I miss you (dependency), but I love (future) me more
I hope you had a fabulous Easter! Me and my new five kilos enjoyed all the food and chocolate, haha. For this week’s Eternally & Optimistically Coping post, I want to talk about missing someone and loving myself. This can apply to all sorts of relationships, and I’m going to leave it pretty open for the rest of this post.
Last week I wrote about how moving on is a back and forth dance, and this week I kind of build on the concept. In moving on, growing up, and healing, we get to a point where we have to take that next step. Jump off the figurative cliff, as I like to say. Especially when it comes to stepping away from external validation and dependency from others.
That point comes when we decide to put what is best for ourselves before what we want to do. For example, we all want to reach out, and text (usually drunk), or we want to block them in a fit of (usually justifiable) anger. Perhaps (I haven’t done this) you drive by their house (I can’t drive)—even the stalking on Instagram (guilty).
These can apply to all sorts of relationships. Have you ever had to apologise to a friend for blocking them while in an argument? Or cool your burning face when you read the morning after texts to that friend from years ago? Let’s not forget the false bravado when you tell your parents how you really feel stomping up the stairs.
But, for our highest of selves, the irony is that we just need ourselves. It’s nice to get the opinion of those we trust, but ultimately, only we can make decisions on what’s best for us. So many times, I have sat, listened and counselled, and my advice hasn’t been taken. That’s fine! My advice to them is just that: advice.
I think that in this life, the only way we truly learn is through experience. We can hypothesise as much as we want; the odds of something happening are always a gamble. We have to consider, take action and let it play out. Only through living do we a) experience and b) learn.
So, what are the best choices to make for ourselves? Well, for me, they have to do with limiting my angry reactions. Anger is something that I have always struggled with. When you don’t have a voice in childhood, or everyone else’s is louder, you learn that you have to be the loudest to be heard. Unfortunately, in my teenage years and adulthood, that has remained as if I don’t get angry, then no one will listen OR understand.
The best choice for my highest self is to not get angry. The cost of getting angry is emotional exhaustion. How do I do that? Well, the last week, I’ve had to hold my breath and walk away. But not just walk away from people but my phone, my laptop and definitely social media.
I needed to walk away to get control of my anger. If I stayed, replied and kept scrolling, I would get myself in a funk, and the rage would broil until I exploded. Usually, the explosion would leave a seismic impact on people who had no part in it, making me feel guilty and ashamed.
The thing about anger, though, is that, for me, it hides my hurt. As so much is changing for me and for those around me, I am finding it difficult to not take things personally. I’m very sensitive these days to the smallest of changes. Because it means it’s another thing that I have no control over.
So, I have to do two things for my highest self: soothe the anger and nurture the pain.
How have I been doing that?
Well, for the anger, I put music on and have a small dance party. Deep breathing doesn’t help when I am in that state. I have to move the energy through my body. Dancing is quickly accessible, which is why I do it.
To nurture my pain, when the time is right, say, after work or before bed when I’m alone, I simply sit with my feelings. At this time, I write out what happened and why I got upset. Then, I analyse it. I got upset because it reminded me of when I was a child and feeling abandoned.
All roads lead to childhood, I feel.
To better myself, none of these things have to do with confronting people. This is important to me because I strongly believe in apologising and forgiveness. But sometimes that is a pressure on both people. Also, I acknowledge that I am more sensitive at this time, so my view on things is a bit misconstrued.
But I think in doing this, depending solely on myself for emotional regulation and validation, I’m saying goodbye to my old self in the sense of dependency. Now, I’m not saying that I would not talk to them about it if they actually did something wrong. I’m just saying that in things that don’t matter at the end of the day.
Things that aren’t worth getting angry and upset about. That will look different to every single person. I believe it is important to remember that you can’t expect people to treat you how you treat them. And, everyone is going through their own stuff too.
Where I can, I let it go and choose myself.
I miss you (dependency), but I love (future) me more.
Tea of the day – Rose & Peppermint Tea
Stay safe, be kind, and feel free to reach out below!
With love and eternal optimism,