Imagine if we kept the heaviest of our old bags of rubbish, and carried them around with us wherever we went? And what if we used those sacks of waste like sand bags, to create a barrier around ourselves? Wouldn’t life begin to ‘stink’ and wouldn’t we become limited in how far and fast we could travel? And what if we met others who were doing the same……how genuinely close could we become, with all that none – recycled, partially decomposed jumble between us?
It sounds awful, doesn’t it? If you witnessed such a person you would absolutely want to save them from such a fate, would want to convince them that they don’t have to live that way……..wouldn’t you? But what if you realized you were, infact, gazing into a mirror, and it was yourself you were seeing? Would you be as appalled, would you feel as concerned for yourself as you would for another? Or would you turn away from the reflection, treating it as mental and emotional landfill, burying the image deep within the abyss of your unconscious mind? Out of sight but still taking up space somewhere, and still seeping into the atmosphere.
You see, most of us are more than willing to help others deal with their baggage, but are lousy at feeling worthy enough to help ourselves. We believe we should be stronger, ‘OVER all that stuff’, that we should be ‘getting on with things’. So we push the bags of rubbish down, mentally close the hatch, and then stand on it with our full weight. Try and get out NOW, I dare you, we yell in a silent whisper. I absolutely dare you.
Then this is what happens. We ask questions, the same ones, over and over again.
“Why did my ex treat me the way he/she did?”
“Why did my mother clearly favour my sister/brother over me?”
“Why did my father leave when I was a child, and why hasn’t he kept in touch?”
“Why didn’t my mother ever say she was proud of me, or that she loved me?”
“Why does everyone let me down?”
Why, why, why, why, why? I need answers, I just want closure, I HAVE dealt with all of this……..I am only mentioning it because I am curious…….yes, honestly! None of it bothers me anymore……but still, I would like to be given an explanation………I want CLOSURE!
The problem is, the above questions, and others of a similar nature, are not closure questions. They are ‘I am still in pain’ questions. And there is nothing wrong with that……it is okay to feel hurt by other people’s unreasonable or non – supportive behaviour. It is just that if we genuinely want to be more free, if we want to feel more in control of our own future, if we want to be happier, we have to accept – YES, accept! – certain facts:
The person who has hurt you is never going to be able to come up with an explanation that would make everything all right. What is it you would actually accept from him or her? “I am a complete waste of time as a partner/parent, my behaviour was appalling, I didn’t deserve you, and I will never forgive myself. You were right, I was wrong, and I really don’t know what got into me. Please forgive me for my unacceptable behaviour”? You may possibly receive a partial or watered down version of the above, but it is unlikely that the one who hurt you will have the awareness or the courage to accept much or all of the responsibility……..many, many people struggle to see themselves as wrong – doers, because it is too emotionally painful to deal with. And so they hide behind defensiveness and blame. And if they do make an effort to apologise, it often includes a ‘yes but’……”I am sorry BUT……” followed by reasons for their behaviour, and/or a list of your own failings. People can behave really badly. Just because someone conceives and produces a child doesn’t mean that he/she has the capacity or interest in being a mature, loving parent. Just because someone enters into a romantic relationship doesn’t mean he/she doesn’t have excess baggage and an attitude problem. When I say the only way forward is to accept, I don’t mean you should allow everyone and anyone to mentally, emotionally or physically abuse you. I mean that the only way to free yourself off is to stop asking WHY?? When you know you have given your best, when you have done all you can, make peace with the fact that someone you had faith in, someone you offered your heart and mind and love to, was in such a messed – up place that they were unable to value that precious gift, and that their behaviour was a reflection of their own inner world. And actually had nothing to do with you. And then choose. Continue to associate with them whilst genuinely accepting them for who and what they are, or completely remove yourself from them. Either way, you still have to heal the need for closure through the WHY?? mindset, otherwise you will remain caught up in the pain and feelings of rejection. Removing yourself physically whilst remaining mentally and emotionally connected to the ‘wrong’ will be a waste of time. And you will be doing all of this for you, your own healthy future and your own happiness!