Which is why my theme for this year is Lessons I Learned because of 2014. I know that the best way I can deal with this terrible time is to look for the positives. And the positives almost all come in the form of things I've learned.
This is probably the hardest theme I've ever chosen, because it needs for me to step back from everything and gain perspective. Which is also good for me. I just hope I can put it into words in a way that might help other people. (Sorry if the posts go on long! It's hard enough just to say what I'm feeling without trying to limit my words. I'll try to keep to 500 words, though.)
Okay. Let me take a deep breath and start at the beginning.
The truth is, I'm much more cynical than most people like to think. I'm not a pessimist, mind you. I just have this thing where I'm really good at reading people warts and all, which means that I'm prone to see the bad things and focus on them.
This isn't a good thing, so over the years I've taught myself to look for the positive side too and give people the benefit of the doubt. We all have strengths and weaknesses and which one shows is the big battle of each person's existence.
And if I want any chance at actually building relationships with people around me, I have to trust that the good side will win out with every person. This, honestly, isn't easy for me, but in 2013/2014, it was the easiest I've ever experienced.
And then I got betrayed.
Not once. Not twice. Four times. In ways that invariably destroyed at least one aspect to my life. My publishing goals. My business. My home. Twice.
I can't describe the way that feels.
Enraged. I was so furious every time that it made me feel physically sick. Just seeing something that reminded me of those people or hearing their names made me want to throw up.
Maybe it's a good thing that my anger took on such a physical form, because it made me take stock. I realized that feeling this way actually hurt me much more than the betrayal itself. And that got me to thinking...
All these betrayals made me want to do nothing more than to just close myself off from the world and never have anything to do with it again. I didn't want to try trusting people again. I didn't want anything to do with them.
The thing is, changing the way I want my life to be because of the actions of those people destroys any future relationship I might forge. Life-changing relationships. Loving relationships. True ones.
Which means that not only did those traitors destroy my publishing deal, my business, my home. Oh no. It also means I've given them permission to invade my life and destroy my relationships - past, present and future - as well.
My response, instead, has been to work towards accepting what's happened. Not "Oh well, that's too bad."
I accept that people aren't always good.
I accept that some people can and will purposefully hurt me and those I love.
But I also accept that there are still people out there who are good people.
Those are the people for whom I'm risking to trust every time...
Even if it might mean I get hurt again.
Most of all:
I accept that while these events did a lot of damage...
They didn't put me down.
And I will rise up from the ashes and be happy despite those people's efforts.
Because what I refuse to accept
Is any further influence from their side on my life.
What have you learned to accept from 2014?
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