Sometimes immediately after we record I have moments (just like real life), where I go “Ugh, I should have said that, I shouldn’t have said that,” and I run through a whole bunch of shoulda, woulda, couldas.
Other times, when I’m in a better head space, I hang up, walk away and don’t look back.
I go to bed and dream about my ex-ex-ex-ex boyfriend from 20+ years ago, which honestly made complete sense. In my attempt to understand sleep and better take control of my own mental health I’ve ended up learning about dreams—something I rarely paid attention to before—and there was definitely stuff in my relationship history that got stirred up talking and thinking through this. And I guess its cool, because I must have needed to mentally clean house. I went into the podcast conversation focused on my life today and that focus made it hard for me to remember what it was like in those spaces where some of you are living now and I definitely feel like I didn’t give you the credit you deserve.
1. You are worthy of value on your own—I stand by that and hope that knowing that makes things easier to let go. The best foundation for any relationship is to feel whole on your own first—happy with yourself, your life, your path, otherwise it is much too easy to blame those things on someone else.
2. It’s hard and I didn’t give you enough credit—I forgot. I had a boyfriend (I would say first love but that always seems too cheesy) for half of my high school experience. He was older. I legit thought we’d get married. He went to college, we stayed together and he cheated on me, like a bunch. His best friend and roomate told me, which of course effed that friendship (I definitely still felt guilty about my role in their demise). Whatever, that’s the long and the short of it. We were all good people, but we were young and didn’t know what we wanted. And then I pretty much pretended like the whole things didn’t wreck me for a long time, BUT it wrecked me for a long time. It probably took ten years, or until I got married, for me to completely let go of what had happened. I think part of it was how betrayed I felt, part of it was the loss of a life I had envisioned, and the last part was me feeling like it was something I should have been able to shake and move past, but I couldn’t.
Regardless, in my dream my family was on some Hawaiian vacation (I think Indy Blue’s insta got me) and we ran into his family and they were happy and we were happy and we all moved on. So weird. I have worked throughout my life to let it all go and literally haven’t touched the topic in years, but talking through the ghosts of relationships past dislodged something and there he was—happy family and all.
The point (there is one beyond my own mental reshuffling) is the sooner you can navigate peace in your own mind the better. It took me 20 years to learn how to envision our new lives and be at peace with them, I wish I had been able to let go of that hurt and angst and betrayal years ago, but it stuck with me and I think, subconsciously at least, impacted the rest of my relationships. One final piece of advice—figure out your emotions surrounding any important relationships in your life and slowly over time just practice letting them go and just being at peace. It is hard work for sure and I’m sorry I downplayed the difficulty, but you can do it and you can be better for it because all you really need is the ability to monitor your thoughts and emotions and continuously work toward letting go of what doesn’t serve you.
Good Luck, Friends.
P.S. The brain book I'm reading is "7 1/2 Lessons about the Brain" and I highly recommend if you're interested in how the actually inner workings of your brain impact how you are with others.