Sunday, 27 July 2014

The power of letting go

As I write this post, I just have to warn you my head is literally all over the place with millions of thoughts swimming through my mind at a nano second so if I digress please bear with me.

To say the last few weeks have been a challenge is a complete understatement. As I write this my head keeps replaying the episode I just had with a really old white lady who smelled like she had soiled her pants. I was sitting comfortably at Exclusive Books, reading Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie with a cup of tea, desperately seeking some peace and quiet and the chance to clear my head. Perhaps I was sitting a little too comfortably as I had my feet perched up on the leather seat, the little old lady who smelled like poop ended up sitting right next to me and felt it pertinent to tell me that I should move my feet as I was going make her pants dirty! I looked at her, taking in the pink blush she had applied to her wrinkled and cracked cheeks, then I responded by saying that my feet were far from her pants and that her pants were already dirty! "You people do whatever you want, don't you?" She retorted. I followed her comment with a simple Yes.

I had to accept some truths about life, people and about myself. I have learnt several things about myself this weekend. Firstly, I have built up quite a reputation for being a "yes man", secondly I am compassionate to a fault and lastly I hold on to things and people unnecessarily.

I am the reliable friend, if you are in a bind, need to be picked up, got your keys locked in the car, I am probably one of the first people you will think to call. I am happy to help where I can, yes sometimes I will make an unhappy face, but I will be there. So that obviously means a lot of saying yes and people not understanding when I have to say no. Me saying no then often leads to my conscience plaguing me like a stuck record with the words "you really could have said yes" tormenting me!

The problem is I am just as tormented when I have agreed to offer my time, energy and effort and be there to support my "person" in distress. The words that haunt me in this instance are "why did you say yes?"! Reason being is I have a very independent spirit and I have always believed that if I want something done I have to do it myself, help is something I don't even know how to ask for! It's never something I have ever known how to do.I know I'm writing in a very circular way but like I said please bear with me.

I said "yes" several times this weekend when I really should have said no, emphatically so! The result was I spent the whole weekend feeling drained physically and emotionally, angry with myself and questioning my decisions.

I looked for the root of my compulsive yes man syndrome and its because I'm compassionate and nurturing by nature. Seeing someone I care about struggle, suffer, or go through something painful is not something I can ever be ok with, especially if I can help even in a small way. It just pains me to my soul that my compassion and nurturing spirit is seldom returned and is often taken advantage of. As was the case this weekend on several occasions which I will not get into. In fact the last few months if I am truly honest have just been a kick to the groin!

Because of my "yes man" syndrome and my fault-riddled compassion I have been holding onto things and people for so long. Things and people who let go of me a long time ago. Friends, family, harsh words exchanged, incidents where no regard was had for my feelings, regrets, I could go on forever.

I'm done with living in my misery. I'm done feeling guilty about saying no, I'm done being angry with myself for the times I have said yes when I should have said no, I'm tired of giving myself to people and situations where my feelings are of little or no concern, I'm done with self-sacrificing and I'm done fighting with racist old ladies who reek of shit... or sitting next to them for that matter!

I am choosing to just let go of all of the unnecessary and be selfish with myself,  my time, my efforts, my love, my life...

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