April 01, 2011

Some Of Us Can Change Our Stripes

I can only speak for myself.
The times that I would be present
in the moment and in sync with
the universe, were special times.
They didn't last long though.
But the memory of them lasted
much longer.

Each time it happened, I would seek change or ideas or suggestions of what to do outside myself, with no idea that things needed to change within. It would be funny except it was not funny at all. I was a miserable human being, depressed and playing parts to fit in with those people around me.

Now I understand the dissociation was learned behavior in early childhood. It had become so normal for me that I did not know what I was seeking was clearly within my grasp. I was no longer a child trying to survive; the tools I learned then were getting in my way as an adult. It was a disorder getting in the way of living a full and healthy life.

I learned to face the truths, forgive the past, realize when I would "disappear", and gradually spend more time in the present. The past few years have been a discovery beyond my dream, the life I wanted is better than the glimpses I had here and there. This has nothing to do with anyone else; my stability and health are not dependent on husband or family or friends. It is something I have worked hard to learn and incorporate into my being. The stripes that needed changing in my case were on the inside. It is the icing on the cake so to speak that my hubby and I have chosen to improve our relationship as we each worked with counselors individually. Life isn't a fantasy; it is real and sometimes scary and difficult. For me now, though, I choose to be in the moment, dealing with unpleasant things as they occur, changing what I can to make things more palatable, accepting the things I cannot change. Sounds familiar, right? Reading it or hearing other people say it is different from voicing the Serenity Prayer from my heart. It is not just some words to repeat over and over; the Serenity Prayer has helped change my life from stripes to polka dots of peace.


heartinsanfrancisco said...

You are wonderful, beautiful, and I'm so very happy that you are fully inhabiting yourself now. I know how difficult it is to unlearn patterns which helped us to survive our childhoods, and your courage inspires me to try to do so as well.

Ms. A said...

I'm still working to change my stripes, on the inside. I haven't mastered it, yet.

Fancy said...

Great inspiration drawn from the fundamental changes within. You have, definitely, found yourself, Technobabe. Thank you for sharing.

Rock Chef said...

I am in awe of your inner strength - not everyone has the will and strength to change for the better, it is far too easy to slide back.

Brian Miller said...

smiles. i like polka dots...where i used to work we would say the serenity prayer each night before bed...over and over it became drilled into my head...but iam are the bomb techno

TechnoBabe said...

heartinsanfrancisco, Once in awhile I feel myself being pulled away and I have to concentrate and remain present. Lifetime habits are hard to change.

Ms.A, Just being aware is a help, isn't it. Good for you to want to be a healthy person inside and out.

Fancy, You have seen me through various life changes and ups and downs in my life. Thanks for your encouragement.

Rock Chef, Understanding how far out on a limb I was took so long, but once I understood my situation I wanted to see what it would be to have a healthy life.

TechnoBabe said...

Brian, For me, saying and feeling the words and receiving the benefits that way is how it works for me. Saying something over and over just to get it over with was the way I did things for years. No longer. Thank you for your encouraging comment.

Betty said...

I love the serenity prayer too. It says so simply what we need to do, but often it is so hard.
Your life must have been very hard and you are an inspiration to me.

DJan said...

The Serenity Prayer has helped me get through some very difficult situations. For me, the passage of time also helps to deal with grief and tragedy.

You also help me gain a healthy perspective on life, TB, because I see that even I can change my stripes if I choose, and if I work towards a goal I can reach it. Thank you for being part of my life.

LL Cool Joe said...

This is a very positive post. You sound as if you are in a such a good place now.

I'm battling some demons at the moment, but I'm trying to focus on what's important to me, and actually being kind to myself too.

Andrew said...

Your story is so similar to mine TB. And I find myself on the same journey as you, except I am alone.

Kristina P. said...

I have nothing but admiration for your journey.

Lori said...

You have no idea how much I look up to you...I appreciate you sharing things like this post because I can relate all too well...changing my own stripes has been a conscious effort..getting out of my own way has been key to the life I am experiencing now..still those things I did without thinking in order to survive for so many years have a way of creeping back in...catching myself and stopping that madness is not always easy...but reading your words encourage me...thank I have missed visiting you here. You are an amazing woman that I am honored to know. XX

Mama Zen said...

Your first paragraph really resonates with me. I just know how this feels.

Robert the Skeptic said...

I think that seeking change adds quality to one's life. After two decades of living in the same home, we moved to a new place last year. This has given us a different perspective and opened new opportunities for us. Sometimes change for the sake of change itself can be a satisfying experience.

Hilary said...

You are so beautiful and inspiring. And you give me much food for thought.

Everyday Goddess said...

I love this.

Joanna Jenkins said...

