Well it’s official my case has been closed. I received the letter yesterday from my therapist that my file had been closed, but I would be welcomed back if I need services. Doesn’t the BUT get you every time? You’re not a loon right now, but you certainly have the potential for future lunacy.
Since I received the letter, I can’t help but think about all I’ve learned about myself over those 3 years. One of the biggest obstacles I overcame was feeling inadequate. This ran deep.
I spent my crucial formative years in the shadow of my sister. Some years were more like an eclipse, but we don’t need to get into details. My sister and I are very close in age, at only 15 months apart, which provided plenty of opportunity for comparisons. She was smart I had commonsense. She had confidence I needed approval. The list goes on, but I’m sure you get the idea.
Confidence: the quality or state of being certain :certitude <they had every confidence of success.
Of course I could dwell on the fact that it took me 40 plus years to open my eyes, but what good would that do me. I have to accept that I wasn’t ready, or willing until recently to regain my sight. No regrets, just following the master plan. Now that I can see, it’s time to move on with the knowledge and understanding of what I learned from this journey. Oh, what a journey it was….
All of this insanity started to surface when my sister told me she had a reading with a Median. Apparently my dad came through during the reading giving her praise for what she had done with her life…a pat on the back from the spirit world. Needless to say the ghostly compliments pushed me over the edge. I didn’t get any praise in the real world and she is getting them from the efing grave! I’m sure you can all understand how that might annoy someone with insecurity issues. The tears started, but this time they wouldn’t stop…Houston, we have a problem.
After many conversations, tears & laughter with my therapist I was able to recognize some very important traits about yours truly. Some good, some bad, but all me.
First things first: Children do not come with instruction manuals. For generations parents have been doing the best they can with the knowledge they have on hand, along with some instincts. In this case none. My mother was an orphan raised without role models and my father was raised by his mother, however was on his own at a young age. A perfect union of the blind leading the blind. Lesson: Don’t waste time pointing fingers at your parents, you’ll never move forward. Learn to understand and accept the circumstances surrounding the bigger picture. The whys’ are not important, they will just continue to hold you in the past.
Second: My sister was already the “smart” one placed high up on a pedestal at home, leaving me at the base. So that good old-fashioned Catholic school education provided a generous amount of reinforcement for my insecurities.The constant comparisons, along with a heaping side of humiliation became the pillars for my issues. Lesson: If you’re not happy being in the shadow, step out and see what the light has to offer. I guarantee you’ll be happier in your own light.
Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. Marianne Williamson
Third: I spent YEARS focused on the wonderful labels that were placed on my sister, without recognizing my own. Labels are sticky do not apply onto people. While I was trying to live up to her labels, I was living down to my own. I was the quiet, nice, dependable one with a big heart. Not too shabby, right? My need to be something I wasn’t brought out the worst in my good qualities. This caused me to be more of a
doormat wall-to-wall carpet or an extreme pleaser. Lesson: Don’t waste time resenting what you’re not. Enhance your strengths, embrace your weaknesses and never be ashamed of who you are.
Fourth: I always thought life was good up there on the pedestal. I imagined there must be rainbows, unicorns and butterflies just waiting to blow glitter on my sister every day. Who wouldn’t be jealous? What I didn’t see were the pressures to meet those high standards that were so generously distributed. Lesson: The pedestal is big enough for everyone. Never be afraid to use your talents. Live your life being as marvelous as God intended you to be and never dull your sparkle for someone else.
Fifth: Holding on, whether it’s anger or hurt is not healthy. Considering my extreme need to please I had a debilitating habit of remaining silent, never confronting, never resolving and never trusting. So, who’s up for a big glass of poison? Taking a long hard look at my past hurt wasn’t easy. But, doing it in a setting that allowed me to express myself constructively, understand it compassionately and recognize the role I played in each situation, I was able to let go. Lesson: Forgiveness and Letting Go are your best friends. They are a wonderful couple that always bring along freedom and well-being to hang out. This doesn’t mean you will forget the hurt, it means you now have the power to look back without that triple threat of bitterness, resentment and anger preventing happiness in its tracks.
Life is better, but I still consider myself a work in progress who is still learning while she does her best to Enjoy the Ride!