Here is my Positivity Jar that I used last year as a trial. I found the idea on Pinterest and thought it was an interesting novelty. I had gone through significant changes during the previous year and knew I needed something to remind me that I have positives in my life as well.
I decided I was going to start my own “Positivity Challenge” on New Year’s Day. I even posted it on Facebook and decided that every day, no matter how my day was, I had to think of at least one positive thing, write it down, and put it in the jar. This may seem easy to do but not so when your mind is full of primarily negativity.
I couldn’t believe how difficult it was to just find one positive thing in the beginning. I literally had to force myself to really think about. About 6 months in it just got easier and easier and by the end of the year I was writing multiple things daily and there honestly was far less negativity in my thoughts and I felt amazing.
For those of you still living in the world of the negative, I challenge you to try this for one year. If after that year you don’t feel that your thoughts gravitate more toward the positives and less toward negative, I want to hear from you. Are you in?
While sitting in a Senior High School Class listening to a couple guest speakers talk about their son being molested by their babysitter, I had an unusual feeling of understanding come over me that I somehow knew the pain and confusion this child must have been feeling. Feeling that no one understood what you were dealing with and the deep ache to rid yourself of an unknown secret. I really didn’t know why I had these feelings, but I sat in that classroom almost in tears and amazement on how these people were talking so freely about this traumatic event in their son’s life. Luckily this was the last real class I had that day because I was not able to focus on anything but the words these people talked about and how they were very clear that this is not the “Victims” fault that these people do these things. They also explained that if we knew anyone who had or was being hurt by someone we needed to speak up and not allow them to continue to make that person or yourself the victim any longer.
I walked around in a fog most of the rest of the afternoon and into the evening. I had trouble going to sleep that night with strange thoughts running through my head. Once I finally fell asleep I was restless and the next thing I knew I awoke screaming, “NO! STOP! YOU’RE HURTING ME!” The memories came flooding back to a horrible night in my life that I had somehow blocked from my subconscious. It was now back and I was never going to forget it again.
I had been molested with inappropriate touching and actions by a man close to our family. He made threats that I would be hurt or that my family wouldn’t believe me if I were to even tell them. This went on for several years and I just allowed this man to treat me like my feelings meant nothing. At age 12, I finally got the courage to stand up to this man and tell him “NO” and that I wouldn’t allow him to treat me like that ever again.
I thought that everything was going to stop and that I had finally been able to take control until I went to sleep that night. I awoke to the most excruciating pain and my head being forced into a pillow. I was on my stomach and I couldn’t move and at times could barely breathe while this grown man raped me and said horrible words to me while shoving my head further in the pillow so I couldn’t scream. I must have blacked out because I don’t remember anything after that.
From that day forward I was a different young lady. I went from being very outgoing and high spirited, to a tomboy and guarded. I wore clothing that didn’t flatter me as to not attract males. I became just one of the guys in my group of friends and started pushing those who were close to me away so that I couldn’t be hurt like that again. I didn’t speak of that night because I just remembered him telling me that no one was going to believe me. I eventually completely blocked it from my memory as a way to protect myself. I also felt there must have been something I had done to deserve this and that maybe I done something to encourage him. He made me a victim and by allowing that I empowered him.
This all came back to me 5 years later, yes I blocked this horrible event out of my memory for 5 years and all it did was tear me up from the inside and created insecurities and depression that I could not truly understand. I had thoughts of suicide and the feeling of just being completely alone and misunderstood. Once this all came back to me I decided I would never keep silent about it again. I pulled myself together and wrote it all down in an anonymous letter to the class, we had a drop box that was in the room that we could put questions in and the class would give their opinions and advice. I didn’t hold anything back in that letter, well nothing but my name of course. I asked if they could help me to determine what I needed to do next to overcome this and how I could stop from being this victim and now take control of my life, once again.
When I got to school that morning I dropped the letter in the box while no one was in the class and proceeded with my school day feeling a bit of the burden I had carried so long, lifted from me. When I arrived to class that afternoon the teacher was standing at the front of the class with his stool and asked everyone to please take their seats. I knew what was about to happen. We all sat down and he sat on his stool and proceeded to tell the class that he had something very serious to read to them and that their help was very important. I gathered all the strength I had in me and listened to the words read back to me that I had written that morning. It all truly became reality at that moment. There was no going back.
After the teacher read the letter he looked to the class for their words of wisdom and guidance. I continued to not show signs that the letter was from me and I even asked and answered questions. These students were so helpful and they didn’t even know that the person who wrote those words was me. We discussed how this is something that is history and by continuing to allow it to fester was only hurting me and holding me back from my future. They talked about how this is not something I did or could have stopped. We discussed that my taking a stand was a good thing even though it caused this to escalate. This was the man’s burden to bare not mine.
After class let out I walked up to the front of the class to talk to the teacher as I did every day. He looked at me and asked me how I thought he and the class had done with the letter. I responded, “You did great!” He said, “You think so?” I looked him in the eyes and said, “It helped a lot!” His eyes changed and started to fill with tears. “I didn’t know,” he said, with the tears starting to flow. I looked at him and said, “I know that is why you helped so much.” If he would have known it was me he may have not been so open about his responses. He gave me a hug and for the first time in many years felt the warmth in another person’s hugs without being scared.
I will leave this story with this for now and will continue with stories that came from me deciding that I was not going to continue to be the victim of this man and that I would never be silent about it again. All being silent did was hurt me and the negativity of the secret was like a cancer in me and was just spreading and once I refused to allow it anymore my life changed. I won’t tell you it was always perfect after that day but it was the strength that I pulled from and continue to pull from today when things get rough.
