Sunday, September 19, 2010

I am what I am

I remember a darker time. This time I was wrestling with myself. For some odd reason I was acting, doing, and being a person I was not happy with. I was not fulfilled. I was not proud. I was not challenged. I was not happy.

I remember mentioning that it was like I was peering in at myself trapped inside the glass confines of a fishbowl. I would pound on the glass trying to get my own attention and scream, “Why the hell are you doing this to yourself?!”

I in turn would scream back, “I DON’T KNOW!!” and then I would turn my back and walk away, returning to the negative behaviors.

What I see upon reflection is that I became separate from myself. I lost my identity. I was no longer whole.

At times of trial, we must be able to make sure we pull ourselves together by pulling ourselves together. We must be able to know who we are and what we stand for. We must be able to melt our strengths into one being; to be able to gain the momentum that only a collection of positive forces can create. We must select and focus on the best in ourselves and not focus on our shortcomings.

What I now ask myself is am I trying to take “progressive action” or “restorative action”.

In “restorative action” we must take a peek in the rear view mirror. A peek. It is where we clean out or closets determining what must stay and what must go. This allows us to intercept old behaviors and replace them with new ones. We make room. We feel good. We feel lighter. We must observe what has not served us well and perhaps where the holes in our map may have been. We restore.

I do feel that both observations are necessary to occasionally “tune-up” our lives from time-to-time. However, I feel it is best to first gain strength and momentum so that the gravity of past deeds do not depress our accelerator. I like to take “progressive action” first to get going before going back to plug the leaks.

One of the best ways I have found in moving forward which also assists in our restoration is to remember who we are. If we can visualize us standing tall and stand as the perfect models of what we wish to portray to ourselves and those we serve, we can have a better grasp on where we are going. We implant our values back into our field of vision. If we identify and prioritize our values and what we stand for, we will rejoin with who we are as well as who we want to be, inversely leaving our old behaviors in the dust.

Recently I was talking with a friend who had some “closet cleaning” to do. He lamented that he was embarrassed by some actions he had partaken in and the perceived damage it caused to those he loved. He said he was ashamed to make amends as his behavior was not significant and in the nature of a “Smith.” (Names changed to protect the innocent.)

I mentioned that in retrospect the person he was holding the apology and love from probably missed and forgave him by now. He was punishing himself long after the other had moved on further robbing him of his identity–separating him.

I mentioned that if he were to stand tall (literally) and visualize what a “Smith” stood for, would it be being a man and taking responsibility? He replied yes. Courage? He replied again yes. Integrity? Yes. Valuing others feelings? Yes. Making Amends to those we owe them to? Yes. Overcoming fear? Yes. (All these questions leading to the obvious solution.)

He remembered who he was and wanted to be. He had a plan. He could move forward. This step also allowed him to do some “restorative” work as well.

If we reconnect with the person we know we truly are–(sometimes buried under the garbage of our thoughts, labels, past deeds) and who we deserve to become, we can capitalize on our collective selves. We can channel all the strengths that lie dormant behind the prison of our own fears and separateness.

Once we connect with our true selves and our true value systems, we not only hold the key, but can shove it in the lock of our self-made emotional prisons freeing ourselves to do the work we need to do to move forward.

Ask yourself “Who you are.” Really take inventory. Use affirmations, and if you do not have one, steal Popeye’s: “I yam what I yam, and that’s all that I yam!” Stand tall and reconnect with your values that state who you are and deserve to be. I seriously doubt that a can of spinach will do the job on this one.


Ardith Haws said...

What a nice reminder. When we remember who we really are, what we have been blessed with, and why we are here, hope can be restored, giving us courage to press forward. Thanks!

The Adviser said...

We all need to do "restorative" work. I am what I am but can be a better me. Thanks so much for this post.

Marc Cardaronella said...

I like what The Advisor said. It good to understand who you really are and accept that to a certain extent, however, that doesn't mean we have to stay that person. Nice post.