I’ve had my fair share of grudges.
Hell, to be honest, sometimes those misgivings are STILL much closer to my heart than I like to admit (both to myself and to others).
Yes. Sometimes, in the midst of my free-loving attitude, I frolic straight into the briar patch of insecurity, fear-based behaviors, and melancholy.
Now, not unlike in an actual briar patch, I sure am protected here—well, at least if I’m metaphorically a rabbit or other small rodent…
(WHICH I AM, IN THIS EXAMPLE… SO, BEAR WITH ME OR SHUTUP AND GO TAKE A FACEBOOK QUIZ OR SOMETHING.)
This is a safe place for the following reasons:
- I am essentially untouchable: I am surrounded by the thorns of those who have hurt me in the past, which, in turn, will hurt anyone else who attempts to reach out or come too close.
- This is an excellent opportunity for me to feel super high and mighty (despite the fact that I’m essentially huddled in some thorny bushes, all wide-eyed and quivery and shit) because I have successfully evaded whatever was making me feel vulnerable.
However, it’s called UNDERGROWTH for a reason, my friends.
Hahahahaha *wipes away a tear* Aaaaaaaand this blog is done.
Okay okay. I’m kidding. It’s not done (although, that may be the high point).
I know a lot of people define themselves by the hardships that they’ve lived through. This is what makes a person “tough” or “a survivor”, which are qualities that we value in our culture. You want someone who has experienced adversity because; A.) They are better prepared to deal with adversity associated with you; and, B.) They will be more understanding of the fact that you, too, have issues associated with your past. However, too much toughness makes for shells and walls and emotional blockades. And no one really wants to be with someone who is unwilling or unable to be vulnerable. It begets a lack of mutual trust, which is the cornerstone of any meaningful relationship, romantic or not.
On the other side of the coin, though, you want to avoid someone who is too “damaged” because… well… victims are going to be victims until they decide they are no longer victims. No one wants to be a villain to someone that they love. But, a victim needs a villain. That’s just how it works.
So, how does one find that balance between too tough and too tender—what I like to call self-sustainability? How can I avoid warding off goodness with the stacked carcasses of my vanquished foes, in a dramatic “YE WHO COME HERE SHALL PERISH” flourish, whilst also maintaining my cellular composure to remain in a non pool-of-mush state?
Well, if I’m being completely honest, I haven’t a fucking clue.
I am trying some things, in theory and imperfectly, in order to open up a bit more to genuine relationships.
Letting go of illusions of control – This one’s funny because I’m a complete control freak. I know I am. I also know that I have little to no control that extends beyond my person. So, I am working on letting go of micromanaging the aspects of my life that are free-flowing, such as my relationships with other individuals. This allows me to work on…
Letting go of distrust – If you are my friend, and you tell me something, I am going to believe you. I am going to trust you. At least until you fuck it up. Please don’t fuck it up. Thanks.
Letting go of pain – As I mentioned before, we’ve all been through some shit. The hurt you feel is relative to the pain you’ve experienced, right? The whole deadening your nerves over time” bit? The whole tortured soul bit? Well, personally, I’m guilty of this. I get all sad hulk* all the time. BUT, I recognize now that I don’t want my pain to define me. I want it to just be a memory. So, I’m working on letting it go, which means I also have to…
Let go of fear – All those people who did bad things to me? They’re all gone. They’re not coming back. You are not them. Blah blah blah. I get it. But it’s still scary to think of letting someone into a position in which they could come at me, bro. So I’m not good at it. I don’t know if I’ll ever be good at it. But I am trying. I am learning to trust my own judgement again, which helps with the irrationality. Which, IN TURN, MAKES IT EASIER TOOOOOOOO…
Let go of past mistakes – Yes, you were really dumb. Super dumb. But now you are slightly less dumb…
*unless you are insane, in which case… keep on trying!*
Forgive yourself. You have to, in order to move on. Living in regret won’t help you, and really, it’s self-righteous. “Ohhhhhh my mistakes were sooooooo biiiiig I neeeever deserve haaaaappinesssss” Yeah. You sound like a jackass. It’s okay, though. I sound like that a lot of the time, too.
I guess this is where they say, “Trust the process”.
*Sad Hulk is a marvel-spun spoof with a tendency to “Hulk-Out” with sadness. Usually involves binge eating ice cream, bouts of indestructible existential depression, and earth-shattering crying jags. “YOU WOULDN’T LIKE ME WHEN I’M DEPRESSED”