While I do agree that all of us have a different perspective on things, there are times when I look inward to find the truth of a matter. There are times when someone’s perception of me is so totally opposed to what I see as the truth that I have to stop and take a good hard look at what I’m doing, and how I’m sharing it with others.
I’ve made some major changes in my life recently that will affect the lives of others for a long time. They’ve been a long time coming, much feared and thought over and extremely traumatic to put into play. I have done my best so far to own my part in every negative situation, even though at times it did have to be force fed down my throat for me to consider it. It is really easy to blame others and to portray myself as a victim of circumstance that triumphs in the face of the greatest odds.
A friend recently commented that when I write, it is as if I have it all together. I have all the answers and am on top of the game. I’ll admit to being totally taken aback by this and began to wonder if I’d been misrepresenting myself in some way in my writing. If I have done so, it has not been intentionally. It’s not easy to admit that I am responsible for where I’ve been and where I am now, but I have tried to do so.
My earlier writings were, I freely admit, whiny and self-serving. I did see myself as a victim and my writing freed things that needed to be brought out and taken to the trash. I believe writing cleanses and heals the heart. It has helped me survive my own mistakes and have the courage to attempt to correct them to the best of my ability.
At some point in time, the words I wrote became a love letter to myself. Not a guru-driven directive for the masses. Not too long ago, one of my best friends said to me, “Now you will finally be the woman you write about”. It brought tears to my eyes to know that she saw that. I told her honestly that all those stories and articles had been written to me. I was trying to save myself. She simply said, “I know”. That’s what best friends do. They know.
I don’t know how to write any differently than the words that come from my heart at any given time. Tomorrow, I won’t write with the same heart as I do today. I hope that is always true so that I can see myself growing in everything I write, whether it be about my own life or something I see in the lives of others. I don’t mind saying I’m a screwed up mess from time to time because that means I’m doing something other than refusing to try and fail. I don’t mind admitting I’m not perfect in any way because, really? What a relief that is to give that up.
I have a lot of work to do on myself. I don’t have a problem with that. I’ve disappointed a lot of people. I can live with that. There are those who will never really see me, and as heart-breaking as that will eventually be, I will live with that too. All I have to do is see myself clearly, pick the most alive path I can find for myself, and take that one. No matter how goddamn hard it looks.
How I am perceived beyond that is the responsibility of the eyes of the heart. I have no control over that. One of my favorite authors wrote a piece that sums this up with a beautiful clarity:
What you eventually realize is some people won’t ever see your heart even when you show it to them. It is then you’ll understand, they’re still searching for their own.
I have this piece hanging on my wall to remind me.