Expressing, Not Reacting

Yesterday I met a friend in Central Square for coffee.  I have been writing about all of the unmanageability in my life, from impulsive behavior to my lack of control about what other people think or say.  She’s been a wonderful support in helping to ground me and help me understand how to better handle difficult situations.

She’s urged me to slow down and to stop and take a pause when people say something that sets me off- especially criticism or putting in their two cents about what I “should” be doing.  She reminded me to stop, take a deep breath, and accept the comments for what they are:

“Real but not true.”

I had never heard this phrase before.  She explains, “the comments are real, and they aren’t necessarily true.”

What a breath of fresh air.  Knowing I can take a pause for a moment to think, instead of immediately reacting, is a new concept to me.  This applies to any form of communication- feedback from a teacher or boss, a text from a friend, an online message or even a comment from a stranger on the street.

I have been able to better express myself and my feelings, pain and fears through my writing.  I have noticed many patterns in my behavior; reacting immediately to any type of situation has been a struggle in my relationships.  Acknowledging that has been an issue in my life makes me conscious of my sensitivity, which is a root cause of my initial reaction to run.

I’ve recently been working through my past pain and began to start writing about my recovery.  Although vulnerability can be extremely difficult and a bit scary, it’s been freeing.

Art is such a beautiful way to heal, whether it’s through music, painting, drawing or the written word.  As I strolled through Graffiti Alley yesterday, I thought about all of the beauty around me and pondered the meaning behind the art.  That’s the wonderful thing about creativity; art can mean whatever you want it to be.

I’m looking forward to continuing with my writing and sharing my story, and hope that connecting with other women who have faced similar situations will strengthen my journey, and I can help to strengthen theirs.

Much like art, I can better express myself by taking a pause, deep breath, and remembering “this is real, but not true.”

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