Yes, the past can hurt. But as far as I see it, you can either run from it or learn from it.

     It’s funny how life is constantly trying to teach us something. Whether it be to watch out for a destructive cycle repeating in your life, to push ourselves out of our comfort zones, or to simply take a breath and dance in the rain.

     I know for myself I need to learn these lessons often and once I take a moment to reflect and reevaluate my crazy existence I can usually find a few things that I would like to be better at or change. Some days it’s an easy change to make and I walk away feeling better for noticing it, other times its devastating and overwhelming to look at the choices that I continue to make and the pain that comes along with them.
     Not all lessons are happy.
     I admit that I am very brutal on myself and I’m the biggest critic of anything I do. Whether it be my music, writing, photography, interactions with others, or the long road of recovering from the car accident that changed my life. I can be quite mean to myself if I don’t do everything perfect, or if something doesn’t meet the high expectations I set out for myself.
     Now, high expectations for ourselves is not a bad thing for us to achieve, but to obsess about it makes things unhealthy.
     I find that anytime I’m disappointed myself I have a memory that comes flooding to the surface of my mind, and naturally an emotion is attached to it. Whether it be a “failure” in my youth, or a romance that quickly turned into a broken heart, I feel the emotion as if I were witnessing it for the first time all over again. And anyone who knows me truly knows that I feel with all of the feels, and it can easily turn into a weepy mess.
     But the trick that I am still attempting to master is not to push the emotions or the potential pain away, but to accept it and feel it once again, and then with the final tear or deep breath that is still attached to the feeling I let go.
     Maybe not forever, but certainly for the now.
     The sometimes unfortunate part is that it is indeed a work-in-progress. I still have days where I let the emotions overwhelm me, and in all honesty I welcome them like an old friend. I retreat into a very dark room and don’t want to return until all of the tears have been cried. Other times I can easily take a few breaths and watch the memory and emotions wave goodbye as I go about my day.
     Honestly I used to be worse.
     I used to push my feelings down and ignore the heaviness in my heart. I felt as though I could be a great actress and portray an ever happy person with no problems. This of course would never work out the way I intended and I would burst with emotions and feel a million times worse than if I had just taken a moment in the beginning to feel the emotion and move on.
     Being stuck in a mindset like that can also be hard on any potential dreaming we may have. I for one have a hard time believing that I am indeed a good writer, and if I miss one deadline or not like what I wrote I can run into my dark little corner and refuse to write anymore. But I honestly love writing and I feel like there is a piece of myself missing when I don’t do it.
     That’s the part I have to hold onto. I need to constantly remind myself that anxiety and fear have no hold on me. It’s a never-ending lesson, but I’m gonna keep going, even if I have to learn it over and over again.
     There is no doubt that I’m anything but perfect, but that in itself is kind of fun. I’m truly trying to take the painful memories and turn them into a lesson rather that feel as though it is some sort of punishment.
     Besides, I can’t truly enjoy the life I have right now if I’m constantly living in the past right next to all of the heartache and disappointment. It is much more enjoyable to live in the present moment and to think on the joyous memories and accomplishments in my life.
     That way I can be my weird and wonderful self.
     Come on, lets all be weird and wonderful together!
NOTE: I would like to say a big THANK YOU to everyone in my life who have been so very patient and supportive in my life over the last few months. You all bring me joy in such incredible ways!

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