Knowing my power is liberating
It wasn't until my late forties that I came to know the power I have to determine how I experience my own life. Better late than never, eh?!
The trigger was my 14 year old only child’s decision to live with his father and his father’s new family. It hurt more than I can begin to describe and I took it extremely personally. There was pain, rage, bitterness, betrayal, neediness, resentment, victimhood, self-loathing. . . and these rather nasty emotions dominated me for the next couple of years.
It’s so draining to live like that and, unsurprisingly, it drove my son even further away from me. But I didn’t know how to change it, because your feelings are your feelings – there’s nothing you can do about them, right?
And then I heard the saying "Holding onto anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die." It was like one of those optical illusions, when what you’re seeing suddenly shifts into something else. . .
And so began a journey involving some Buddhist thought, meditation, mindfulness, NLP, coaching and a surprising number of self-help books with the word fuck in the title (who knew?!).
I've come to understand that I can choose how to make sense of my world, rather than being mindlessly swept along by habitual thought patterns and knee jerk reactions. I can't change what's happened, but I can change how I choose to see it and react to it – it’s not quick or easy, but it’s possible.
The positive difference this makes is incredible. I am a much happier, more peaceful person, with a clearer sense of self and purpose than I’ve ever had (ok, so that may not be saying much!!). The son who barely spoke to me now calls me when he’s stressed because, he says, talking to me always calms him down.
I’ve been able to get to this point because others have reached out to share their experiences and to help – whether through coaching, books, social media or whatever. I want to be part of making that positive difference.
What am I like?
I'm a cynical idealist who enjoys tea, reading, laughing, running, crocheting, learning, chocolate, dogs, good friends, rock music, chips and swearing. Not necessarily in that order and not all at the same time, though.
My favourite colour is blue. My favourite number is 42.
"It's never too late to be who you might have been."