Life is about Choices

Life is about choices.  Oh, I know we’ve all heard that before and we all know it’s true; the question is how true is it?

I have had to battle the demons from my past the last few days.  Those memories that haunt and an attitude that wants to settle around me like a dark cloud and seep into my skin to become a part of me again. 

A close friend of mine told me that I should stop writing positive drivel and write about a lot of the crap that I’ve experienced along the way.  I told him that no one would believe all the stuff I’ve been through, not that it didn’t happen, but that there is so much of it.  Truly, most people experience one or two major mishaps in life if they are unlucky enough, but I’ve had so many that even I sit and shake my head in wonder at why I am still here at times.

He also told me that I have a great talent for description and that if I have something to say then just say it.  Well, okay, but I will do it my way, not yours. 

For the last few days and especially last night, the darkness tried really hard to reassert its self and last night I went to bed feeling like I was losing the battle, that I had failed and should just write everything that happened, reliving it all in vivid detail as I did.  I had nightmares all night.

The thing is, while I was experiencing living with an abusive, narcissistic, sociopath and that was after being in a rather odd relationship with another one previously, I had become a ghost like reflection of who I once was.  In those years I was just a shell of a person functioning on the outside, putting up a good front so that things would seem normal to those who looked on. 

I still had a positive attitude even then, though I struggled with it and it was only surface deep.  I still believed in better days and that the sun would shine.  

In talking to my friend something defensive in me woke up.  It wasn’t a whimpering, sad shadow either.  He kept asking me how I could be so positive after so much.  My unwavering answer is because NO ONE CONTROLS ME!  No one controls my attitude and my outlook except ME! 

Whatever the world and life throws your way, you CAN come out stronger, better, but it’s a choice.  You have the power to CHOOSE how you apply the events and mishaps in your life.  You can learn from them and become stronger, or you can let them take you down, dwelling on them, feeling anger, revenge, helplessness, and relive them over and over.  I choose to learn, to get up and to keep going.  I choose to believe there’s more that life has to teach and offer.

I don’t just think the sun will shine again and that better days will eventually be here….I KNOW. 

For me, it’s no longer faith as much as it’s experience.  When you’re up against that cliff and there’s nothing to do but to step off the ledge, you can be sure that God is going to catch you, or teach you to fly.  The thing is that in order to go forward, you do have to move, faith is grown by action, not waiting and life is about choices.

Cherry Coley (c)

Hide and Seek

Hide and seek is a fun game when you’re a kid.  One kid gets to count to a hundred or whatever is deemed a high enough number and all the other kids run and hide.  No one wants to be found right away, but no one wants to be hid so well they are forgotten either.

 I remember many days spent, even in teenage years, playing hide and seek with my cousins in the woods behind my grandma’s house.  We would spend all afternoon hiding and seeking each other until it either got too dark to see, or we got hot and thirsty enough to go inside.

 I have found myself doing a form of hide and seek at times.  Emotional hide and seek is not a fun game and not always on purpose, at least for me.  I can sometimes get so emotionally entangled in things that it becomes like a strand of barbed wire wrapped around me, digging in, drawing blood and choking me.  I wait in that state of turmoil until I finally allow someone close enough to clip the wire and free me from my self-imposed trap. 

 The problem is that instead of seeking help (like a normal sane person), I allow myself to get tightly bound while I struggle and struggle, until I fall over and lay silent with my own wounds and tears, secretly sulking because no one noticed I fell, or that I’m bleeding, wounded, and in the dark even though I didn’t reach out to anyone in the process.  What can I say; I am a mess at times.

 I was trying to explain this struggle to several close friends today and the conversations went from frustrated and weepy to silly and comical.  I have a couple of friends that are very good at cutting up my long stories and coming back with rather blunt observations.  I thank God for these people in my life.

 There is after all a point to this post.  Hide and seek might be a fun game for kids, but it’s really useless in relationships, unless it’s played the same way the kids play it.  If you play emotional hide and seek then both parties in the relationship lose.  You lose because your needs are not met and they lose because you failed to communicate what those needs were.  No one is really a mind reader and if you need something then you should ask for it, or don’t get upset when it doesn’t happen.

 The game might seem the same, but the rules and the outcome for the kids version of hide and seek and the emotional version are quite different.

 Cherry Coley ©