We must always move forward.
Even though I know this, I revisit the past a lot. Driven by the desire to connect, I warp into the person I used to be.
She feels like a better fit for certain conversations and vibes. Half the time I don’t even realize I’m being her until I’m in the moment, being her. But I get a regret hangover in my heart whenever it happens because it feels like a betrayal.
In the moment it’s about survival. I’m so uncomfortable and wonder, “How can I feel connected to this person?”
I’m 15 again. I’m people pleasing. I’m suffocating my growth. I’m sacrificing my well-being by putting on airs for the sake of fitting in.
I’m stifling myself for the sake of nostalgia.
There is a common theme at the core of many of the relationships I’ve had in my life. It is born of emotional abandonment and I am drawn to it like a shark to blood. It’s equal parts comforting and disturbing, wrapped in trendy decorative paper. And it goes like this:
Because of the choices I’ve made in my life, I’m not willing to show you compassion.
I used to get really angry when I witnessed this belief in action. And I used to get it twisted into a narcissistic self-defeating response: “I guess in order to be loved by this person, I can’t not be OK.”
Big. Huge. Sigh.
Right now I don’t feel angry or sad about it. In fact, today it influences me to acknowledge that it’s time to step out of the past and into the future.
2018 has thus far been the most rewarding and volatile time of my life.
I knew it was coming – I was ready to take everything to the next level.
I’ve been taking bold steps, resulting in far more ups than downs, while the downs have proven to be intense, yet extremely productive. Revelation after revelation has made emotional growth the steady byproduct of all this newness I’m stepping into.
But there is still fear which tells me to not move forward – to stay the same.
Fear tells me to stay in the past just a little bit, so I don’t get hurt. Even though doing so siphons from all the progress, it’s the only familiar thing I’ve got going on right now.
“There will be nothing you can’t predict if you stay with the same faces and places,” fear says.
We are not saints. We need connection with people who are willing to support us in being human. We need relationships with people who don’t reject us when we feel the need to say, “What I just went through felt really awful and I’m really upset by it.”
We need all-in, I-see-you-rough-edges-and-all-yet-still-accept-you, connection.
We need full throttle acceptance. Not just on our good days, but every day.