Friday, October 7, 2011

MUSINGS -- Lightbulb Moment #371

This post is entirely non-beauty related, so feel free to skip it. I won't be offended, I promise. 

I saw something tonight that really stood out to me and caused me to have an epiphany, and I need somewhere to talk it out. And what better place than my blog? So.. here we are.

First, without getting too much into it.. I'd like to broadly share my view on spirituality with you. You'll understand why this makes sense in a minute. I believe in a higher power (whether you call him God, Allah, etc.. to me, that's irrelevant.) and I believe that there is good and evil. I believe in a spiritual afterlife and that death isn't "the end." I believe in both fate and free will.

Now, with that being said.. I'm not the most religious person. I don't attend church (and never have) and I don't believe that you need to do so in order to get into Heaven. My philosophy is more of a "live your life for the greater good" type versus "I attend church every Sunday so that I'll get into Heaven." And I'm not saying that my way is right or wrong.. that's just purely how I feel.

Anyways, I've told you all that to tell you about my epiphany. Chris and I were driving home tonight and I saw a church sign with the following message:

"When the Devil reminds you of your past, remind him of your future."

And I was like "Ohhhh..." It's the message I've been waiting years to hear.

My life from the ages of 16-19 isn't something I talk about, nor is it a time I'm proud of. I was so profoundly miserable and unhappy. My parents tried to save me from myself, but I thought I knew best... I didn't. And all these years later, even though my life has completely turned around and I'm in a stable, fulfilling and loving relationship.. I still have unwanted flashbacks to the things I did and went through and I feel such an immense guilt and shame over them.

I'm not talking about a little embarrassment. I mean full on 'cheeks red and burning, bury my head in a pillow and cry' shame. Still. And I knew it wasn't normal, but I didn't understand why I had it. At my last job, one of my coworkers was a very outspoken born-again Christian (you know the type) who told me it was the Devil trying to control me and that I should pray about it. And I was like "Uhuh. Thanks." But that statement stuck with me, nonetheless.

And tonight I saw the sign with that message, and my coworker's words were the first thing I thought of. Then it hit me.. I may have been a dumb, stupid kid who rebelled and did things that weren't smart. And yes, I went through things that were awful. I've come to terms with the fact that it wasn't my fault.. but I never forgave myself for them. I don't know if that even makes sense?

I'm a perfectionist, and I've always demanded perfection from myself and those around me. The fact that I allowed myself to make those mistakes is so unforgivable to me that I still hold myself accountable for them. Thus, the overwhelming sense of guilt, embarrassment and shame. But I'm not the same person I was 2 years ago, let alone a decade ago when I was 16. I've certainly learned from my experiences and mistakes.. isn't it time to let them go?

I wish it was that easy. In my mind it's not. But that sign.. "When the devil reminds you of your past, remind him of your future..."

What is my future? Well, it's filled with an amazing man who loves me and would do anything in the world to make me happy and protect me. We're busy creating a home together, and we've already got furry children. Eventually we'll have human children as well. And you know what? He knows about my past and has never judged me for it.. and loves me anyways. 

I'm the first person in my family to have graduated college and I have a good job that I love and excel at and it has the very real potential for advancement and could easily turn into a career for me. 

I have amazing friends and I have a blog that's turned into more than I ever hoped for, and I've made some wonderful friends from it..

So it's clear that I have a lot to be thankful for. And I think that's the key. Be thankful for the present, and don't dwell on the past. I've learned my lessons and I'll never ever make those mistakes again. It's time to forgive myself and continue moving forward because perfection isn't always attainable, and I'd rather enjoy the moment than beat myself up for something that happened 10 years ago.

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If you're still reading, thanks for sticking it out. Sometimes I just need to sit down and talk/type things out to be able to better process them in my mind. Kind of like 'stream of consciousness' writing? Normally I don't like to get so personal.. but there are random times I feel like sharing. So.. yea. ♥


  1. This is a great post. I too have had ups and downs in life and dealt with those terrible times in which the worst enemy is actually myself. And great advice, you have to learn to forgive yourself.

  2. Great post Mandy. I can relate a bit. You brought out a few strong points. We all need to learn to let go and move on.

  3. Thanks so much for sharing this...I've dealt with this sort of stuff too and it can be pretty frustrating. But you're so right: Be thankful for the present, and don't dwell on the past.