Shattering the illusion

Our minds are so powerful. Using our genetics, environment, experiences, and habits, it creates perceptions or filters that define our sense of reality. Everyone's filter is different, and our perceptions are undeniable to each of us. And a wonderful truth is: they can change for the better. Sadly, sometimes the filters we see through can be damaging illusions. Built by us, or others.

This past year I have had an illusion shattered. It wouldn't be such a big deal if it wasn't an illusion I nearly worshipped. I've come to an awakening that has shook me to my very core. It's made me question a LOT of my beliefs about myself and others around me. The tremors of the burst have been felt in my relationships, my faith, and the trajectory I thought my life was on.

At first I was ashamed of this great questioning. It's unsettling to have lost your sense of self. But now, I'm grateful for it. Sometimes when I lose myself, I end up finding even more of myself than I had before. I regroup, come back wiser, and feel stronger and more determined. I call it failing forward.

Mostly, the lessons I have learned this past year are to always stand up for myself and do what's best for me and my family, even if it makes me feel uncomfortable at first.  Slowly over the years, I am learning how to shake off the tendency to be the doormat. It's too easy for me to let people take advantage of me because I don't want to make waves. I was called the peacemaker growing up. For a while I was proud of that, but now I can see how that can be a weakness.

I'm ready to make waves if that's what it takes to do the right thing.

That's being a true peacemaker. Doing the right thing makes peace in my heart.

I absolutely care about others and their needs too. I'm only talking about demanding respect for myself and from others. Sometimes demanding respect is silent. Sometimes it's choosing to do something about it. Regardless of how a situation is handled, I always strive to stand up for myself and others with compassion and kindness. It's pointless to demand respect disrespectfully, in my opinion.

I am passionate about music. (That's putting it lightly.) Katy Perry recently released a song called Mind Maze that illustrates these thoughts beautifully. You can listen to it here, if you like.

I particularly like the line: "I've got to free myself and get out of my own way."

Being a doormat was my invisible cage. I believed I was truly trapped in it. I believed that because I was in it, I always had to be in it. But then I became more self-aware. I saw the cage was fake. I made the decision to be done with it, and stepped right out. Just because someone else put me there, doesn't mean I had to stay. After shattering the illusion, I've never looked back.