"...from stripes to polka dots of peace." What a wonderful way to put it Techno. I like that visual and I congratulate you on all your hard work and obvious joyful success.
Have a great weekend, xo jj

Stickup Artist said...

There is so much to learn! And we can start with ourselves. Your journey, clarity of vision and mental flexibility are amazing and inspiring!

Margie said...

Trying again as I just commented and it's not there!

Ok, you are truly inspiring!
Thank you for sharing this!

Have a wonderful weekend!

Margie :)

Cricket said...

For some reason I am thinking of a joke I just left recently at Suldog's:

How many psychiatrists does it take to change a lightbulb? Only one, but the lightbulb has to really want to change.

But seriously, I am happy for you that you have found what you wanted. My world is a little bit nicer with you in it and I am glad we "met."

I'd wish you peace, but you seem to have it already ;-)

TechnoBabe said...

Betty, The Serenity Prayer reminds me where I am at on a particular day. Sometimes I have to just accept something and then other days I know I want to change something that is bothering me.

DJan, I too have been watching you work through your things and admire your strength.

LL Cool Joe, I understand when you write in some of your posts how you are battling depression and I send you hugs.

Andrew, it is important to note that working on ones recovery is a one on one deal. I worked hard and it was nothing to do with my hubby. I didn't even talk to him about my progress. Gradually he saw the changes.

Kristina P, I am sure in your line of work you see people struggling and you have an awesome huge heart.

TechnoBabe said...

Lori, I have been thinking about you the past few days. At least you catch yourself and will be able to change your behavior more and more as you work on it.

Mama Zen, I had no idea that what I was looking for was within me was attainable.

Robert, it was a long time before I saw real change within me, but now I see many changes.

Hilary, If what I share gives you food for thought then I am blessed.

Goddess, Thank you for your sweet comment.

TechnoBabe said...

Joanna, We have a mutual admiration and I accept your congratulations on my hard work with humility.

Stickup Artist, We do indeed have so much to learn throughout this life.

Eileen said...

I feel that I am still very much a work in progress. So prefer to ignore or tamp down old feelings and some not-so-nice memories of not-so-nice episodes.
Your post and your journey gives me inspiration!
SO HAPPY for you!
Love to you,

Deborah said...

A wonderful post, insightful and beautifully written ... a plesure to read.

lisleman said...

very well written post and thanks for sharing with us.
I have nothing against stripes but "polka dots of peace" sound really cool.

TALON said...

I'm so glad you've arrived at a place where you are happy with who you are, TechnoBabe, and are living and enjoying and dealing with life as it happens in the present. That's a beautiful thing.

Enchanted Oak said...

Very true, that the tools we learned as young ones trying to survive will not serve us well as adults.

What's interesting to me is that the journey of changing into a responsible, self-aware, compassionate adult is ongoing. The onion has many layers. The child appears in new versions as new situations develop, and the adult in me must pause and study a while, address those child's fears, and find a way to help the child be at peace.

I'm glad we never graduate out of the class of growing up. Learning something new keeps my interest keen. I don't like the painful stuff, but inevitably, someone benefits from my pain. Living in the present is so worthwhile.

Good for you.

Life with Kaishon said...

Every time I come here, and I do mean EVERY, I learn something. I think about something. I click away with something big.

Thank you for that.

Wishing you a week filled with sunshine. Love, Becky

Jillsy Girl said...

TB you are a true inspiration. Your positive attitude and outlook on life and the road that got you where you are today is something I think we all aspire to.

Everyday Goddess said...

this is so inspiring, i gave you one of my weekly Goddess awards which you can collect if you like.

namaste friend.

secret agent woman said...

Sometimes I think the internal stripe-changing we do has a lot to do with just learning to accept ourselves, stripes and all.

MikeWJ at Too Many Mornings said...

"Life isn't a fantasy; it is real and sometimes scary and difficult."

It's so true.

So true.

Your desire to change your stripes and follow through on actually changing them is an example to all of us.

Anne H said...

I'm saying it right now and pretty much every minute of the day - lately!!! hearts and hugs TB

Dave King said...

To some extent, I guess it's something we all have to do, and it's a job that's never quite done.

Nature applies the stripes by the simplest means imaginable -- but they're the damnedest things to remove.

Congratulations on a successful work in progress - yes, I know it's a contradiction in terms, but that's what it is!

Steadfast Ahoy! said...

Beautifully written. The joy of life in the present is obvious in your post. Well done!

The Absence of Alternatives said...

Good for you! That is will power at work. I am impressed.

Pseudo said...

I believe that is the path I have begun. I am hoping. And you inspire me.

Syd said...

I think that we can change if we have recovery--change the behavior and learn to live in peace with ourselves and others. Great post.