So my work year has come to an end. And let me tell you, this summer break is more than welcome…. We are under a heat wave here, and working at this temperature was pure hell. Anyway, it’s over, and it means that now is time for me to reflect on the last year and to put closure. I love to do it on my first week of holidays, so that I can then think about the now as well as getting ready for the year to come.
This last year, there was nothing really to understand at work… I took the time to make adjustment when needed. So as soon as I am done cleaning my classroom, and putting away what I bring back home, I will be able to focus on what really changed this year: my views on things.This year, I learned to really let go of what I didn’t need in my life. (And I have to go on this track at home with all my mess !)
I learned to let go of expectations. I don’t expect anything from anyone or anything. I just accept them as they are. I try to avoid being in a position where I need help. I just try to be self sufficient and to go on. The best thing about it, is that I am always happily surprised when I receive something from someone. And when and if I need help nonetheless, well, I know that I will learn a lot from the experience, that I needed to get closer to this person and that we will both learn something. So I am either happily surprised or completely peaceful. No expectations, no stress. I just go with the flow of my life. And if I am uncomfortable with a situation, I ask myself what I can do about it. If it has nothing to do with me, then I let go. If I can do something, then I do it. It’s that simple.
It didn’t came overnight. I had to let go of …. grudges. Arf… I always had a problem with forgiveness (probably something I hold against my catholic education…). I couldn’t understand how people who deeply suffered from a situation could just forgive and forget… And I felt bad not being able to do so while asked to… So I thought I just couldn’t forgive because I was too deeply hurt, and that was ok with me. This was something important to me, my sense of justice. When someone does something bad, hurt or anything, it leaves scars, and you can do whatever you want, scars are still there. Same with emotional pain… So how can you ask someone to forget they are marked for life in their body, in their soul, just because it’s better for them… It felt like hypocrisy to me, and nope, I just couldn’t…. I was gifted with a pretty good memory and I was asked to forget… didn’t seem right to me. Thing is, I forgot about something: time. With time, wounds heals, and scars are not marks of pain anymore. They are marks of strength. Strength to have survived the pain, the trauma, strength to live day after day with their constant reminding of what happened, strength to overcome it. Strength to accept them as part of yourself. Strength to build yourself including them. So during this last year, I had to look back at some events and people who really hurt me. And I realized that they don’t have a place in my life anymore, that they don’t resonate anymore with who I am… And that I didn’t need them anymore, that I didn’t need to feel the way I did about them anymore. And that I was actually didn’t feeling like that anymore. That it was gone, far gone. So I guess it was time for me to cut those ties and to let them go.
By doing so, I freed myself from grudges. Old grudges, and potential ones. I can’t really explain how, or when, but I realized that I don’t hold grudges against anyone anymore. I am either accepting people as they are (which doesn’t mean that I appreciate them, I just co exist with them), or feeling indifferent. I don’t care about drama, I don’t care about their endless rambling about anything. Their life path is different of mine. So if they need to go round and round for a while to learn something they don’t want to, it’s their choice, not mine. I’d rather go forward. If asked I am gladly sharing some of my experiences. If not asked I just let them learn what they need to learn by themselves. I don’t have to charge myself with their anxiety, with their burden. So even when they do try to hurt me, I feel compassionate. Because they just express their struggles, and I can see how painful it is to try to avoid facing yourself. They can’t reach me. I am done with it already and my acts and words speak for themselves. I keep myself safe by being true to myself. And I live in peace. So I traded grudged for compassion. I can feel how hurt they are, how broken they are, and it helps me to step back from any emotional reaction. They are hurt enough. It won’t help them if I reply to their violence with more violence. It will only reassure them on their victim status. I rather smile, and stay silent. They can’t hurt me anymore. Because I am not there with my life anymore.
I chose my fights. Freeing myself from all those potential toxic relationships helped me to step back and to perceive where I would be useful. So I had the luxury to take the time to observe, to analyze interactions and to understand what was really going on. I didn’t cut myself as I used to in the past, protecting myself. I just stepped back and watch, openly. I learned to remain silent instead of interacting. I learned to understand when it had anything to do with me and when it hadn’t. I learned to avoid getting caught in the middle of the mess and when I was directly attacked, I chose to answer peacefully and with assertiveness. As I remained calm, the contrast between us was even more obvious and I didn’t need to go further. I didn’t let their bad vibes get me. I chose to laugh a lot.
I learned to be even more assertive, but in a peaceful way. As I refuse to come into the dance of power, to be part of it, and made it very clear, they couldn’t do anything but watch me being myself. And I decided to stop hiding. I didn’t need to anymore. I just went on with my life, the way I want it to be. I found peace within too. I didn’t have to prove anything to anyone, neither other or even myself. I just had to be. And by doing so, by enjoying being who I am, I found the key to a brand new door ready to be open. And I opened it.
So here I am, in summer break, away from anything negative, with the perspective to enjoy each moment of it, with friends and family to spend time with, and time for me to just rest, learn, create, enjoy, live.
So this week, I spend some time to rest, to enjoy, to contemplate the path already walked, and to look at the beautiful landscape ready for me to explore. And I am fully aware of the luck I have to be where I am in my life. After all, I worked hard to get there and time has come to enjoy.
So this week, I rest in myself.