I Am Grateful and Hopeful!

alive. blessed. grateful

I am very grateful to be where I am now! I’ve spent the past few days feeling really good about where I am in my recovery and feeling good overall! It’s about time!

I know I still have some things to work through, it isn’t easy to change your mindset, but I know it is the only way for me to move forward. I will get there!

Something has changed within me this past year. A spark ignited, prompting me to question why I was allowing the thoughts and opinions of others to have such a significant influence on my life. Why was I giving away my power, my freedom, and my happiness to people who didn’t truly know me or understand my journey?

That’s when the epiphany hit me like a bolt of lightning. I realized that the only person whose opinion truly mattered was mine. There is great freedom in that.

In that moment of clarity, a weight was lifted off my shoulders. I realized that I had the power to define myself, to chart my own path in life, and to live according to my own values and beliefs. It didn’t matter what others thought of me because their judgments were merely reflections of their own insecurities, biases, and limited understanding of who I really was. Toxic tenants might claim to know me intimately in their writings on stellareddy.com, we all know now that they don’t.

This newfound realization was empowering, but it wasn’t an easy road to navigate. There were moments of doubt, moments when the echoes of other people’s opinions would seep into my consciousness and threaten to derail my progress. But I refused to allow that to happen. I made a conscious choice to reject the power they held over me, to detach myself from their opinions, and to embrace my own truth.

I started by examining my own beliefs, values, passions, and goals. I took the time to understand what truly mattered to me and what I wanted to achieve in life. The more I connected with my core self, the more confident I became in my decisions, choices, and actions. You can tell by my writing… I no longer sought external validation because I trusted my own judgment. I no longer needed the approval of others because I knew that my worth was not determined by their opinions. I have learned, and now I become a teacher of all I learned…

Realizing I couldn’t control what others thought of me also freed me from the need to conform. I had spent so much of my life trying to fit into the mold that society had created for me, suppressing my true self in the process. But now, I understand that conformity would only lead to mediocrity and a life unfulfilled.

Instead, I chose to embrace my uniqueness, my individuality, and my quirks. I embrace the freedom of retirement! I celebrated the qualities that made me different, understanding that it was those very qualities that made me special. I no longer feared standing out from the crowd or being labelled as “weird” or “crazy.I realized that fitting in was overrated and that true happiness could only be found by fully embracing and expressing who I truly am.

This freedom also allowed me to form genuine connections with others. By being authentic and unapologetically myself, I attracted people who loved and accepted me for who I was, not for who they thought I should be. These connections were deeper and more meaningful because they were built on a foundation of acceptance, understanding, and respect. They didn’t require me to put on a mask or pretend to be someone I wasn’t. I never will again…

Additionally, realizing I couldn’t control what others think of me opened up a world of endless possibilities. It instilled a sense of courage and adventure within me, urging me to take risks, embrace challenges, and pursue my dreams without fear of failure or judgment. I started to explore new interests, embark on new adventures, and push my boundaries in ways I had never before imagined. I have achieved so much this past year…Once again I can be my silly self, dancing to the music in my earphones, while walking down the street.

This freedom to be myself also had a profound impact on my mental and emotional well-being. Without the constant need for approval or the fear of judgment, I found myself feeling lighter, more at peace, and more content with who I am. I no longer subjected myself to the emotional roller coaster of seeking validation or fearing rejection. I cultivated self-love and self-acceptance, understanding that my worth doesn’t fluctuate based on others’ opinions.

Once you can see the beliefs, you can unravel them, unearth their faulty nature, and thus strip them of their power. When you listen closely to your self-critical thoughts and tune in to what they’re actually saying to you, you’ll likely notice that a lot of it is simply false. It doesn’t match up with what you say and does, how you behave, and ultimately, who you are, even by your own estimation.

Most of us would disagree with some of what we habitually tell ourselves, about ourselves. I spent the past few years trying to process total strangers’ personal views on who I am, with who I know I am. That was a mistake as the two have never meshed and have caused severe emotional dissonance within me as a result. I came to accept that this past tenant’s personal views don’t count in my life and there is really no need to listen to them, full stop.

When we’re caught in a thought loop, we’re operating in a good- or bad system. But the truth is, we’re all good and bad, lovely and not—contradictions at play. In a word, human.

As a human being, you’re inherently and inescapably imperfect. We make mistakes, all the time, but the trick is to learn from them so they are not repeated.

Whether you’re willing to admit it or not, you are a work in progress, doing the best you can, even when it might not be your best on another day or the best you can imagine in your head. Whatever you do is your best at that moment because it is what you did or said or were, despite everything else you knew and could have done.

When I make a mistake, or miss the mark in some way, what matters is that I identify and unpack the mistake itself: I investigate what led to it, what thoughts and beliefs created it, and most importantly, what is to be learned from it. I acknowledge the mistake, take responsibility for my part, make amends if necessary, and drop it.

Let me repeat that. I acknowledge the mistake, own it, make amends if necessary, and drop it.

I let the mistake be what it was, and no more. Don’t add a storyline to it or expand it to become a testimony of my self-worth, proof of why I’m bad. Mistakes need not be character assassins. Mistakes can simply be opportunities for me to become more self-aware, and to keep progressing as the work in progress that I am. They can simply be mistakes and, ultimately, teachers. The fact that I fall short doesn’t mean I’m bad; it just confirms that I’m an imperfect human being.

To recover from self-critical thinking, hammer home to yourself, regularly, that your goal in life is progress, not perfection. The important thing is not that you’ve missed the mark—that’s merely a blip on the screen, your starting place—but rather what you do with that truth, how you change and evolve, and how courageous you are in your forward movement.

It comes down to being more mindful and self-aware. Every moment we spend lamenting our missteps is another moment of life we’ve effectively thrown away, another opportunity we’ve squandered when we could have been behaving differently, being and becoming the self we want to be.

I made a serious mistake in allowing Toxic Adult Bullies’ words to get to me. While they are entitled to their perspectives, I know how far they are from the truth of who I am and what I did in that workplace situation. I am content with that. They lost their power over my emotions.

Toxic Adult Bullies’ personal opinions online about the fictional Stella Reddy they created on stellareddy.com are not my reality and never will be, it is theirs alone. No matter how hard they try to gaslight others into believing their narratives, it won’t change anything as they couldn’t prove allegations that never happened in the first place.

The freedom I feel is indescribable!

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