Learning Lessons While Letting Go of Guilt

I’m typically always present, but that doesn’t prevent past lessons from showing up every once in a while.  You know when you finally learn a lesson and you have that “Ah ha” moment?  Well, I had that moment, but I also feel guilty about it.  I realize that the guilt is from past wounds, but it still hurts.

There was a long stretch of time that included multiple friendships and friend groups that involved a severe lack of communication, silent treatments, and exclusion.  Every single time I internalized and became the victim.  Every single time I fought for a relationship that was never really sound in the first place.  I took on feelings of unworthiness and shame.

How could I have messed up so badly?

That was who I was.  It was part of my process in becoming who I am today.  The cycle of poor relationships was due in part to my lack of self-love and no true desire to bring more positivity into my life.

As I’ve become more established in who I am, I’m at the same time becoming self-aware.  Digging up parts of myself that I buried down years ago.  This process has also brought of realizations as to what’s real and what I deserve.  I’m still figuring things out.  There are moments when I’m an asshole, moments when I’m too quick to judge.  I grew up around overly critical people and it’s something that I’ve had to consciously work against becoming.

Through all of this, I’ve been finding it more difficult to deal with emotionally distant people.  I get that people need space, but there’s a difference between needing space and giving the silent treatment.  Communicating with words is powerful, but nonverbal communication is key.  I don’t want to chase for answers anymore.  And while I have some guilt around walking away, I don’t want to be hurt anymore.  I used to chase and write letters to people who didn’t want to talk about what was bothering them.  But my energy’s going elsewhere now.  I can’t make time for people who won’t make time for me.

I won’t wait around for anyone, I have too many places to go.

So my response is to move on.  It hurts and upsets me, and I do need to talk with people about it because I realize internalizing isn’t healthy.  But it’s how I’m coping for now.  I’m walking away when things aren’t meant for me.  I’ve come way to far to continue on a continuous cycle of victimhood.  The next step is setting boundaries when people do decide to come back into my life.  How much do I let them see?  How close do I get?  What do you do when someone comes back and acts like things are the same when they clearly aren’t?  The dynamics are different now.

The other night I got angry about a situation and said something to a friend that I immediately felt embarrassed by and regretted.  I apologized, but it wasn’t fair to him,  it wasn’t even about him.   It was a clear indication that I need to be more honest with people.  I can’t keep hiding just because I’m scared of what will happen post confrontation.

Things are shifting for me in the relationship department as a result of my mindset shift.  As I figure out what I will and won’t allow, different people are entering, reentering, and leaving my life.  It’s an interesting change, but it’s needed.

Photo by Robert Katzki on Unsplash

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