As if dealing with my husband’s terminal illness wasn’t enough, another area of my life was going to hell in a handbasket.
People whom I thought were firmly in my past after a recent switch in geographical locations continued to stir up trouble in my life to the extent that I was seriously considering a change in occupation. Two days after finding out my husband was dying, I was being punished for being forthright and honest about my experiences and feelings in this blog while attempting to secure emotional catharsis in a healthy manner.
You see, part of the reason I do this blog is at the behest of my councilor who understands that I tend to “bottle” and internalize my feelings. By writing this blog, I am able to express my emotions in a way that is as healthy as any. It also helps my friends and family understand the complexities of what’s rattling around in my noggin. I was being told that I had no right to feel the way I felt and could not express those feelings publicly.
After much ado, I edited the offending entry under protest and posted the section of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms on the freedom of expression here on this blog.
What I learned about this episode is that while I had let things go and moved on, other people are not able to do so. I also learned not to be so precious about keeping “friends” or contacts on social media and have since started editing my contact lists. While I grieve the loss of many of these contacts, if they cannot accept that I have the right to my own opinions or feel what I am feeling, they clearly do not respect me as an individual or as a friend.
I also learned to let go of past insults, slights, perceived or otherwise, grudges and people whom have harmed me in the past. I will leave those individuals exactly where they need to be left: in my past.
And believe me, I’ve agonized over deleting certain people from my social media streams and, yes, my life. I miss them and am saddened by the fact that I had to do so. However last July and August and the ensuing year have taught me one important lesson: life is too short to be spending it arguing with people who don’t accept you for who you are. If people want you to change who you are to suit their needs or cannot accept that you are growing and changing as you experience life, then they are not looking out for what’s best for you.
At the same time, I tried to shelter Larry from these shenanigans, however I was an emotional wreck due to these stressors. I also resolved that I would no longer allow myself to be defined by my vocation and began to assert the importance in the division from my working life and home life. I refused to bring what happened in the day time hours home and spend my evenings and weekends focusing on what little time I had left with my husband.
I still carry this lesson with me and continue to live this philosophy – letting go of the people and events that would have weighed me down in the past. In letting go, I’m able to move on. In letting go, I’m a happier and healthier person.