In closing, don’t read this post and pity me for what happened in my past. My past is my foundation and what made me the strong independent person I am today. I want to share this story so that maybe I can reach others that are going through, or have gone through, similar times. Maybe, just maybe, you can see that you are not alone and you too can find the strength to be “THE VICTIM NO MORE”.
Have you ever thought that the pain and hurt we feel due to past relationships gone wrong or actually being hurt by others in our past are some what like what they call “Phantom Pains” in those that have lost limbs? I know this sounds a little far fetch but let’s think about this. If you were in a relationship and you were hurt and you severed those ties, isn’t it similar in a strange way? When you lose a limb you have extreme pain and then loss and then it is said that you experience Phantom pains in the limb. So is it so strange to have similar pains when you sever relationship ties? You have had potentially extreme pain and you have now lost a part of your life that you felt was another limb of sorts. After you are away and you start realizing you are living without that part of your life you tend to relive that pain from time to time and may even project that on to others in your present. You can start to react to this “Phantom Pain” by treating those around you as you would like to have handled the past. You need to acknowledge that the Past is exactly that and that your future does not include that “limb” so now you have to LIVE your new life and not allow what caused you to lose that “limb” to impact you so that you don’t potential lose future “limbs” for the same reasons. You make better choices, you look deeper inside yourself to know what is hurting you before it becomes so bad that you can go back and reverse the damages done. I know this analogy is not perfect but I do see very similar traits in how we analyze the loss and I thought maybe, just maybe, this would help others to remember that when we lose something there is a purpose and now is the time to stop being the victim of it and realize that you have a new life that you need to find your purpose in and love yourself in. Don’t allow the problem to spread to your future and grow as a person from the mistakes that you may have made. I hope this helps you to look at your current relationships a little deeper and make sure that you are treating them as something. Stop being the victim of what others may have done to you and learn to live from those experiences.
In life we all wear masks to hide behind until we find what we are really looking for, but in doing this we tend to hide our true selves and prevent what we are looking for from finding us. If you want things in life you have to not be afraid to be yourself and go through many others that haven’t found the strength to do the same. Maybe just being real and putting down the masks you can show those looking for you what they could have easily just walked right past. Don’t be afraid of who you are or not being enough for anyone else. The one that has been searching for you will want the real you, not a you that you have created to hide behind.
I was recently under the weather thanks to my children being sick and them sharing it with me. It got me thinking about how we teach our children to share, but forget to tell them not their illnesses. We want them to be loving and caring and to be thoughtful and social and then we turn around and realize well there are certain things you shouldn’t do. There is always that exception to the rule.
We want them to understand that Sex is something amazing and to be shared as well, but we then tell them don’t do it. You should wait until you are an adult when you are ready for it. Well come on now if you tell a kid something is amazing or to share it, don’t you think they are going to want to experience that?
Hmmmm…Maybe these kids have us wired and they are getting us to contradict ourselves so that we question our choices when the big things happen. By them making us realize we are wrong once in awhile, then we will possibly over think our decisions when it is the big stuff. Just something to think about…or maybe it is the delirium from being sick for three days. Thanks kids, You Mother sure does love you. (Smiles)
“The Fixer” is that person whom people seem to just be able to talk to. They don’t have to offer their help cause it is just who they are and people sense it. “The Fixer” just has this way of knowing what is wrong and has a way of reading people. They seem to just go with their instincts and people feel so comfortable opening up to them. “The Fixer” somehow is able to listen, analyze and turn around and give guidance without even knowing how.
All my life I have been “The Fixer”. I love helping others to work through things and find solutions. I thrive for the honor to help others find the answers they are looking for. I enjoy talking to people and listening to what they are going through in their lives and then working together to find the right path to take them on to their future.
When I was in high school I remember the day when another student that I had never met before come up to me at my locker and asked me if they could talk to me. I was a little taken back but I said, “of course, how can I help?” She proceeded to tell me of a problem she was having and I listen but also thinking to myself why would a stranger be talking to me about stuff this personal? When she finished telling me what she was dealing with she asked if I had any advice for her. I remember looking at her with compassion and talking to here about what I would suggest she do about the situation. I was amazed how after we talked for a bit how the look in her eyes seemed to change from sorrow to almost relief. As she started to walk away that day I stopped her and asked, “Why did you come to me with this?” She smiled and said because people always talked about me and how I was always very open-minded and caring and there was something in my smile and eyes that she just felt comfortable talking to me. This simple statement changed the way I saw myself, I realized that day that I needed to someday work with others somehow.
Some people see “The Fixer” as someone who takes on other people’s problems and hides from their own. I have never been that person. By helping others I open my eyes a little more to myself and allow myself to grow from these experiences. We can not all learn from each other if we truly listen and stop judging each other for our flaws and short-falls.
I have another friend that I met on a social media site that when we started chatting he was going through a tough time in his life and we started talking and I shared with him my B-A-B-Y-S-T-E-P-S process. I reminded him that he needed to take his time and not try to make rush decisions. We talked a lot about his situation and how he didn’t want to do the wrong thing for his son but he needed to be happy himself. I explained that if he just remembered B-A-B-Y-S-T-E-P-S it would all fall into place. We talk frequently and it is wonderful for me to hear how well he is doing on his own with his son now and they have a fantastic relationship and that is truly because he always put his son’s needs before his own. Most people would find it strange to get so close to people they have never met. Have over a year now of talking to this man we have never met in person but through out communications we have become friends. He is the first to point out that I had “The Fixer” personality. I truly did not know what that meant until then.
I have embraced “The Fixer” title and find it an honor to be able to connect with so many amazing people and to have a small part in helping them to get through difficult times and complicated decisions. I know I don’t have all the answers but I love being able to share my views and opinions with so many and play my part in guiding through tough and sometimes great moments in their lives.