Reflections on Life Thus Far

My life. My story: Exploring mental health, spirituality, meditation & random thoughts I have

The Courage to Change

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Change is hard for everyone no matter who you are. Some handle change better than others but that’s not my

Dorothy meets the Cowardly Lion, from The Wond...

Dorothy meets the Cowardly Lion, from The Wonderful Wizard of Oz first edition. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

point. My point is everyone has some degree of trouble accepting/adjusting to change in their life, however that manifests itself. If any of you reading have experienced trauma or abuse in your life you know that moving past the pain is a huge effort. To not stay stuck in the memories and negative beliefs from our past can really challenge the best of us. Some of us get trapped in self limiting ‘stories’ about who we are as people identity wise. Our pain becomes our identity to the degree we can’t see any other way of being in the world apart from ‘damaged’ (or insert your word of choice you use to describe yourself negatively).

What we must do is not let our present slip through our fingers as we find ourselves in safer contexts but stuck in the past. This is at the heart of dissociation. It doesn’t matter if you have a diagnosis of DID, PTSD, BPD, or whatever, it only matters that you are wasting precious moments in the here and now thinking of your haunted memories. I realize the memories aren’t always in our control until we’ve learnt techniques to manage them from our therapist but assuming you know enough now to manage unpleasant/scary memories, isn’t it better we employ all of our strength to stay present in the present?

I am aware of the enormity of the challenge for some people to change and realize everyone needs to go at their own pace, so to speak, so I’m not going to lecture. When I was attempting to stop dissociating on a constant basis in 2010 I found it frightening at times. But ultimately, once I’d achieved some mastery over myself the reward was how liberated I felt. It was rocky at first and I stumbled, fell, swore and then got back up again. My eating disorder decided to return for a bit of fun just so I could delay progress by being engrossed in calorie counting and weigh ins; yet my spirit prevailed and I kicked my ED to the curb. I struggled to regain myself (literally and figuratively) after being beaten down by my food restrictions, weight loss and my self-esteem bottoming out. I wasn’t going to stay in the trap my ED had set for me. Sure it snared me but I wedged free.

Thanks to my compassionate and patient psychologist, I made it back to the land of the living. She could have dropped me but kept me on as her patient even after I’d stopped being a registered student (she worked in the university’s counselling services) and saw me ’til I stabilized. I owe her a debt of gratitude for not abandoning me when she had no reason to keep seeing me (we were well past the 8-10 session allotment they allowed students). Some therapists really are gems. I wasn’t paying her so she was seeing me on a purely altruistic basis. With her there to support me I was able to finally quit my constant mood shifts and stay in my body for longer periods of time. The anxiety lessened and my desire for escaping was replaced by a desire for staying present. Thank you to my psychologist and mindfulness meditation! I highly recommend it(the meditation) by the way.

Cowardly Lion's Courage Medal

Cowardly Lion’s Courage Medal (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

These days I could use some courage! I don’t have a therapist and am trying to deal with figuring out which direction to go in my life. Now that I’m actually in my body long enough to have consistent thoughts I find myself struggling to hear my own voice above society’s. I never used to give a crap about what other people thought but now I am conflicted. Pleasing everyone isn’t possible so why do I feel like I should have to do so? Why am I torn between what I want to do and what I think is least likely to receive doubt and criticism?

At one time I just followed my own will but now I think I’m turning it over to others. I’m worried what people will think of me. It doesn’t sit well with me that I might be considered too idealistic or ‘dreamy’ just because my dreams don’t fit into a box. I’m 30 for pity’s sake! Surely, I can ignore other people’s opinions. I’ve spent my entire life trying to be perfect though. Perfectionism doesn’t let go easily. Its grasp on me is far less now than it used to be but it hasn’t eliminated perfectionist associated thoughts completely. This is what I need the courage to change for! Telling my perfectionist mind to go f**k itself!

I started off this post thinking I’d expound on all my ‘worldly wisdom’ and ended up bemoaning my own struggles. Irony, I loathe you. Oh well now you have a bit of my advice mixed up with my own need for it! 😛

Related link: My other blog I wrote a post on:

http://findinghealthafterillness.wordpress.com/2012/09/29/the-transcendent-child-tales-of-triumph-over-the-past-lillian-b-rubin/

 © Zen Lady Meditating and Reflections On Life Thus Far, 2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Zen Lady Meditating and Reflections On Life Thus Far with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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Author: Natalya

Blogging my thoughts and feelings about mostly mental health, meditation and spirituality(non religious). Hoping to connect with other interesting people in the blogosphere. *The name is Russian and is my pseudonym.

5 thoughts on “The Courage to Change

  1. I know it’s really hard to put aside other people’s opinions, especially when you’ve spent a lifetime think that is what matters, but it is so free-ing when you can let go. I hope you can find a way to do this soon.

  2. Pingback: Bipolar Behavior Examples | Is Bipolar Hereditary

  3. It really is easy to become over-identified with our traumatic pasts as you describe.
    I’m currently learning to stay where my inspiration is and do what I love doing. Not always easy though!

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