Sunday, 15 December 2013

30 Day Challenge Review - Part 2: mental state

Mental State:
For someone who has the heart of an optimist but the head of a sceptic, this cleanse really challenged me. I just re-read my first post that started all this, and I was trying to re-connect with that girl who was sad and mad and wounded and determined. Happily I can report that the sad and mad have mostly faded away. In their place are feelings of peace and hope. Determined? Always have been, always will be but also feeling accomplished now too. As for wounded, well that one's a little trickier.

This challenge allowed me to acknowledge the hurt and shame and devastation I felt at being abandoned by Archer and two women I considered to be my sisters. And when I found out (after the fact, and not from him) that Archer had left me for a much younger, much cooler someone else (let's call her - Crystal), this challenge gave me permission to not be ok with how deep the hurt went. Especially when I saw my old friends all hanging out together, but with Crystal taking my spot at the dinner table. In a chair that was still warm from my swift departure. Feeling like you have been erased and replaced is a terrible and humbling experience. Some days the force of it took my breathe away.

But then something wonderful happened - during this challenge my wound started to heal. And now, where once there was a jagged, dark and deep void, is a shiny, new scar. This scar tissue of mine is not pretty or smooth, but it is hard won and I am proud of it. So do I love love again? How I wish I could say yes. I want to say yes, and I think that is an important point. But at this stage my answer is still no. However, I think love and I could be friends.

To fall in love requires bravery and trust. I know I am brave, but I realise now that I have lost the ability to trust people, including my friends, my family and myself. This scared me at first. After all, the majority of my friends, and all of my family have been nothing short of incredible in rallying around me and have never given me any cause to doubt or question their love and affection. But life is not fair and this is where I am.

As for trusting myself, I knew who Archer was, and what his limitations were. I knew his past behaviour was going to be the best indicator of his future actions, but I ignored my instinct so I could be with the man I loved and had adored for 10 years. So that is what I am working on now - listening to my intuition, sharpening my instinct and trying to trust myself and my decisions again. And when I can master that, then maybe I won't hesitate before talking to a friend; I won't have to think 'can I trust them? Will I care if they tell someone else?' before deciding whether to share what's on my mind or in my heart. 

So here I am, feeling much happier and much stronger for taking 30 days to focus on me. It's an experience I would recommend for anyone wondering about their place in the world. I'm certainly one step closer to finding mine.

L x

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