Thursday, March 7, 2013

Imagine Something Better!

Sometimes I wonder if we spend so much time protecting ourselves from repeating the past, that we are virtually unable to feel safe enough to feel anything in the present. Everyone has something in their past that has left some sort of residual side effect that influences how we treat others. I’m not much for digging up the past in order to release those issues to become free of them. This is a huge time commitment and we already know that we can’t afford to waste that much of our valuable time being angry, bitter, cycle through the silent treatment, not talking to our mothers, wanting approval from our sisters, learning how to eat 1500 calories a day from the pyramid, fighting with our mothers, realizing our sisters wanted approval from us, learning how to eat 1500 calories a day, not talking to our sisters, wondering what was wrong with you that you would even think of giving a jerk of a man any of your attention to begin with, questioning what happened to the cat when your parents took it to the farm…? There! …I took care of it all for you so you don’t have to bother! (and don’t think that I’ve even been to a therapist. Well…actually I did go once cause I thought I had a problem with food. She said that I didn’t have one and I should cut salt and exercise more! – Excellent! Problem solved!)…I know that every psychotherapist in the world is getting out their textbooks to prove me wrong on this so no need to email the data to me. I know how it works! I do agree that we definitely need to recognize our past experiences that may cause our initial response to people who come into our path. The trouble is that once we come up with these answers, going back and telling all of those people who have “done us wrong” that they did, and asking them to change the way they treat us now, is virtually impossible. Our past experiences have varying degrees of traumatic affects. For example, I could be completely screwed up now due to the fact that my family was so amazing and provided such a fairy-tale, happy view of the world that I’m actually shocked every single time someone demonstrates to me that all people aren’t good. As a matter of fact, I still think that there is good in everyone. That…or I could use the one about my ex being one of those people who likely isn’t a good person at his core and then protect myself from more people like him. The funny thing is that the “Pollyanna” view I was raised with, still makes me think that he isn’t a completely evil man. Don’t get me wrong…I did stub my toe this morning and I’m pretty sure it’s his freakin’ fault! (but it’s only 6 years later so it’s still a little fresh!)

I guess what I’m saying is that all the time we spend superimposing our past experiences onto the new people who come into our lives, might be spent more wisely getting to know him by his own merits and not being afraid that he may let us down in the future. Let’s not get crazy here- he will likely screw you over! But wouldn’t it be nice to say, “I can’t believe I met another one of these idiots! What are the odds?”…and then walk away with your head held high knowing that you put yourself out there!

Okay…so I got a little edgy there for a second. I’m still working on this one myself! What we need to do when we meet a new person is try our hardest to allow him to show us who he is and not bring our past to the table. I’m not saying that if he has a tattoo on his arm with a list of women he’s killed with extra lines to add more names in the future, you should dismiss this gut feeling as you being overcautious and “afraid to put yourself out there!” You should likely walk away from that one…actually… don’t make any sudden moves. Possibly you should just make a phone call from your cell phone in your purse and leave it on throughout the night in order to have the proper evidence later if necessary. On the other hand, there are nice guys left out there. Instead of sitting at a banquet sized table with him and the hundreds of memories that could fill that table twice over, imagine something better than what you’ve come to expect. When the hostess comes to seat you, simply smile and say, “Yes! A table for two please!”