Sometimes You Must Swallow Your Pride and Apologize

Have you ever had a conversation with many friends and felt like half your comments get ignored? I have. Have your friends ever supported stuff their friends did, but never supported you? Even if you asked them to. I have. Have you ever shared your ideas and dreams only to have others give you a blank stare? Or tell you why your ideas will fail? I have. Have you ever found that person who gets you only to drift apart in a couple years? I have. Several times. Have you ever felt ignored and alone in a noisy, crowded world? I have.

Most of the time, when people treat me the way I’ve described, I leave. I usually haven’t known them for long. I move on without much upset. My family often treated me this way and I learned to move on at an early age. Learning to move on is important. But building relationships with others requires sticking around. That’s where I struggle. How do you approach your close friends with these issues? I’ve begun speaking up more. I voice my concerns and share my feelings. I attempt to explain to prevent confusion. I tell them why I’m angry. Sometimes they continue believing I’m angry for another reason.

I thought I was clear. Either they weren’t listening, or I wasn’t clear. I’ve apologized more often. Even when I feel I shouldn’t. I do it to show I’m willing to compromise. I’ve asked for apologies too. Friends have often apologized for the wrong thing, still not understanding why I’m angry. I accept it and move on because I’m tired of arguing. Mark Mathews said, “Apologizing does not always mean you’re wrong and the other person is right. It just means you value your relationship more than your ego.”

Apologies are hard because people are prideful and full of ego. I’m trying to ignore my ego. With apologies comes forgiveness. I need to work on that. Forgiving people when I feel they ignore or abandon me. When I feel anger or resentment towards someone, the feelings are valid. But that’s when I know I should forgive and apologize. I don’t mean one should feel guilty for being angry. Never feel guilty for feeling. But I am trying to apologize when I take things to personal. I try to apologize when I let my ego get in the way of my relationships with others.

I used to think I wasn’t egotistical. The way most people describe the word, I’m not. But every time I feel alone or think no one cares about me, that’s my ego. I’m so important and no one is paying attention to me. My thoughts are deceivers. My ego uses my thoughts against me. Don’t believe everything you think. Easier said than done. I’ve walked away from people who hurt me. Instead of fixing the problem, I ran from it. Sometimes you must remove yourself from a situation. Sometimes you have to work things out. I’m alone because I pushed myself into loneliness. I’m letting go of my ego. I’m not running anymore. 

Talking Myself Out of the Dark

This time of the year is a struggle for me to continue to write, and while this post is not the norm for me it is real and honest. Unlike in my past, I refuse to quit writing even in these moments. Don’t ever be ashamed of who you are, never give up on your dreams and never be silenced.

tunnel of light

Photo by Pixabay

I stood outside tonight in the cold and looked up at the dark sky, closed my eyes and took a deep breath. I needed it, the crisp air was cleansing and a reminder that I was alive inside, even though there are some days it feels questionable. Like many of those who suffer from anxiety and depression, the winter months are toughest for me. Once the sun starts to rise late and set early the unrelenting grip of that dark place takes hold of me and at times feels like it will never let go.

When this happens the many things I love about life fade into the background as I don’t allow myself to experience them while I sit in my cloud not able to even get off the couch. The TV becomes my best friend and I pick fights with my loved ones because it just feels good to be angry. I hate this part of me, I loathe the idea that I can get to this place even as I practice positivity, gratitude, meditation, prayer, kindness, love, forgiveness and all the self-care tips in all the self-help books. It’s frustrating and sad and just makes me more depressed thinking about it. What I’ve come to understand over the years is that anxiety and depression are deceitful and tricky and oh so very real. Even at your highest and most balanced, even when you feel on top of the world, they are lying in wait for you to drop your guard and the moment you do, out of what feels like nowhere, the dark, cold current rushes over you.

My mind swirls attempting to make sense of it, and for a very long time I didn’t like to talk about it. If I did, I would be admitting that I can go down this road, and that the energetic, excitable, talk-too-much personality that I adore can be masked by the grim sadness I try to ignore. It felt hypocritical, scary and embarrassing. It was like my dirty little secret and the moment I admitted this happens to me would be the moment I am outed as a fraud or a liar, a fake happy person.

However, I have learned that when I acknowledge I’m in this state, while the energy to even care may not be there quite yet, the sooner I begin to see the light. In the past, I would lay stale in this mindset for weeks, I would wallow in the darkness hating it and loving it at the same time, but lately, I am learning through this beautiful writing/blogging community and through the self-care practices that I have established in my every day life, that the more I am truly honest with how I am feeling the easier it is to get back to being the best version of me.

The whole truth was a difficult road to journey down, as it meant I had to acknowledge that with light there comes dark, even inside of me. We are not perfect, we are not meant to be, and the sooner we stop shaming those who suffer, accept the imperfection in each other and start supporting and celebrating every part of us, the more peace we will have. In the meantime, I will continue both my internal and external conversations of the whole truth about what makes me me, and continue to talk myself out of the dark.

Wishing you all love and light.

Much Love,

Lisa J.

Allow Yourself to Feel, Even if it’s Not Happy

Feelings are like waves. You cannot stop them from coming, but you can decide which ones to surf. – Author Unknown

When setting out on a path to find your “you” or searching for a more positive, happy life, we can sometimes get caught up in the “rules”. To be happy, you must always be cheery, you should always look at things with a positive spin, you should always take the high road, you should, you should, you should… Well, that’s all fine and dandy, and while striving to accomplish just that is admirable, it’s not at all realistic. If we, as living, breathing humans could maintain “happy” all the time, we would not be human. However, how we handle the emotions we are feeling can determine how clear the path to a more positive way of life will be.

This was a difficult lesson for me, because when I have attempted the positive path in the past and sought to inspire it, I felt that if I didn’t follow the “rules” I was fraudulently living and blogging about something I had no business writing about. How can I inspire happiness if I was feeling something other than elated or peppy? This idea I had in my mind derailed me often. I would be disappointed in myself, and that disappointment spiraled into insecurity, which spiraled into thinking I was ridiculous to believe I was the person that could talk about living happy. What I didn’t realize was that I was just in a moment, and if I wouldn’t have fought my emotions, I acknowledged my feelings and allowed myself to feel what I felt just at that moment, happiness could and would have followed.

Happiness does not mean we have to be upbeat and peppy all the time. Maintaining “Suzy Sunshine” at all times is a fantasy and can even have the reverse effects of what we seek.  If that is what anyone is expecting, they are unfortunately setting themselves up to fail. Happy means that when we do feel sad, lonely, angry, or frustrated we acknowledge it and allow ourselves to feel it. Cry, go for a walk, vent to a friend, let out the emotions that are bottled up, and then come to terms with those emotions, and find our way back to our best path more clearly. Burying the negative feelings does not mean they go away, it just means they fester until one day it all boils over, and for me, it meant quit what I knew in my heart I was meant to do. 

My advice to you, is when you feel like happy just isn’t happening that day, acknowledge it, feel it, allow the emotions to flow through you, and release them in a healthy meaningful way, then breathe. This too shall pass, and happiness is still an option, just give yourself that moment. When you are genuinely honest with how you are feeling, the process of healing and moving into a new frame of mind becomes so much more feasible. Remember to breathe, rely on your tribe, be honest with yourself, and soon it’s no longer just a path, but happiness becomes your way of life.

I write these words because I feel it’s so very important to acknowledge the truth of the moment and the honesty of how you are feeling. Be true to you and the path is so much more clear.

Much Love,

Lisa J