I love TED Talks. They have become my first course of action WHENEVER I need to inspire my mind. And, today, I came across this one:
Kathryn Schulz: Don't Regret Regret
Throughout most of it, I thought, "I don't have regrets. I literally live life knowing that I made the best choice for myself at that time. I look at every mistake as a lesson learned!"
But....that's a lie.
I've spent the last three weeks working on some self care issues. It began with a stress-related flu, taking some time on my couch, and then a return to work where I was able to uncover some deep-rooted issues ruminating below my surface. (Where I work now, this is the point of going to work ;-D) I worked hard on self-analyzing (I know, a sarcastic stretch for the girl with five blogs...) the real cause of a lot of these issues and other things that I was becoming aware of as I became more self aware.
What entailed was some heart-felt discussions with close friends, gossiping about my romantic past and present, standing up for myself, and getting honest with my feelings. Four days ago, this journey - seeking to open my heart - manifested itself in a chest congestion. The next day, I lost my voice: my clue to stop talking about this problem and start doing the real internal work to get through it. Then, my nasal passages began to inflame. On the fourth day, I could feel it clearing, but still struggling to get me to deal with these real issues and not continue to live in this tortured reality I had created for myself.
Last night was the worst yet. I had a cleansing bath. In it, I realized one of my deepest fears - a loss of independence -and it all began to sort itself out. The issue I was having with a romantic friend stemmed from my fear of vulnerability that kept me from admitting I had feelings for him in the first place. The recovery from family affairs stemmed from a desire to be recognized for my differences - a fear of needing to know they would love me regardless of how I am different. The issue with a coworker was based on my fear of not being loved in return if I chose to give love even if I couldn't get it back.
After the bath, I found an inspiring quote, blessed it with my love for everybody I know, and send it out into the world.
Every few hours, I woke up to use the toilet. The second time this happened, I realized how soaked my shirt was. I was sweating like crazy through my sleep. This was definitely an amazing cleansing restorative sleep.
But....where does this loss of independence come from?
I have one regret.
It has a name that I can't bare to say aloud.
The thought of the moment fills me with self loathing, disgust, and anger at everybody else involved.
I'm so far past the point of thinking of this regret as a lesson that I can't take ownership of it. I can't admit that I made such a huge, terrible mistake that hurt somebody else...and most of all has scarred me so much that I couldn't even like myself for years after it happened - and I work DAMN HARD at loving myself!
So...what happens next?
I know what event is now keeping me from all the rest of this. How do I move past it? How do I take ownership of it? How do I forgive myself for hurting myself?
How many more baths before I love that scar too....?
The funny thing is...I've known it's been this moment all along. I've known that this is the "healing" I've needed to do in this last year, referred to absent-mindedly to friends but never really delved into. I've known that my cures would never work for it...I thought it might never matter if I convinced myself that it didn't hurt me. I thought that being strong would be enough. I thought that not letting them see me cry would make me that stronger person. I thought that love was something I needed to be given rather than something I could give myself. I thought that vulnerability was a weakness, not a universal strength...