Thursday, September 28, 2017

My Issues And Your Issues

Written By Don Shetterly

As I get older, I am beginning to see things differently in life.  I guess that's part of the maturing process because what once seemed to be important has shifted.  I see things differently.  I understand things differently than I once did.

Through these changes, I'm seeing that everyone has strengths and weaknesses, good and bad.  We've got moments where we triumph in our life, and we shine with all our strengths, abilities and talents.  However, we've got the other side.

There are the issues we struggle with and the weaknesses we harbor within ourselves.  Sometimes these flaws and shortcomings are on display for the whole world to see.  At other times, we hide them from anyone outside of where they exist.

I've learned that I can be vulnerable with people close to me and it is okay.  Being vulnerable is not easy for me, and I really thank Brene Brown for what she has taught on this subject.  Sometimes I just don't want anyone to think I'm what I think I am inside, even though my view may be distorted.

In many ways, I think we are all like that to some degree with some more so than other people.  There are some that completely distort how the world and those close them see their lives.

I was good at hiding things...

In fact, at one time before I went through paralysis and Conversion Disorder, everyone around me thought I had the world together and I was happy all the time.  I was good at hiding things back then.

I remember my mom going to work and she could be as sick as one could be, but no one would see it.  I learned so much from her how to hide my true self from the world.  Yet, at the same time, it meant I kept myself from interacting with the world and possibility and joy.

One thing I have noticed is that we tend to see ourselves in a more perfect light when we try to impress everyone around us.  We don't want everyone to see our flaws.  We hide it and distort it and paint the picture of what we want them to see.  Sometimes there are moments where this may be needed.

Yet, deep inside we sometimes feel fragile and damaged and not having much skill, talent, or good to our lives.  Even when others see how much we offer, we sometimes cannot see this in ourselves, and so we hold the "frail" image of ourselves as the measurement of all that exists in life.

We insulate ourselves...

If we go too far with hiding ourselves from the world and not allowing ourselves to be vulnerable, we tend to go around lashing out at others.  We join the bandwagon with the rest of the folks tearing others down, hurling hateful insults against one another and highlighting their issues.  It is the way we hide from ourselves because if we put the spotlight on others, we insulate our true self.

Social media gives us a high speed interstate to point out the issues of others and focus on the distorted view we see within ourselves.  It is one of the negatives of social media that sometimes really frustrates me.  Of course, it is our choice how we interact with it personally, but I hope that we can move in the direction where we use it for positive change, not hate and insults and unconsciousness.

All of us have our issues.  We were born with them, and we picked some of them up along the way through our families, schools, communities, and circle of people we know.  It is okay to have issues, but hopefully, we learn from them while recognizing that instead of pointing out the issues of everyone else, we can do much more by working on our own.

I keep challenging myself to be more and learn more about my life.  I don't want those days pre-Conversion Disorder when I showed that everything was fine to the world and I was in a hundred kinds of pain.

Being real and authentic and working to improve our lives each day - that's the ticket to becoming more and learning from our issues.

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