Following on from my "I forgive you" post I wanted to give you some more on what led me to that point and what it means in my day to day life.
Children up until the age of 10 or so, tend to have limited processing skills. If they thought about running a race they might understand that they came first or second, they might even understand that they nearly won if they are a little older but they wouldn't understand all the shades of grey around the effort they put in, how the others in the race performed, the conditions etc. And it is with that limited thinking that memories are stored in our subconscious for use as a foundation for everything we do in later life.
As we become adults we gain the ability to process our thoughts in a multi dimensional way with all those different shades of colour. Now, when we look back on those childhood memories, it is with the deeper understanding rather than the understanding that was used by the child at the time.
I guess you can see how that can end up with a disconnect? I view events from my childhood and try to understand them with my adult perspective and it is a hugely inaccurate way to do it.
Also you know that term "hindsight is a wonderful thing"? Well what makes hindsight so powerful is the whole concept of "if I knew then what I know now". So at any given point, we make the best choices we can with the information available based on our circumstances. Obviously, when we can see consequences we have more information but we don't know that at the time. This is why I don't believe in regrets.
And we as we get older we can't remember everything so we tend to forget what we feel is insignificant (forget consciously not sub consciously) and accentuate what we feel is significant.
So for me, coming to the realisation that all those events throughout my childhood were responded to in the best way I knew how to at the time, given my circumstances and the ability I had as a child, allowed me to leap that chasm. To believe in myself because I accepted I did the best I could at the time. And with this new insight I could also see all those occasions where I really did something unusually brave given my circumstances.
And for the first time in my life I have stopped beating myself up. I have allowed myself to accept my achievements. Before I hated myself so much that I refused to accept that anything good I did was because of a good quality in me. Now I can accept that I have done great things that I can be proud of.
So do I bounce out of bed every day and sing songs to the birds like a Disney princess? Not at all!
I have shadows. A lifetime of self-loathing and misery doesn't disappear that easily. But I have an answer to that critical voice now if it does crop up. I don't need to listen to it anymore.
I also feel a huge sense of freedom. I am unburdened by the need to caveat everything that happens with "ah, but you're crap"
Unfortunately that sense of freedom also applies to food. My emotional connection to it has gone and now all I want to do is eat! I am trusting in my slimpod right now in the hope it will kick in better control again soon.
I am getting to know myself from scratch. I am learning how to interact with the world all over again. It's interesting!