Waking uP

Who am I outside of my story?

My writing about Mr. Brightside will be done by the end of the week; I feel as though I'm waking up to a new me.

I spent the first 40 years of my life deeply identified with my story of suffering.

I identified with my suffering; I was my pain.

I identified with the false beliefs my parents instilled in me about myself and my unworthiness; I was my 'deficiencies.'

I identified with my coping mechanism; I was my eating disorder and my lifelong battle with my body.

I spent the first 40 years of my life deeply identified with my story and dealing with my suffering - but at the same time not dealing with it because I didn't fully understand it.

This writing I've been doing about Mr. Brightside - it was never about him. He was only the foil for my life experience, for the pain that I was finally ready to see, so that I could process it and let it go.

And this is where I am now; finally ready to let go.

I've been asking myself a lot of "so what's?" lately.

So what Jasmin? 

Not "So what, who cares?" but "So what are you going to do about it now?" because no amount of crying, eating, and writhing in the misery of the false beliefs my parents gave me is going to change what they did.

So what?

So what are you going to do about it?

So what am I going to do about it?

Two weeks ago I cried when I heard a parent speak lovingly about his kids, as I thought again "Why didn't I get that?"

Then a week ago, the same parent spoke lovingly about his kids again, and I was like teflon as I thought "Yep, my parents weren't like that - aren't like that - it is what it is" and let that pain slide right off me.

So what.

So what?

So what are you going to do about it?

So what am I going to do about it?

I can't decide everything that happens to me, but I can decide what I'm going to allow it to mean.

I'm sure I'll still have occasional pangs of sadness about what I didn't get, but I'm going to make sure to remind myself in those moments that the only thing which matters is what I'm going to do about it now.

"What I do, not how I feel about my past, is going to determine who I am in the future."

Who am I? When the story of me and my past and all my suffering falls away?

What do I want to do with my life?

The entire focus of my life has been directly dealing with my pain, and then hiding from it, numbing myself with food and television; alternating hiding in relationships doomed to fail with hiding in my solitude; anything not to face the internalized voices of my parents telling me I'm not enough.

We can't run away from those voices.

We try to run; we keep ourselves busy, busy, busy, spinning, spinning, spinning.

But we can't out-eat, out-drink, out-shop, out-snort, out-fuck our pain.

Pain is like one of those old television sets from the 1980's; even when the volume is all the way down, it still emits a steady low-level hum that just won't be ignored.

I've been running from my pain all my life, but then in the last four months - in the wake of my relationships with Mr. Brightside - I stopped running, abruptly.

My pain was taken by surprise; it had been chasing me for so long. When I stopped, I turned around and said "It's on bitch, bring your best game" my pain said "Ok" and my pain brought it.

My pain took it's clothes off and stood stark naked in front of me; everything I've spent a lifetime covering up was suddenly there.

Nowhere to run; nowhere to hide. A single thousand-watt lightbulb hanging overhead, illuminating every shiny scar, every bumpy scab, every gnarled and twisted limb.

I cried.

I kicked.

I screamed.

To my therapist.

To my friends.

To God.

To the Universe.

At the unfairness of life - all the while writhing in pain and demanding an answer to the question "WHY" - why did I have to go through this? Why did I get the parents I got? Why did I suffer.

I didn't get an answer because there is no answer to the suffering of this world. It just is. It just is.

And why doesn't matter.

I've spent a lifetime asking "WHY?" and this is the best I've come up with, after 40 years: why doesn't matter.

Why never matters, because the only thing that matters is what we do with the hand we're dealt.

I feel as though I've woken up from my story of pain and suffering; life is short and I lost a lot of potential joy in my first 40 years, but I'm not prepared to do the same with the next 40; it's time to be happy now.

I don't know who I am outside of the identity of a girl trying to heal from her pain.

I'm not sure what brings me joy.

I'm not certain about what I want to do with my life.

My life's focus has always been understanding, dealing with, hiding from, and finally healing this pain; if I'm not focused on doing that, then what do I do?

And although I understand that healing is a life-long process, my fire-walk is over; I was emotionally brave enough to walk across the bed of hot coals, and am on the other side, singed, but alive and well enough to tell the tale.

I looked at my pain from every angle, cried the tears of the hurt and unprotected child I was, and can finally acknowledge and understand what was done to me - with the help of my therapist, a lot of books, God, and a little help (a lot of help) from my friends.

One of my friends has said to me a few times in the last month "You're woke now."

Yeah, I am.

But what - or who - is the me I am I waking up to?

I don't know. Yet.

That's what the rest of my life's journey is for.

The one thing I noticed about my pain - as it stood naked it front of me - is that in spite of how ugly it was, it stood tall and was still proud; almost defiant.

It said to me "You are who you are because of me, and together, we are beautiful. There is no need to hide anymore."

Understanding your past and embarking on a new future can be a bittersweet process.

Shining a light on what happened to you and how it affected your choices can stir up sadness about what you've lost or never had. That's the way light is. It shines on everything, not just the things we want to see.

When you decide to uncover the truth about yourself and your family relationships, you may be surprised by what's revealed, especially when you see how these patterns have been passed down through the generations. Sometimes you may wonder whether all this knowledge is for the best. It may even seem as though it would be better not to know.

Ultimately, it depends on what you value about life. Is seeking the truth and self-knowledge an important and meaningful pursuit for you? You are the only person who can answer this question.

But it's been my experience-and countless other people's - that greater awareness brings its own gifts, most of which involve a fuller, deeper connection with the world and oneself. Working through a difficult past makes things in the present more real and precious...

People who engage in self-discovery and emotional development get to have a second life­, one that was unimaginable as long as they remained caught in old family roles and wishful fantasies. You really do get to start over when you open to a new consciousness of who you are and what's been going on in your life...

There's no reason you can't have a happy life starting right now.

I actually think it can feel more rewarding to give yourself a happy life now as an aware adult than to have always had it from the beginning.

To be aware and present at the birth of your new self as an adult is pretty incredible stuff.

How many people get to be awake and aware for the emergence of the person they were always meant to be?

How many people get to have two lifetimes in one?

So tell me, is it worth the pain to get to live twice in one life? Are you glad you've chosen the path of awareness?


Me too.


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