One of the things I am coming to understand as I continue on
this path is that though I may be changing, there are many, many people in my
life who will always see me as I was between the ages of 10-29. They'll see me
as the liar, the ego-maniac, the tall-tale teller, and the overly sharp
criticizer. The one who let people down by promising and not following through, by not being dependable.
And I can't do anything about it but live my truth today. It's upsetting, sometimes, to feel myself being painted with that same broad brush, but I know it's a persona I cultivated on my own. If anyone thinks anything about me, it's because I projected that image and acted in ways that perpetuated that reality.
I feel powerless (and I truly am) to do anything to change people's perceptions, especially when they live far away and I live here in Indy. I see them maybe once a year, maybe not, and usually in large gatherings. No time for intimate discussions, no time for others to experience the new me.
Part of me (a lot of me) really wants that to happen. I want others to see me as I am today. As I was always meant to be. The strength, grace, joy, and honesty that I have to offer, with humility and compassion to boot. But I know I can't force it. I have to live my truth as it is today and bring people to me through attraction rather than promotion. I want to go out and shout, "Can't you see how DIFFERENT I am? How much I've changed? How I am so NOT the person I used to be?" But I can't do that: 1: because I won't debase myself in that way for anyone ever again in order to gain approval and 2: because I am just not that dependent on other people’s ideas of me any more.
I mourn the loss of the relationships that might've been had I been healthier in my youth, had I more esteem, more care, less hurt. But I am going on now, trying to begin anew, forging new relationships, but leaving the door open so that maybe we can all come full circle and experience a new reality together.
So, goodbye dreams of old relationships. Goodbye dreams of the way I wish
I'm giving it away, I'm giving it up, I'm letting it go. Goodbye old Neesha, goodbye forever. May people get to know me as I am now and if they don't, I am still okay knowing I am now living a life of purpose.
I suspect many of you have felt the same way from time-to-time. Maybe regretted past hurts you’ve caused, or ways that you have been. Here’s what I say is the most important thing you can do: Live the life of honor and purpose that you were always meant to. Care for yourself first and do what your highest ideals demand of you. Making amends, apologizing, these are very important things, but best done when you know how to do it appropriately (I'll talk about this in a coming post), but the greatest gift you can give the world and those you may have hurt is the gift of a YOU who is living his or her best life, full of kindness and grace.