I’m not old by any means, but at thirty-four years of age, I have learned a few things. Many of them have solidified here in my brain quite recently, but there is no less reason to celebrate, and no other reason to not be joyful that the lessons WERE learned. I believe that one of the most important lessons I have learned references the above photo, and not letting others hold the key to your happiness.
I spent the majority of my life figuring this one out, and now that it is fairly stuck in my head, I have absolutely no intention on letting it slip back out again. Not to say that I won’t have moments when I don’t misplace said key or loan it to someone that isn’t worthy, but overall, the key to my own happiness resides within me, and I can’t be any more pleased to have finally figured out this life lesson.
Part of a Rosa problem, is to let the actions (and sometimes inactions) of people around me, bring me down. Through DBT and individual therapy, and just a whole lot of pondering, I have realized that what other people do or don’t do, is entirely up to them; it is my REACTION only that I control. If someone acts offensively toward me, I might wonder what that had to do with me, and be very confused (or scared or upset or other negative emotion).
Here recently, I have realized that sometimes people behave badly for no reason (or, no reason to do with something I can control). I can walk away. AND, I can walk away with my head held high, because I have learned another lesson the hard way — this is not about me, and not everything IS about me. I am not the center of most people’s universe, so just because they throw sticks and stones my way, doesn’t mean it is about me.
I wish I could have realized some of these lessons when I was much, much younger. Growing up in a household where one parent often flew off the handle for (seemingly) no reason, and spending a lot of time thinking that things were my fault — much displaced guilt, shame, fear.
Being in romantic relationships where I was constantly being bullied, although I could never see a *why* in it, but just figured it was something I “had” to take — how I wish I wouldn’t have lingered in those situations so long. Knowing that I may not have, knowing that I hold the key to my own happiness and it is my reactions to other people (and their behavior) that I am able to control…wow, if I could only have known those things then.
So where to go from here? I have already stopped taking the bullstuff of others so personally. When someone around me is having a bad time, I don’t always assume it is because of something I have done. If I am feeling down or blue or sad or anxious, I have tools that I pull out to make myself feel better.
It doesn’t always work, but it seems that I have learned to better comfort myself, rather than constantly seeking comfort from another person. Now, I still do seek comfort from others, but I am also now much more likely to do the things I know how to do to comfort myself first. This makes for better relationships all around, especially if I am not begging someone else (generally QoB or my Dad or LarBear) to comfort me all the time.
Filed under: A Life Worth Living, Neuroticism Tagged: anxiety, Bipolar, bipolar disorder, comfort myself, DBT, depression, dialectical behavior therapy, distress tolerance, effectiveness, Family, happiness, hope, joy, love, mania, mental illness, mental-health, mindfulness, mixed episode, relationships, self-soothe, willingness