Saturday, April 25, 2015

Making Changes

What do you think about yourself?  Are you happy with yourself?  Do you believe that you are worthy of happiness?

I have struggled with that for much of my life. Correction... I still struggle with that, but I am happy to say that I am starting to make progress.  I started therapy a few months ago, and despite my fear, misgivings, and concerns, it is helping.
When I started I had an option, I could either begin with the easy issues or tackle the hardest ones.  I am grateful to say that I made the right choice, I started with the hardest most painful ones first.  Of course it would have been easy to start with the little things that plague me on a daily basis, but I found that I was ready for change.  I decided that I had been hurting long enough.  I realized that I had only been cheating myself.
When I started tackling the tough issues I realized how angry I really was.  I realized how much pain I was in, and more importantly I realized that I was hurting because of the things that had been done to me, not because of anything I had done to myself.  I am learning that I have to place blame where it belongs and take back... myself.  If I want to heal I have to let go of guilt.  I have to let go of sorrow.  I have to let go of the pain.  If I don't I will stay stuck.  I will stay limited.  I have stunted my own growth by not dealing with my issues.
Because I have been numb for so long, despite the love I have of my children and my husband, I have suffered.  I allowed my "baggage" to hinder and strain those precious relationships.  
I lost my confidence.  I lost my creative spirit.  I lost my happiness.  I lost myself.  
Unconsciously, I decided that I did not deserve joy, even in my everyday. Depression had a hold on me to the point that I did not believe that I was worth living for.  I found myself trapped in a circle of sorrow.
However, I am is not yet out of the woods.  I am struggling in my marriage.  My husband still loves me deeply and dearly, but I take no effort.  I allow myself to get locked in my physical pain and the excuses that come with it.  I allow myself to get trapped in my sorrow and feeling sorry for myself.  I allowed myself to give up and settle, until I do not think I can find another way.
It is not easy to face your past.  It is not easy to face your own short comings.  It is not easy admit your mistakes.  It is not easy to admit what it is in your life that is toxic, or who is toxic.  It is not easy to make the changes that it takes to find your happiness.  It takes time.  It takes devotion.  It takes direction and guidance. It takes patience and that dreaded word "forgiveness".  What I have discovered though was that forgiveness does not mean condoning.  It does not mean that you are letting someone get away with something.  Forgiveness to me means letting go, letting go of pain, letting go of the sorrow, letting go of the guilt.  It means saying you're worth fighting for.  I am learning to take responsibility for myself and my actions.  I have to take responsibility for my thoughts, and my behavior, even my mood.
In the doctors office they have a sign in the restroom that says, "Happiness is a choice".  I thought that was first.  I thought it was a one of those cheesy sayings that meant nothing profound, but I have actually found that being happy really is a choice.  And what was worse was that I had chosen to be stuck in my pain, and I had settled in to being average and useless.  If those were choices than why couldn't I choose to be happy?
One of my problems is that I did not have faith that God had given me life and talents or that there was a reason that he had.  I did not have faith that He made me and knew what I was capable of.  I did not have faith that He cared about me...personally.  I did not care about myself, and since my family loved me I decided that that was enough.  In a way it should be, but is it really all I should strive for?  Didn't they deserve the best of me?  Didn't they deserve me happy?  I had to realize that I was not giving my family or myself the best care that I could.  I was not taking care of them or myself to the best of my ability.  I realized that I for them to be happy... I had to be happy.
I could not even be the best person that God knew I could be.  I had failed him.  I began to see that his life is a gift, and I was wasting it.  I had been given 7 beautiful children (three of which has passed on from Muscular Dystrophy), but I have 4 healthy children who keep me busy, and happy every day, and I have the hope of seeing my children again one day (in the next life "heaven").  I have been blessed with my best friend as my husband.  He has struggled with me.  He has loved me.  He has seen me at my worst.  I hope he will see me at my very best... one day.
I have been blessed with creativity.  I am artistic.  I am a writer... hoping to get published.  I am a mother, and a kind person.  I love imagination.  I love nature.  I love music, and the way it makes me feel.  I love that I have a love of my Savior and my Heavenly Father.  I struggle.  I get sad.  I don't always see the beauty in my world or my day, but I am improving.  I want to keep improving.  I want to be happy.  I want to enjoy my life and start living it.  I don't want to waste any more time.  I have thrown away so much.
I am not there yet, but I am not going to quit trying.  I am going to keep working at it.  I am going to keep praying for help.  I am going to continue to do those things my therapist suggests.  I am going to keep being honest with myself and take responsibility for myself and my thoughts.  It isn't easy, and I will continue to struggle, and I will have good days and bad, but I have decided that no one can change my life, but me.  Those people around me that I love and love me, deserve for me to try.
I also had another realization.  I lost three of my children too soon.  They did not have the opportunity to run, jump and play. They did not have the chance to live and make their lives reach their potential.  They could not express their thoughts.  They could not enjoy their lives.  We worked very hard to make them comfortable and happy, but there was only so much we could for them.  I am blowing the chance that was taken away to soon from them.  I owe them better.  I deserve better and so do you.
Now, I don't know if this is going to help anyone.  I don't even know if anyone will read this.  I don't know if there is any point to this, but I hope... I hope this will help someone.  I hope it will give someone encouragement.  I hope that I might encourage someone to rediscover themselves, or inspire someone at least to search.  I don't want to wait for good to come to me... I want to make it happen.  I envy those who live their lives to the fullest, although I would bet that there are not as many out there doing it as we might think.
Don't you want to do that?  It all starts with a baby step.  You take one at a time, and then you take another one, and then another.  It seems that simple, but it might not be that simple. However, as long as you are moving forward you will get there.  Do what is best for you and those you love.  You don't have to make excuses to anyone.  You just have to start.  It is my prayer that if anyone is suffering... you figure it out for yourself.  I hope that you will figure out what is hurting you, and work those things out of your life.  You deserve it.  Just don't give up... no matter what you pain you have to endure on the journey... you are worth it.  It will get easier... and I will keep on encouraging you as I learn and grow too.  You are not taking this journey alone.
P.S.  Write me...