Your Impact On This World
This morning I woke up for seemingly no reason at the crack of dawn, after not slumbering long. Normally, if I wake up early, I just turn over and go back to sleep, but this morning I wasn't able to. So, I thought, I will begin a new book and see what it has to tell me. The book I began to read is called, "Love for Imperfect Things." I quickly realized that it was not by accident that I woke to read this book. As I was reading it several clients came to mind as the author described some of the experiences he has had in life. This lead to new understandings for me to share with them, in order to help them feel better and stop experiencing the same pain over and over again. Pain like: anxiety, stress, overwhelm, worry, depression, sadness, this and many more of which I call low-level experiences (any emotional experiences that don't feel good).
Why did I say "experiencing the same pain over and over again"? Well, what I have discovered is that the negative emotional experiences that we have are not situational, they are internal. They are a re-enactment of a past hurt being brought to our attention by what people are doing/not doing, saying/not saying, circumstances, and events. We will recreate these experiences until they are healed. No one talks about this, we are instead taught to believe that the person over there is to blame for making us feel a certain way. Or, we may beat our self up for not getting an outcome that we had expected or wanted. What I know for sure is that no one can make you feel any way, good or bad. How you feel is based on what we deemed right or wrong, good or bad, a long time ago.
The reason I mentioned the book I'm reading was because of a passage the author wrote. Let me give a little foundation before I share it. The author had gone to visit a friend with whom he had a strong bond with many years prior. They had not seen each other for some years and as they were catching up with one another his friend had explained that he was grappling with workaholism. The author had remembered his friends background and offered to him that because attention was only given to him by his parents, as a child, when he did something great or that was deemed worthy vs. feeling loved and cared for unconditionally he believed that he needed to "earn" value by working hard. The author also knew that his friend's father was an alcoholic and would often get drunk and explode on him and his siblings, which he protected because he was the eldest. As a child he thought he could prevent the explosion by doing everything asked and doing it correctly, which would understandably create anxiety for a child. Now, as an adult, while his father has passed, he is still practicing that conditioning because of the pressure he is experiencing in his life with family, occupation, and so on.
Upon leaving his stay with his friend the author left this note:
"When we were in graduate school, you were like a big brother to me. You helped me overcome several crises. You don't know how grateful I am even now, when I think of your kind heart. And so for goodness sake please remember: Even if you never achieve anything big and significant, to me, your existence alone is already enough." I would venture to say that each of us has had an impact on someone else that we may know about, but for many likely not. We just never know the impact we are having on another, things like a smile toward a stranger can make all the difference in someone's world.
If you gain nothing more than this from the words I write each week, I hope this one things sticks with you; you need do nothing to have value. Your existence in this world is enough. You needn't attain another thing to prove you should be here and worthy of such, only achieve because it brings you joy, for you, not anyone else. I hope to know you one day and be able to look you in the eye and tell you how wonderful and powerful you are, just as you are.
Erin "basking in your glow" Mac