Friday, April 06, 2007

Sometimes Things Go Right

It’s so easy to feel, when something goes wrong, that things will always go wrong. It can be so hard to remember sometimes that they can also go right. I lived most of my life expecting things to go wrong and it’s only in recent years that changed.

Ever since my trip to New Jersey I’ve been on eggshells, not knowing if I’d have to fly back. For a while it looked as if that might be the case. Last night I got word that it won’t happen and I can breathe a sigh of relief. I also found out that what seemed like everything falling apart last week, in terms of arrangements for my son, was just a miscommunication. My ex hadn’t thought to ask our son (Down syndrome) a few key questions. And neither had I. (Though I had counseled my ex not to panic until he spoke to someone who could tell him what was really going on.)

In any event, this whole experience has been a reminder that things can go right—even if it looks like they are not. The best case scenario can occur—rather than the worst. I don’t have to always be the rescuer and sometimes it’s better for everyone if I’m not. I was also reminded that it’s time to let go of any lingering addiction to drama.

I say often the things that trip us up are the things we haven’t stopped to question. That has certainly been true since all of this started. I had forgotten what my reaction pattern was to drama because for quite a while now I’ve had peace and calm around me. Then this all happened and I found myself needing repeatedly to stop and remind myself that I don’t want or need drama in my life any more nor do I need to get drawn into someone else’s drama. I can step back, take a deep breath, and be the voice of calm—for myself even if no one else listens.

I no longer need the sense of validation I once got by being the person who could always keep a cool head in the midst of a crisis. I no longer need the approval I might get from stepping in and making things right. I can give up drama as an excuse not to do every day things. I can give up the need to be the one who solves every problem—and actually trust others to find solutions.

That doesn’t mean I ignore responsibility or don’t act when it’s necessary that I do so! It does mean that I strip away the issue of the drama itself and step back to look at the entire situation as calmly and clearly as I can and then decide—rather than continuing to play out old patterns. NOW I can value peace and calm and dealing with every day life instead. In other words, now I can choose to be happy instead of needing to be a heroine. Even if I take the same actions, I do so in a very different state of mind than in the past.

This is important because for a long time I didn’t know who I was if I wasn’t a heroine. It was a way of making up for who I wasn’t, a way of atoning for being me—but no amount of self-sacrifice ever felt like it was enough. What a relief to have reached a point in my life when I know that it IS okay to be ME!

I hope that I will always have the courage to do what’s right—even when it’s hard or scary. But I will do so already believing in me, already believing in my right to exist and be who I am, already believing in my right to be happy.

I share all of this because I think so many of us who have had traumatic experiences in our lives fall into patterns of expecting things to go wrong and/or we become rescuers.

I hope that each of you is able to create at least small islands of peace and calm in your lives, that you are able to trust that sometimes things will go right. (The irony is that the more we allow ourselves to believe it, the more likely it is to be true!) I hope that each of you will come to a place where you are able to believe that it’s okay to be YOU—without having to be a rescuer or hero/heroine of some kind in order to deserve to exist. I hope that each of you can see within each challenge the blessings that it brings.

Sending safe and gentle (((((((hugs))))))),


jumpinginpuddles said...

we are rescuers and we do expect things to go wrong i think over the years we are learning diffirent but not always and old patternss emerge faster than new.

Marj aka Thriver said...

Thanks for the safe and gentle hugs, here on your post and also left at my bog. Here are some back to you: (((((April)))))

April_optimist said...

Jumping in Puddles,

I think so many of us take this route and have these beliefs. And it's not altogether a bad thing--the world NEEDS heroes and heroines! The key is how we see ourselves as we act. It takes time to change the expectation of things going wrong and I found it helped to use two key ideas. 1) To continuously ask myself (if I started to feel afraid): WHAT IF things go RIGHT? 2) When things do seem to be a mess/horrible, I ask myself: What is the good/blessing that could come out of this--and how can I make that happen?


(((((((((((Hugs)))))))))) It's so good to see you posting again!!!