We choose what we become

Why do we let people get to us? Why do we let people who do so little for us take up so much of our time and energy? Why do we fill ourselves with things that are bad for us? Why do we keep people around who hurt us? Why don’t we just let go of all the crap in our lives?

Somewhere, somehow this way of being became normal. We have become so concerned with others and negative things because it takes us away from ourselves. Because no one wants to turn in, and why should we when all we see is people turning outwards. We see it and do it all day long. We talk to others, we go on social media, we go to work, we go to school, etc. Most people spend their entire day with other people, most people spend their entire day moving at 100 miles per hour. Because no one wants to be still with themselves.

Being still with yourself is serious business. It is also extremely difficult because it is so foreign. It is so beyond our comprehension but it is necessary. It is life changing. But it is going to hurt a lot. When we are still with ourselves, we learn about all the things we have been running from. We learn things about ourselves we like to deny or pretend don’t exist. We learn how much the past has affected us even after we swore we have moved on.

I know how ugly it gets, I’ve been there. I was forced to deal with it all. From my dad’s passing, every mistake I made, every failed relationship, every time I deeply hurt someone, every time I deeply hurt myself. It all came up and it still does. There is always more to learn and more to understand about the past. But the only way for it be of any use is if we stop running from it and let it teach us.

I learned running from my pain was my survival mode. But pain demands to be felt even if we choose not to feel it for ourselves, then it gets passed on to those around us. Everyone around me felt my pain. I learned it’s why I could not keep people around me because I used my pain to push them away. I used to think there was something wrong with me but I learned that wasn’t true. My problem was I had a really poor coping mechanism, because I wasn’t coping, I was just surviving.

Making time to be still has forced me to stop running, it forces me to face whatever is in front of me. I run straight towards things, instead of away from them. My life has changed because of this. Being still and facing the pain of my life and my past has taught me this lesson, by Carl Jung, over and over again, “I am not what happened to me. I am what I choose to become.” Your past does not define you, what you choose to do with it does. I let my past define me for so long. When I stopped running from it, the past lost all its power and control over me. I stopped letting it define me and I chose to let it guide me. I chose to make sense of it, learn from it, then leave behind.

Being still and facing life gets easier. The more you choose to be still and go inwards, the easier it becomes. It becomes a break from life and the craziness. You learn things. You deal with things. Not just bad things, but good things too. You learn about yourself, what you like, what you don’t like, what is really bugging you underneath it all. You will learn how to not let people control you, to shed things that no longer serve you, to remove people who hurt you. You will learn to live with those things instead of letting those things define you.

There will always be hard times and things we don’t want to face. But pulling those things, the ones we think are so bad, out of the dark into the light shows us they aren’t that bad at all. We can see the truth of them, learn from them and then we can move on from them. Because we are not what happened to us, but we are what we choose to become next.

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