"We are not our pasts, nor are we are circumstances. Those are simply experiences, not defying moments of who we are."
- Jessica Dimas, Anything Can Be
My anxiety was driving me crazy.
It was as if someone had me pinned against a wall with their hands to my chest just pinning me down to that one place. I couldn't sleep, and on the nights that I could sleep I woke up within an hour feeling more restless than I was when I first laid down. Nothing seemed to help me those few weeks, it was incredibly frustrating.
There were many things that were contributing to the way I was feeling. As my children grow up, there are many moments where I question who I am besides a mother, which leaves me longing for the girl I used to be - longing for the girl who was full of a lot more life than I had now. The longing soon turns into frustration for all the mistakes that have left me with nothing but bricks on my shoulders. Every brick placed on my shoulders contributed to those sleepless nights. These bricks - the burdens that I carry so others would never have to know or feel the pain of the mistakes I have made on my own - they weigh me down so much, that at the end of the day when I should have felt safe in my bed - I still felt like a complete mess.
Instead of figuring out that I needed to forgive myself already - I just kept over analyzing all my mistakes and coming up with the conclusion of what a horrible person I now was.. Because, really? Forgive myself? It's hard to do, am I right? It's easy to forgive others. My friend in high school used to joke that if someone shot me I would probably lay there before my death apologizing for bleeding all over them. I am just a forgiving person.. So, why is it hard for me to forgive myself?
It was time to put it all on the table - every brick weighing me down.
Figure it all out.
It wasn't easy, but I could either let the tears consume my life or I could stop imagining a better life and start making it my reality by doing something about it.
My past was the root to all of my problems.
I'm a different person than who I used to be 10 years ago, even a year ago, I see it when I look in the mirror. Sure - there are days where I see more of the negative ways I've changed than the positive ways I've changed.. but on the days where the positive ones shine, it's a beautiful thing to see.
It is such a waste of time living in the past - letting it define you. I'm not the girl I once was.
I see that now.
I'm not the same person who made that dumb decision that resulted in the huge mistakes that left a brick to weigh my shoulders down. I'm a completely different person now. I know that I would not make that same decision if I was put in that situation today.
That's when I realized that those mistakes, the ones that weigh me down everyday, have made me a better person. Every mistake has helped me to become the person I am today, who I have always been meant to be - the real me.
As we continue to grow, we become our true selves because we allow every moment of our life to help nurture us into who we are meant to be.. and how lucky are we? That we live in a world where we are able to make mistakes and allow them to help us grow into a better person, so we don't make the same mistakes again.
I'm still learning to forgive myself. My sleepless nights will tell you how hard this journey still is for me. I'm still learning to accept the things in my life as they are and let go of the things that weigh me down. It's not easy.. If you're reading this and somehow you are a sleepless person too, I hope you know I understand how hard it is to believe the words that I'm writing right now - how hard it is to allow yourself forgiveness and accept it. I also hope that you know - you aren't your mistakes. Don't let them weigh you down, allow them to help you grow by releasing the pain off your shoulders.
"You can't control everything. Everything's going to be alright. You're going to get through this. You have to let go - just let it go and breathe."
Those are the exact words that I repeat to myself every moment I think I might break.
I hope it helps you.
We are strong.
We are more than those bricks.
We let go.