“The only way out is through.” Robert Frost
I have heard this quote from Robert Frost many times in my life, never fully realizing what it meant or even how to apply it to me! I think it became one of those mantras people said to me but I never truly understood it or how to actually do it. It’s right up there with “loving yourself without judgement”. For me they are both linked as to work through something you must love yourself and to love yourself you must be willing to go through. For me, loving myself and going through was missing a vital piece, I needed to add going back to the beginning. How do you love yourself when you have stories attached to it like “I am not worthy”, “I am not a good person”, “I am cold”, “I am stupid”, “I am fat” or my personal favourite “people always leave me”?
Going back to the beginning was hard for a few reasons; 1) I lived through some of this shit the first time, why would I want to do it again? 2) Talking ill of the dead or family or anyone else felt like I was blaming or betraying them (which I wasn’t, it was fact and with compassion it was kind). 3) The statement “I don’t know”! 4) If you remember from earlier writings, I hated the mirror and deep down I know I had to look at me.
- I may have lived through it but I did not “LIVE” through it! In all of those instances I left a piece of me on the curb. Now I get to go back and get them.
- Once I added compassion, which came in the last 6 months, to my understanding there was no more blame or betrayals, it is just what happened and what happened after is what I built my stories on.
- “I don’t know” is right up there with “I don’t remember”. The issue is I never sat still long enough physically and mentally to actually realize that I remember everything, all the answers are within me.
- Life is always easier when you can blame someone else for your heartache, anger, sorrow or pain both physical and mental.
Going back to the beginning in the last few months, I have been looking at all the things that seem to anger or frustrate me. Anger has impacted me both personally and professionally for the last 29 years. Anger is always easy to blame on someone else. We get angry and automatically blame the person delivering the message standing in front of us. Now I did blame me as well, those small moments of lucidity that I would say “I know it’s me, but if they would just do it this way”. Did you notice the “but”? Yeah when we say “but”, 99% of the time we completely negate what we said just before it. “Not being heard” is something that would bring me to anger where all four of the above points would apply.
For me the feeling and attachments of not being heard is large as it comes from many places in my past. Each time I would hear something that would re-create this emotional charge, it was always this current moment causing this reaction. I would then act in a way towards the messenger that would not benefit them or me. These actions did not always show up the same way as we see anger in our mind. Yes sometimes I would yell, even though yelling with aggression is horrible. There are other actions I would take like talk about how that person is so stupid or if they would just listen their business would be way better. If I liked the person, it would make me question their support and loyalty. Just think, have you ever said to someone “you are making me angry”, and they look at you like you have three heads and don’t get it? Then would you think they are also oblivious? For me it was projecting my reflections.
I recently identified that I was acting and/or arguing in a way I wanted to act as a kid towards my stepfather. He had some interesting ways of dealing with people especially children. First he whole-heartedly believed that children should be seen and not heard. This creates in some kids that their thoughts and opinions do not matter. Are we not always someone’s child? So when does this change not only for that person also for the child? When does the child’s opinions, thoughts or feelings truly become valued their own mind or the mind of the person who says that? That brings me to the second point with my stepfather. It did not matter who you were, if you did not share his exact opinion, you were wrong plain and simple. This is where he would use sayings as “don’t be so stupid” and if light verbal assaults did not work, he would fly into a rage and force you to concede through verbal and on the rare occasion, physical violence (he never hit me let’s be clear). I watched many others and myself give up their position out of fear. A quote from “The Presence Process” by Michael Brown that has allowed me to see this with compassion is; “Parents are only able to offer the same quality of unconditional attention to a child that they received in their own childhood”. Today I imagine what was his childhood like? However, I feel this only applies when parents are not self-aware or adults are not willing to do things better for their kids and themselves..
For the last 29 years or so, when I would be talking with someone and they did not acknowledge me, or that my thoughts had merit or they might say something I deemed as a personal attack, I would react. The good news in this realization is that I had a recent conversation where I was not feeling heard. Instantly I wanted to react the way I did in the past but after one breath, I named the feeling and dealt with it in a different way. I did not see the messenger of this emotion as the cause of it. I remained calm and instead of getting angry, I explained how I was feeling and what I was hearing from them. I feel that people cut people off or discount that they can share an opinion different from our own too much. I am not supporting the act, however, the act does not warrant anger. Getting angry will only make it worse.
I know at least in the short term this will continue to be an emotional charge for me and I will have to be aware so that I do not go back into the pseudo emotion. I will work on it and strive each day to be better.
As a safety precaution with this understanding, if some one is angry and they say it is with you, please don’t say “you are not really mad at me but mad at your parents”. I think this may cause a possible escalation.
Keep chasing those cars
With Love, Respect and Admiration
This is a poem that I found awhile back and it is by Philip Larkin. Now when I first found it, I had one definition for it. Now that I added compassion to understanding it means so much more, I hope you enjoy!
This Be The Verse
They fuck you up, your mum and dad.
They may not mean to, but they do.
They fill you with the faults they had
And add some extra, just for you.
But they were fucked up in their turn
By fools in old-style hats and coats,
Who half the time were soppy-stern
And half at one another’s throats.
Man hands on misery to man.
It deepens like a coastal shelf.
Get out as early as you can,
And don’t have any kids yourself.