Over the past few weeks I’ve been reviewing my past – my choices and insights, the things that shaped me into the woman I am today.
To be honest, it’s not an easy process.
I like to be positive, look at the progress I’ve made over the years – and I have made astounding progress but, more often than not, it was through sheer bloody-mindedness though I prefer to call it persistence.
But, if I’m to do a genuine review, then I have to be honest with myself – face the qualities that stopped me for far too long – although who knows how long is too long? After all, I did end up landing where I’m happy to be.
Perhaps, if I’d been aware sooner of some of the qualities that caused me to make poor choices, I could have saved myself quite a bit of suffering but you don’t know what you don’t know, do you?
Looking back, this is what I saw:
I used to cling to situations and people well beyond the sell-by date, often because I believed I could make things turn out differently, better – my ‘best’ example is my marriage – it took me about 35 years of clinging, of believing I could change the relationship single-handedly, and another two years to disentangle myself emotionally first, then practically.
I had a tendency to choose to stay in my comfort zone instead of embracing change even when it was necessary. My knee-jerk response was to stop myself by fear of the unknown.
However, it is fair to say that sooner or later I did take the plunge – which is just as well or I might still be living the life I lived all those years up to 2004 – a thought that fills me with horror.
And then there were all those limiting beliefs that caused me to make such poor choices for far too long.
The worst of the lot was the belief that I wasn’t attractive enough or rather, I wasn’t sure if I was so, when I first met Jim, I decided to see if I could make him fall in love with me. I guess I succeeded because, well, we got married! That must surely have been one of my very worst choices based on the belief that I was not loveable enough and needed to test it.
That belief was followed by many others built over the years such as not being worthy of being loved, not capable enough to live on my own, that I needed to be strong and independent to be loved when, as I discovered years later, the opposite is true.
I made choices that were hugely significant or apparently trivial but that had serious consequences, for example choosing to work that little bit longer even though I already felt very tired for far too long led directly to burnout which lasted months and that stupid choice to run after a bus and twisting my knee – agonising pain! I haven’t run after a bus since then! And I made choices around food that seriously damaged me physically and emotionally.
Why am I going into all this?
These memories came to me when a client told me she didn’t like or trust herself because of the poor choices she made in her life.
But this is what I learned:
Perhaps you made choices you regret but, whatever the consequences, there were lessons for you to learn even if only “I won’t do that again in a rush!” – in my case, that goes for running after a bus or choosing a mate. In the case of Paul, my partner and soulmate, I would not have recognised him if it hadn’t been for the mistakes I made with Jim – choosing him in the first place and then behaving in the way I did that contributed to the breakdown of my marriage.
Nothing is wasted!
If you doubt this, then look back and then ask yourself, “what did I learn from that experience?”
With love and gratitude,