Tag Archives: forgiveness

Unknown strength to change.

10 Nov

Habits, according to Merriam-Webster, are acquired modes of behavior that have become nearly or completely involuntary.  Some can be deemed good habits, some bad.  Some easy to break, some ingrained in us forever.  Each one of our now intrinsic routines can be mapped back to both positive and negative experiences in our past, each experience shaping our behavior, our outlook.  Time passing only further solidifies our actions, and our justifications for our mindset.  Just like Webster said, these actions essentially move beyond our control, we act without conviction or thought.

As I enter a new phase of my life, I move past my soul-searching mindset to self-identification.  I don’t mean identifying who I am as an individual.  I mean understanding the base of my soul, the base of my heart, to identify the very foundation of how I react and more importantly, the why.  Self realization is a funny beast though.  Without the help from someone other than myself, I’m not sure I even posses the ability to consciously library my habits, both good and bad.  I’m not sure if anyone has the ability to do this on their own…

I am lucky to have an open and honest support group around me.  Not only do they point out my strengths, but they also deliver my weaknesses to my attention.  Thankfully, the serving platter is usually delicately etched.  However, even on the most carefully planned approach, self-identification doesn’t always come with a sugar-coating making the pill easier to swallow.  I think we have all felt that gut-wrenching bottomless pit of guilt that can quickly move right into our hearts when we realize our faults, especially when we come to find we have hurt someone we hold dear.  However, if we take the opportunity to show our weakness to ourselves, really unveil it, and not only catalog it but work to understand its origin, we can morph our bad behavior into new and positive reactions.  After all, we cannot change anyone other than ourselves.

I recently found myself in a situation that allowed me to play the other side of the exchange, and though I cannot claim my actions as smooth or graceful, I was truly blessed to see and feel both sides of the issue.  In finding the courage to initiate and follow through on a hard conversation, I found the courage to practice a new approach myself!

As a child who grew up in a deceptive and unsound environment, my inherent gut-reaction is to shut down, crawl into myself and walk away.  As much as I am uncomfortable saying this, it was not instilled within me to stand up tall, take a deep breath and face a situation head-on. Although I have had moments of brilliance in my past, it has not been my normal response to stressful or unstable situations.  The instinctive walls to my heart would have been immediately built and my true emotions barricaded.

This time, something was different.  After the walls were already built and my arms were already crossed, somehow the walls crumbled away and I opened my arms up with trust.  Trust that an apology was sincere.  Trust that we would never again find ourselves in the same situation.  Still at a loss for what was so different, I look back on this moment in awe of myself.  Where did this strength come from, what made me so courageous?  How did I let go of the pain and distrust so easily?  How did I change my actions and reactions so quickly and easily?  How do I have so much faith in my decision to open my arms instead of crossing them even tighter and turning away?

I am not sure I’ll ever truly understand this moment.  However, I am somehow more at peace with myself over letting go of past pain – realizing that I was not in the same environment as I was in my past.  I have faith it was the right way to move forward, and I am thankful for whoever or whatever gave me the strength to change my own ways.

%d bloggers like this: