What have you given up to Survive?

What have I given up? Something I didn’t know I should have had in the first place: the right to be an individual with feelings and desires to be happy. I gave up the right to be respected and learn what an appropriate boundary is. I gave up the right to be an independent adult that is free to make my own decisions without worrying about fear, obligation, and/or guilt and shame.

What I didn’t give up was my lifelong desire to grow and develop, which manifested in professional and academic ways. Now it is time for a manifestation in my personal life. I didn’t give up my right to be a newborn at age 47 who is seeing the world for the first time, with as few obstructions as possible.

“From my cold, dead hands…”

Soul Healing Art

Reach for It Reach for It

Sometimes my inner artist goes its own way.
It insisted on the image above and the following interpretation: It is a claw of a crab reaching to grasp the moon. Huh?

I researched crab symbolism and learned the crab is a strong lunar symbol. The moon provides matronly protection to the crab. And, of course, the crab is the symbol of the Cancer zodiac sign.

And in its own strange way, my inner artist had spoken what was on my mind.

I had recently been thinking about what we may give up in order to survive. This β€œgiving up” parts of ourselves to survive often occurs in childhood, particularly in situations of abuse. Adults, though, are not immune to this act.

And I wonder what you have given up in order to survive.

Have you given up your joy in life, because you believe you need to…

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6 thoughts on “What have you given up to Survive?

      • This got me thinking about what I’ve given up to survive, too. Although I don’t think, looking back, that it’s a zero-sum proposition. Giving up on some things is simply the price of claiming something new, most of the time. The room may be full of manure, but that only means there’s a pony in there somewhere. πŸ™‚

        The price usually seems a lot higher than it really is, by the way. And sometimes, it’s the act of letting go that is the real lesson have been; the things involved turned out to be insignificant, and the most appropriate ‘action’ is to relax and let something die.

        One thing I’m letting go of is an image of myself that came from having a career at one place for 25 years (after 5 others, as I said before). I turned 65 today, which means I have a year to go, if I want to stay. But I don’t enjoy the work much any more; I’ve done everything 15 times, it seems. I’m reflecting on the way routines and habits start to feel so important to validate me as a person, when I’ve tried to live as though they didn’t. I’ve been caught in the very things I always made fun of, and they’re surprisingly persistent little bastards. Tied up in that are questions about whether, when I no longer have a formal role in life via a job/career, will I still be able to make a difference anywhere? Maybe I’m just being maudlin today, but I know I have to figure that last one out to be able to let go and move on.

      • Ah career identity…that’s complex stuff man.

        The things I am referring to are within the context of abuse (specifically, C-PTSD for me). However, the identities/personas we create on the professional level are inextricably bound to our personal experiences to some degree. In my case, the professional Self is where I exhibit healthy boundaries and good communication skills, much like I wish my personal Self to become. There is a clear line of demarcation and it has been really helpful to be able to recognize that the sh&% I have allowed/taken/endured would never, ever be tolerated by my professional Self. This told me that I am indeed capable of healthy behaviors and that I needed to look inward to family and spousal interactions to conduct a fair Gap Analysis.

        Just like family life, our tenure(s) at an organization definitely has an effect on who we believe we are/will become/have become. It’s OK to be maudlin because that is just part of your process.

        Happy Birthday young man! πŸ˜‰

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