I had a song running through my head when I woke up this morning to the cooing of my alarm. Aretha Franklin – Say a little prayer. My humming of it is more along the lines of My Best Friend’s Wedding but all the same, it was an unexpected lift and brought a smile to my face before I had even crawled out of bed to make the coffee.
Put a smile on your face? It’s the gift that keeps giving, really.
We simply assume that the way we see things is the way they really are or the way they should be. And our attitudes and behavior grows out of those assumptions. – The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People
I do. Does everyone? When I first got married I had the hardest time accepting that the way my husband saw the world wasn’t the way that I did. In certain cases he learned that the way I saw the world was true but I will admit that for the majority of our marriage, his view on the world was what I’ve needed to see it as.
I had a bad attitude in so many situations because I always expected the worst. There was a reason for it though – for example, when I was 16 or so, I had bought a CD burner at Walmart and it turned out that what was in the box was not what was on the box. I went right back to exchange it that day and the woman at the counter said that I had switched the item and that she could not approve a return.
::This was not only embarrassing but immediately slapped me back into a memory of my own extended family accusing my of theft and deceit when I was just around 10 or so years old. That story is for another time though.::
I went home, grabbed my mom and she took it in to return it, immediately they refunded the money and took the item back. From that day forward, even when something I bought was broken, mishandled, the wrong size, anything – I would not try to return it because I had been so humiliated in the past. My husband didn’t think that returning items was ever a problem until one day, we went to return a pair of heels that had said size 7.5, but were really an 8. He wanted me to be stronger and to experience that it isn’t always a refusal of a return and that customer service is supposed to be there for us, the customers. Unfortunately… when I tried to return the shoes with him by my side the counter girl said there was no way she could accept them, that they had been worn and were therefore mine and no refund/exchange/anything was applicable. My heart broke, I looked at him with this look that just said “see?” Now, I expected him to hold my hand, maybe rub my back as we would shamefully walk out of the store, but instead he held my hand, spoke up, asked for a manager who would actually do her job and successfully got the shoes returned and my money refunded.
I learned from him that I am not to be walked over by anyone. If he hadn’t been around, my attitude and behavior would never have changed, I would think everyone in customer service was mean and I would keep all items that I should return. My insecurity and self-worth would still be dictated by my past as I would continue to assume that every experience is going to be like the one before it, but they are all different. I need to remember to take a breath and reassess that I can’t base my self-worth on bad experiences.
We must find time to stop and thank the people who make a difference in our lives. – Dan Zadra
I have had the time, I just haven’t been thinking about anything outside of my pain. I have an unbelievably amazing husband, my family is award-worthy in their level of love and support – yet I pushed all of them away at one time or another, sometimes all at once. I have been thanking them slowly, I have been opening myself back up to them, telling the truth about what happened to me and letting them into my life. I just wish that at the time of the assaults, the abuse, and the loneliness – that I had reached out. My life would have been very different, I wouldn’t have been dealing with this alone, but I was so afraid if I told them the truth that they would be ashamed of me, angry at me, hate me, be embarrassed by me… the worst of anything and everything.
I know now, that when you’re raped, abused, battered – you take on the shame, the guilt, and all of the other feelings that are all sorts of disgusting that your abuser is incapable of feeling. I wish I had told someone. I wish I hadn’t tried to carry it all alone.
My family knows now. It hurt them to hear what had happened to me and although I don’t know when the feeling of devastation will go away.. we know as a family that we love each other and we are thankful that we have each other. I do need to speak it more clearly to them, to show them how truly thankful I am for them with my actions as well. That is a big part of why I am doing this new motivation every day, I need to get back to being the girl that was hopeful, joyful, excited and stoked for life.
Humanity cannot forget its dreamers; it cannot let their ideals fade and die; it knows them as the realities which it shall one day see and know. – James Allen – To Your Success
Dreamers, to dream, to have ideals, that should be all of us. We should all write down our dreams, chase after them, and one day – breathe them in. I am a massive fan of my football team here in Seattle. One of our Seahawks was in an interview and he explained how when he intercepts the football or gets a touchdown, that he raises his arms out and up to show that he did it, he is here, that he made it. His dream took a lot of hard work on his part, but he got there and he has faith that everyone else can do it too.
I’m in a place where I want to start dreaming again, I want to chase down my dreams and grab them out of the air, and I know that one day ::soon, I hope:: I’ll be standing on top of a mountain, at an art gallery, or even in my living room and I’ll know that I’ve got this. I can make it happen, I just have to work for it.
My interest is in the future, because I am going to spend the rest of my life there. – Charles F. Kettering – To Your Success
These quotes about thinking about the future, not the past, keep coming up. I get it. I want my future days not to be anything like the past days of the last seven years. Don’t get me wrong, I did have some great times in the last seven years but they were also downplayed by my pain, headaches, migraines, and the ever present feeling of dread weighing heavily on my body and mind. I am starting to imagine my future days as days without those things. When I have a migraine now, I treat it, get the ice, advil, lay in a dark room until it eases. I used to fight through them to keep going and I see now that it just made them worse. Taking care of me, my health, is the first step in moving forward. My future depends on me taking the right steps in the present, not blaming it on my past.