If you’ve read my previous posts you already know what I think about embracing bad experiences. I’ve already written about that. But is it so smart to embrace both the good and bad experiences alike? It is for me. It has a lot to do about self-esteem. I’ve had very low self-esteem for decades, at least the illusion of low self-esteem. Both positive and negative thoughts are just that, thoughts. My self-esteem ain’t nothing more than thoughts, thoughts I have about myself. These thoughts are a consequence of the environment and my interactions with it, a result of my own experiences.
For decades I’ve tried to avoid my bad past experiences and, in my case, it just empowered my PTSD and depression. The emptiness and sadness just grew bigger and bigger, no matter how many good experiences I tried to gather and remember. Avoiding traumas seemed, unconsciously, like the best way to focus on the good and pleasant experiences. But what was really happening was that all the negative thoughts were taking over. My illusion of self-esteem was low because I never really embraced all my traumas. Not that now I have high self-esteem, I’m actually working hard to just erase self-esteem as a concept. I am. I ain’t more or less, I just am. And peeling off self-esteem as something I should have is helping me find balance between positive and negative thoughts. My goal is to just have thoughts, without tagging them as positive or negative. Thoughts are just thoughts, and they are mine and only mine.
Actions, on the other hand, are the consequence of my thoughts, or at least should be. Actions are what I do in relation to my environment. If I repress my negative thoughts because I repress traumas then, unconsciously, my negative thoughts take control of my actions. In other words, my PTSD takes control of my actions. So I need to be aware of all my thoughts and experiences, good and bad, in order to act according to who I really am.
Embracing both good and bad is the best way for me to work towards thriving instead of surviving. I don’t expect life to be easy, that would be living in a lie. I know environments can be brutal and painful. I have my own experiences and I don’t deny them anymore. I know how others’ actions and words have affected me, both positive and negative. I will never know what they where really thinking, nor if it was really they and not their constructed they who where speaking or taking the actions. But knowing how it has affected me is one of the most powerful tools I have to act responsibly and in accordance with who I really am. I know what my moral values are.
We all have to live with our own choices and if there’s a choice we try to hide from, there’s a high probability that it wasn’t really our own choice. And it will surely haunt us until we take action and act responsibly. My constructed I acts for survival while my real I acts for thriving. It ain’t easy, but it surely gives me more pleasure and more personal growth than giving up on myself because of others’ actions and/or words.