As my title for this post indicates, it is 2am, and I am enduring a sleepless night. Being up in the middle of the night is nothing new for me, although it hasn’t happened in a while. It is usually something that goes hand in hand with my depression, but I’m not depressed tonight.
When I tried to go to bed a few hours ago, I knew sleep wasn’t going to come though I continued to try. I knew it wasn’t going to come because I was facing feelings of anger due to something that happened earlier in the evening. I felt I was taken advantage of.
For many years I was constantly taken advantage of. I was lonely, and desperate to fit in and be accepted, so I let people take advantage of me. I let them walk all over me, and then I turned around and asked them to do it again.
I’m not like that anymore. I know who I am and what I am worth, and I won’t let others treat me poorly. And if standing up for myself means not being accepted, I’m ok with that.
But tonight, when I felt taken advantage of, it unlocked some buried feelings and I got angry. Angrier than was necessary probably, but sometimes we can’t control our feelings. They race to the surface and force us to deal with them directly.
Those negative feelings brought up other negative feelings, and my anger became sadness and self pity as I began to question certain things. I was feeling sorry for myself.
In an attempt to calm myself down, I grabbed my adult colouring book (yes, I have one and don’t knock it until you try it 😊), and began to colour a page of flowers.
My heart and my mind both calmed.
And a little voice whispered, ‘It’s not about you.’
And everything snapped back into perspective.
That little voice, that reminder was all I needed to pull myself out of my self pity. To pull me out of the thoughts of what wasn’t right in my life, and what I may be missing in my life.
Because it’s not about me.
I am not here for me.
I have a purpose in this world, just like everyone else. But that purpose is not to make me as happy as possible or to give me everything I desire.
My purpose is to make life better for those around me. My purpose is to spread love and joy.
It’s so easy to focus on all that is going wrong. It’s easy to blame things on everyone else. It’s easy to sit alone and feel sorry for myself.
But that accomplishes nothing.
While it is still not right that someone took advantage of me and my helpful nature tonight, I can control how I respond to it. I will still stand up for myself. I will still not allow someone to treat me that way.
But I also will not let it lead to anger and triggers of past experience.
I can’t control the way someone else behaves. But I can control how I react.
And I have that voice in my head to remind me that this one incident is so small in the big picture.
That big picture is not about me.
So I have released the anger from earlier in the evening, and I have forgiven the person who triggered it.
I can sleep peacefully, and face tomorrow (well, today) with my usual positive attitude.