earnestly, diligently and sincerely toward a goal, we can achieve it.  Including seeking peace within.

Until Next Time,


Aminat said...

Shanta, you just nailed it, thanks for this post. I read it and realised it hits at home. I really need healing to move on as well.

Shanta Hayes said...

I glad you found it helpful. Sometimes being so open can put people off, but if it helps someone else then I'm glad I wrote it.