When we start our journey through this lifetime, we start with innocent wonder, trust, faith and even naïveté. We are bright-eyed and bushy tailed, filled with dreams of what this life will offer. But as we walk along the road of life its bumps, twists, and turns can slowly chip away at our optimism and affect our demeanour. Depending on the types of experiences we have, they impact our overall well being and how we not only perceive ourselves, but our outlook on life and other people as well.
I’m going to be blunt, some of us have had some pretty shitty experiences. Not just as adults, but when we were children as well. These experiences formulate how we feel about ourselves how we expect others to treat us and what we believe we deserve later on in life. If a person felt unwanted or unloved as a child, they may carry those feelings into adulthood and feel that they aren’t worthy of love or worse, that they are not loveable. We may experience abuse or manipulative behaviour in our adult relationships and become conditioned to see that as normal. These experiences can lead to a life of self imposed servitude.
Self imposed servitude happens when we develop the belief that we don’t deserve love, happiness or anything good in our lives because of our past experiences. We then become enslaved to the fear that if we do finally get them, we will somehow fuck it up and be more broken than before. We allow these thoughts and beliefs dominate and control us, over and over again, like an endless self punishing cycle.
So how do we stop this cycle and stop ourselves from beating ourselves up? We start with looking at our past experiences, the ones that hurt us. I know it’s difficult, but you can’t bury it, what we bury will always resurface. When you do this be gentle with yourself. Often enough these experiences have to do with other people and how they made us feel about ourselves. And what we often don’t realize that they were projecting how they feel about themselves unto us. For some it was a way to make themselves feel better because of their own shitty experiences. It doesn’t make it right, but it is what it is. When we start shifting our perspective and seeing these situations in a different light, it helps us understand that it wasn’t us. And that its something that is extremely difficult for some to over come. Our adult experiences give us lessons, sometimes we need to experience the bad things so we can appreciate the good. Sometimes we need to experience things to make us stronger, to teach ourselves to stand up for ourselves, or how to say no to behaviour we don’t like. Using these experiences to our advantage can help us appreciate the very relationships we avoid.
My life hasn’t been all unicorns and rainbows, quite the opposite. Ever since I was a child I have been strong willed, stubborn, rebellious and I’d be damned if I was going to let anyone tell me what to do. I was the last person I or anyone I knew who would have thought I’d end up in an abusive relationship, let alone two. I’m telling you this because it’s important to understand, that no one sets out to find themselves in these situations. Most importantly, even if you’re a strong take no shit type of person, you’re not immune to these experiences. These situations happen gradually over time and one day you wake up and can’t believe that this is happening to you. I had a tough childhood and then as an adult, where I should have experienced relationships with love and happiness, I had what I never imagined would happen to me. Most people with these experiences would have ended up bitter and jaded, but my stubbornness wouldn’t allow them to get the best of me and I fought hard to get to where I am today.
My relationship experiences would leave most people wanting to be single for the rest of their lives; but being who I am, I refused to let my past control and dominate my future. I wouldn’t let those experiences define my expectations and self worth. The first thing I did was change my views on relationships, but for the better. I took those experiences and knew exactly what I didn’t want. But I also learn a lot about myself in the process and discovered things I did want, that even surprised me. It taught me how to look for the qualities that I did want. For me the initial fear was repeating patterns. So I took time for myself and focus on my son and work. Although the idea of relationships intrigued me, I was afraid of re-experiencing what I had in the past. But as time passed I knew that I was willing to take that risk. Did that mean I was going to jump into anything? No, it meant that I was open to allowing someone special into my life and seeing where it went, and it will be a person who understands I need to go slow. I will admit that I’m still gun shy when it comes to relationships, and maybe a bit fearful of history repeating it self, but I know I deserve happiness, so even though it may be scary I’m willing to take that step for the right person, because I will not allow myself to be enslaved to my bad experiences, I will not allow them to win.
For those that feel that they are not worthy of love, feel that they will fuck things up, and keep punishing themselves by pushing away something that would be amazing for them, please stop. Step back and realize that whoever made you feel this way are winning. You are allowing them to dominate and control you. In many situations this is how they want you to feel, they want to beat you down and make you feel worthless. Remember, you are not what they made you believe you are. You are an amazing loving, beautiful being that is full of light that has a lot to offer and who is worthy of love and happiness. We can learn from our past mistakes, but the future is ours to change and to create a blissful life for ourselves. Don’t be afraid to let that person into your life, the one that understands you and takes you as is and for who you are. The one that doesn’t want to change you, but just enjoys being in your presence. They see you as being worthy of all of this and more. Take a chance on yourself, stop punishing yourself and start living. Love yourself enough to allow someone else to love you, to show you that happiness is possible, because living with regret is much scarier than taking a chance on happiness.
We can’t change the past, but we can shape our future. Take a chance on yourself and stop living a life of self imposed servitude. Allow love and happiness into your life and follow your bliss. You’ll thank yourself for breaking those chains that bind you and allowing yourself to experience the love and happiness you deserve.
© Aria Moonstone, 2018. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Aria Moonstone appropriate and specific direction to the original content.