Yep! One giant leap, backward! I have always thought of it as a cha-cha. With life, you shuffle forward, maybe shuffle back a little, side to side, but always fluid and moving forward in some way. I now see that at times you don’t shuffle or take small steps back, you take giant leaps backward! Sometimes it isn’t a small shift that you see or a little speed bump, but a chasm you created. You go back to someone you don’t recognize, who don’t like and who you haven’t seen in decades. But shit, she reared her ugly head and now you have to deal with the consequences and fall out. Your intent was never to be hurtful, but the impact of your behavior was.
What drives someone to take a giant leap back to someone they don’t like? What takes over and controls their belief system causing them to revert and act out? There is no excuse when the behavior hurts others. Getting to the root of it so it doesn’t happen again can be challenging. Gaining forgiveness and forgiving yourself may be challenging. But challenging doesn’t matter, it is irrelevant. What matters is that you learn, heal, forgive and grow.
You have to pay attention to what may have triggered you, you have to look for patterns of destructive or negative behavior. What is it telling you? For me, very often it is associated with the belief that I am alone in the world. The other belief pattern that effects or triggers me is one of jealousy. I have been at my ugliest when I have been jealous. And that doesn’t just mean husbands or boyfriends and jealousy. Friends, situations, things that I shouldn’t be jealous of have triggered a very ugly version of me.
Once you know the triggers you need to look at them and figure out how to heal them at this deeper level. Some of the toughest work we do on ourselves is going deep on our beliefs, our thoughts, our feelings, what’s keeping us stuck. Letting these go and creating new beliefs helps us to heal. Talking to and apologizing to those we have hurt, seeking help from a counselor, healer or coach, journaling, praying, Reiki, tapping, meditating are all ways to help yourself heal.
Forgiveness is the next step. You must forgive yourself as you learn. You cannot continue to beat yourself up. And ask for forgiveness from others, understanding that it is up to them, if they so choose. The shifts in and changes in the relationships and people you hurt, that isn’t up to you other than working on you. All you can do is work to ensure that a better version of you emerges, you can’t pretend to understand the impact. And you certainly cannot make anyone forgive you.
Through all of this you grow. You heal a deeper level, you learn from it and you grow as a person. You do become a better version of yourself. That ugly person that you don’t like gets exiled and you learn new ways to handle the triggers, until they are no longer triggers.
I tell people often that my personal view of depression is that we are always in recovery. One thing can trigger a meltdown and there goes the spiral. And that spiral can cause you to take that giant leap backward. Getting at that deeper level of healing and forgiveness, and changing that belief system can reduce the trigger to nothing. Without the trigger, you go back to the cha cha and shuffle and focus only on the giant leaps forward.