alive. blessed. grateful

Today is May 18, 2021, and I am feeling very hopeful for my future!

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! About time!

I know I still have a lot to work through, it isn’t easy to change your outlook on situations, but I know it is the only way for me to move forward.

I do still find myself stuck in my head with all the negative thoughts but it is getting easier to check myself and get out of it than it ever was before. The past is done and gone.

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. The two have never meshed and have caused severe emotional dissonance within me as a result. Time to accept that this stranger’s personal views don’t count in my life and there is really no need to listen to them anymore. I know who I am.

If you think that everything your critical and judging inner voice says is absolutely true and irrefutable, then inquire as to whether anything else is also true. I was told so often that I was racist and a bigot and the words got stuck in my head.

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.

So expand your vision to include more of yourself, a more realistic and forgiving view—the whole picture, not just one tiny piece or moment of it. You can, essentially, pull the lens out and away from where you’re fixated. As Toxic Adult Bullies has fixated on what happened at the LTB Hearing I know that was a human response to hearing details you never heard before and thought it wasn’t a good reaction, I know what it is and now can let it go. I am not who I was at that moment in time…

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.

Even if you were aware of another choice, a better choice, or if deep down you knew it was a bad choice, you chose what you chose. This confirms, without exception, that you were not ready or able to make that other, wiser-known choice. You didn’t have it in your wheelhouse just yet. I was in shock.

My best is not what I think or know is best, but what I have the ability and power to carry out. My best in any moment is determined by what I actually do—not what I know or think. As a flawed creature, I sometimes act in ways that don’t represent who I want to be and can be.

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 imperfect. Even though there’s no other way I can be, I still refuse to forgive myself for my basic nature.

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 in a different way, being and becoming the self we want to be.

I made a serious mistake in allowing Toxic Adult Bullies’ words to get to me. I see myself now for who I am and accept what I have done.

What are we trying to accomplish with all this self-inflicted suffering we put ourselves through? Is there a positive intention anywhere in this painful process? Yes. Obsessively rehashing this smear campaign is a primitive and flawed attempt to make myself feel better.

In relentlessly thinking and talking about who and what I didn’t like, I was trying to understand what happened and get it into a narrative that felt manageable. Through my replays, I was trying to transform a negative situation into something acceptable, trying to get okay with what doesn’t feel okay.

Our complaining thoughts are simultaneously an attempt to empower me. I felt aggrieved, mistreated, or bad, and so I puff up my chest with my righteous indignation and chime on about how wrong I’d been treated. It’s a way of proving to myself and whoever will listen that I’m deserving of better treatment.

I matter and should not be treated this way. I keep thinking about it until I prove it to myself, which sometimes never happens. When I’m feeling small and life feels unfair, I focus on who’s to blame—how I’m right and they’re wrong—all in an attempt to feel less victimized, bigger, and better. It truly didn’t make a difference and never will. Nothing will change the actions of another against you.

Ruminating about what’s causing my unhappiness is an attempt to contain and compartmentalize what hurts. If I can get the right conceptual packaging around my hurt and anger, I’ll be able to get it into a tidy box, put it on the shelf—and keep it there. If I can understand and explain what’s making me feel bad and why the hope is it might not feel so bad. I was living a nightmare of words, going round and round in my head about how bad I am.

When I’m busy griping to myself, I believe that somewhere in this rabbit hole of complaints, maybe way down at the bottom of it, I’ll find the relief I desperately crave. But, the more I scratch, the itchier (and bloodier) it gets. The deeper down the rabbit hole I plunge, searching for relief, the farther away I get from it. It just got worse…

Is it true that I feel more validated as a result of thinking about what hurts? Is it true that I feel more empowered from thinking about what’s unfair? Does thinking about my discontent free me from my discontent? Do my angry thoughts transform my anger into something more peaceful? No… Nothing in the world will ever change what has already been done.

Toxic Adult Bullies’ personal opinions online about Stella Reddy are not my reality and never will be, no matter how hard they try. No matter how hard they try to gaslight you into believing their narratives, it won’t change the decisions already released and there are no more legal options left for them. Nothing in the world will ever change the fact that it happened or how it happened.

No amount of writing about how someone did you wrong will change the outcome. Remuneration on how it turned out doesn’t solve anything either nor will it ever change anything. It is what it is.

“So with that said, Happy Anniversary, Stella Reddy; we have many, many more years together in this journey to expose your racist behavior to as many individuals as we can. Because remember, racist people like you need to be “called out.””

This story is old, nothing will ever change it no matter how many sites Toxic Adult Bullies make where he complains about being “targeted” and so many being in “cahoots” against him. The more Toxic Adult Bullies writes the more I see the lies within his writings and so will everyone else.

I no longer need to read Toxic Adult Bullies’ opinions written online as they are no longer pertinent to my life and how I live it. It is history and remunerating on it won’t change any outcomes either. It is finally over for me and the freedom I feel from it is indescribable!