The last few days I have had a handful of life-lessons thrown at me…… To say that it has been trying would probably be an understatement….
But through all the feelings of helplessness, anger, sadness, and frustration, the thing that sticks out the most is that I FEEL GRATEFUL!!
I have always taken pride in being self-sufficient. Before I got ill, I was a very self-reliant and independent gal! Sure I had people in my life that I COULD rely on – but most of the time I chose NOT to… I wanted to walk through this life on my own terms – living by my own rules…. and in turn, I ended up building a wall that not only prevented people from coming IN… but it also kept me from reaching OUT…. I didn’t like people seeing the TRUE me ( I don’t know why, I had nothing to hide!). I felt vulnerable, and instead of embracing my imperfections, I really tried hard to prevent anyone from seeing them….. I didn’t want anyone to figure out that I NEEDED THEM…. but I think the only person I fooled was myself.
I sure fell hard off of the self-reliant pedestal I put myself on….
When I lost my health, and my whole life started to crumble, I went from being independent to hyper-dependent in a flash! I couldn’t do anything for myself! I became paralyzed with both pain and fear, and I so badly needed to reach out for help, but I didn’t know how to!! The people who KNEW the real me didn’t need me to ask them for help first – they just stepped in and took over…. helping me walk, taking me to the hospital, cleaning my house, making sure I ate… all of a sudden I was relying on people to meet my basic needs…. and it affected me more than I think the pain ever did….. I felt USELESS… I felt POWERLESS…. I felt EXPOSED…. Admitting that I needed to reach out and accept help from others just compounded those feelings for me…. the more I required help, the less I asked…. the more that people stepped in to help me the more horrible I felt about myself…. I got to the point where I truly believed that THIS wasn’t a life worth living…. and I got help…. a LOT of help….. and boy, was I EVER WRONG!
The first thing that I had to do was tear down the wall…. brick by brick…. I had to put to rest all the things in my life that allowed me to start building up that wall in the first place…. I had to admit that I judged myself on criteria that I would never DREAM of judging others by… I had to admit that I was human, and vulnerable, and needy…. and ALL of those things were okay!! It took me close to two years, a million tears, and much soul-searching to start accepting the real ME…. loving the real ME…. and showing the world who I really am.
Every now and then when life gets out of hand, and I start to feel the weight of the world, I turn to “old-programming” and start searching for bricks again….. I am not perfect, and old habits die-hard….
When life “hurts” it is sometimes easier for me to try to build the wall back up… in the moment it feels SAFE to fence myself in. The good thing is that I am aware of it, and as soon as I realize I am doing it then I stop myself….. It is a false sense of protection – and a lonely place to be….
So on Tuesday night after my computer up and died (which felt like the last straw by the way) I CHOSE to reach out…. which is still hard for me to do at times…..
I knew I needed some support!
I posted on my Facebook status that I needed a member of the Graceful Agony group to email me…… and did you guys EVER come through!! In a heartbeat I had a life-line.
And then I reached out further and shared my feelings on this blog…. I found the courage to ask….
And without judgment, YOU were all there!!
I was overwhelmed with support, and friendship, and “hugs”….
Kind words….. encouragement…. Assistance….
Someone even offered me a new computer!!!!!!
What a beautiful community of people I am fortunate enough to be in!!!!
The lessons that I have been presented with are all there for a reason. Life doesn’t hand you situations that aren’t filled with purpose…. and I pay heed to all of them.
But the greatest lesson I have learned over the past few days is that my pain has been a gift. Without it, none of you would be in my ‘circle’….. and I wouldn’t have the chance to learn from all of you…..
I am filled with gratitude because every moment of my life has brought me to where I am today….
It has brought me HERE…..