For this installment of “what’s on my brain today” comes from some song lyrics and a discussion I had with a friend last week. The song is from Shinedown and it is called Sounds of Madness. The lyrics that caught me for no good reason other than the conversation I had last week were:
Yeah, I get it, You’re an outcast. Always under attack. Always coming in last, Bringing up the past. No one owes you anything. I think you need a shotgun blast, A kick in the ass, So paranoid. . . Watch your back!!
Oh my, here we go…
I created the Sound of Madness. Wrote the book on pain. Somehow I’m still here, To explain, That the darkest hour never comes in the night. You can sleep with a gun. When you gonna wake up and fight… for yourself?
This is not a new song nor a new song to me, but for some reason, this morning, it hit a chord with the words. The first verse reminded me of someone that I had to deal with for a few years and is now been blocked from my life. The drama that they let fill their heart and mind was polluting to anyone involved in the issue. It was trivial; the accusations, the pettiness, the blatant trolling, in the grander scheme of life it was a blip – a nothing, but I let them get to me because I tried to go the high road and avoid the confrontation.
This is where we move into the chorus… or so my thoughts went.
The words here made me think about all the other things I have been through in life and how I am still here because I was able to overcome them. When I was in dark places, what typically got me through them were my strength and determination to fight for me.
Last year, I figured this lesson out when I finally let it all go.
I am going to share a few excerpts from my own closure because I feel they are important for me to say to the world. I will only share my own thoughts as it pertains to this issue because I am not trying to create new drama from the old, but rather share the experience of letting go…
This first segment is where I lead with what I have learned about life through this experience:
While you may believe or assume whatever you choose in regards to me or this matter, there are a few truths that are in the universe: 1) Instigation, libel, and slander do not fall to just one of us when it comes to this overall situation; 2) Neither of us are solely the victim in all of this; 3) Each of us are responsible for our own parts in the equation; 4) Any degradation in reputation was not done by the other, but by our own actions in all of this; and 5) After all the hurt and anguish you tried to inflict on me in the past – I forgive you.
Once I really sat down and reflected on the whole ordeal, I realized that while I felt victimized, if I continued to feel this way, I would be perpetuating the negative emotions and frustrations rather than focus on a resolution to all of it.
I can completely take full responsibility for my part in it. I did not have to try to befriend this person, but I did because I did not want anyone else’s experiences to morph or distort my own perceptions of this person. In addition, when I decided this person was not my cup of tea at that moment, I should not have let my pride get in the way. I should not have listened to others and I should not have let others sway my judgement to try some social experimentation that proved to be true. I should not have let my own fears and doubts cloud my ability to let that be the end of it right there. My frustrations allowed for this to bother me and go on (for me) as long as it did (over a year).
It was like a boiling point inside me. I could be moving along in life, with the feelings pushed down under the surface, and then something would trigger it to erupt. It was toxic and I had enough. I thought by publicly venting, I would feel better, but the only thing it rewarded me with was more drama and a mild feeling of vindication at that moment.
I also took responsibility for speaking to my own group of friends online about reemerging issues. I was in a tough place because I had people saying things in one ear and others stating things in another that I should have ignored, but I did not. Again, I take that on myself. While I didn’t think, at the time, I was doing something beyond seeking advice about a situation like I would in real life through friends, I had not thought about the fact that people I considered to be friends and fellow co-moderators of themes and communities would try to perpetuate the drama by going back to this person and exaggerating what was said.
The last part to this is that even though I have proof of all the things that I know to be truths, I do not need to share them to “win” at something that will inevitably have no winners. Only hurt, revenge, more hurt, and more vengeance can come from these behaviors. Feuds are for those with nothing but pain and anger left inside them. I do not need to concern myself with that kind of business because there is still so much light for me to share.
However, this was another of those tough lessons learned.
If I could have gone back to a moment in time and changed things, I likely would have, but hindsight is the perfect 20/20 when you learn from life’s lessons.
Though, that cannot happen, I can continue to find peace in my normal, everyday living, and reflect back on that kind of peace I am making for myself daily by focusing on the words that I wrote that are a personal truth for me.
In that, I closed with these simple words:
Contrary to the monster you have built me up to be, I am not. Had you ever taken the time and been genuine with me, you would have learned that I am not diabolical; I am human and have never claimed to be anything more. You speak of assumptions that are of my own, but you have made many bold assumptions about me and made sure I knew all about them, but that leads me back to the opening of this message. It comes down to being responsible for our own actions, our own ability to move through pain, resentment and anger, and look for peace. The only hurt that is left to be had is by those who cannot forgive, and I am tired of feeling hurt by the nasty things that were said about me, my actions, my art, and my very personality.
I do not believe that an armistice is an appropriate way to regard this as there is admittance to a possibility for continued conflict or warring and not a guarantee for peace. In this, these talks, I prefer to see them as a way to heal wounds and find that peace.
So, again, I forgive you.
Sadly, this ended those talks, but I was able to move on from it with a much more calm demeanor. This does not mean that peace inside me is constant or guaranteed, but it does mean that I work on it daily and find that it is always an evolving process. Rome was not built in a day and neither is the path to enlightenment.
My yoga practice, my working out, and my meditation is all part of the forgiveness, healing, and moving forward routine.
I will continue to keep my focus on the things that are positive, though, and that will help lessen the anger if it wells up and it will help dull any residual pain that may float to the top on occasion.
I can say with some certainty that I will be true to me; I will not be a victim of my own making. I will plan trips, meet new people, put myself and my artwork out there without fear of who I may instigate or rile up because I should be allowed to make my own way (stand up and fight for myself) without walking on egg shells for what could happen next.
The really real world is not guaranteed or infinite. We have a finite time here and we should make the most of it.
And, on that note, I think I have said all that I need to say and cleansed my heart and mind of the things I want to have record of for when the darkness tries to come when it is not the night.