Life is kind of interesting.
I have been working "my program" to one degree or another for the last 2 1/2 years. There have been times when I thought it was a complete waste of time. When I would finish raging over something, anything.....I would be completely exhausted and filled with shame, guilt, remorse and, most importantly, self loathing. I blamed, coerced and shamed the ones around me too but, inside, it was a complete lack of self love. Don't get me wrong...in between those times I was a pretty decent person, caring for the welfare of others, loving, affectionate, and thoughtful. But those qualities could disappear rapidly when uneasiness or anxiety, that always lurked in the background, flared.
Slowly, and I mean slowly, that has changed. I don't know when the tides started turning but they did. The raging has dissipated, the fears have lessened; I have a new perspective. There are times that my fearful thinking kicks in but now I am aware of it and can, more often than not, get a hold of it and recognize it for what it is. I find myself more frequently able to discuss my issues before they explode into ugliness. Recognizing when things are not in MY hula hoop helps a ton. I can let go of the things that are not in my control so much easier.
Another wonderful thing that has happened is that I, on occasion, have learned to keep my mouth SHUT. WOW!!! Not always, but more and more, I have learned that not everything my brain thinks needs to come out of my mouth. This is a boon as my brain is frequently not terribly rational. My brain still lives in protection mode, even now when I no longer need protecting; it still puts up barriers and walls. When I speak of barriers, I mean ugly things like; hurt before being hurt, reject before someone has the opportunity to reject me, cause pain for others instead of just feeling my own pain, etc.
Another great thing that I have been practicing pretty regular is self compassion. Taking it easy on myself when I blow it, learning to tell myself, "It's ok, you will do better next time. You are not ready for this yet but you will be." A wise woman taught me that I need to treat myself just like I would treat a dearly loved little sister. I am working on that. The words my brain tells me are not always kind....in those times I try an audio book. Codependency No More and Beyond Codependency have changed my life and I just keep rereading as it takes awhile for things to sink in. I have also been reading a few books by John O'Donohue. Taking my thoughts to a higher and much lovelier place has helped tremendously.
Today, I am so grateful for the people who tolerate and love me despite my shortcomings, for another gorgeous day in Southern California and for PEACE....it's a beautiful thing.