Walking On The Pier To A Gorgeous Ocean

by Sherry Riter in Depression,Lessons of Life,Relationship,Self-Development  

It’s horrible – It’s great – It’s horrible – It’s great – It’s horrible – It’s great – It’s horrible – It’s great – It’s horrible – It’s great – It’s horrible.

I don’t know whether to end that string of sentences with the “great” or “horrible” one.

There are some people who think that it is “stupid” and “unnecessary,” but I know that there are MANY reasons therapy is necessary because sometimes it is the ONLY way to heal and to obtain support during the coping/healing process.

Therapy is the place I go to lay my soul out into the open and say, “This is who I am, where I’m at and how I’m suffering. Help me fix it and change!”

During therapy the other day I fell to pieces and cried in agony and pain. That may sound “dramatic,” but it was an agonizing dilemma within me because my intellect is not connecting to the emotionally wounded me. I have been so hurt, disillusioned and disappointed in many areas of my life. Sometimes my heart just aches and I wonder why I keep on trying. What keeps driving me to try over and over again even after heartache and failure. After holding my emotions in for many days, I walked in the therapist’s door and collapsed in tears.

Two hours later I felt completely exhausted. We didn’t solve world hunger or bring about world peace, but at least I have a better understanding of other people’s actions, why I feel/react in circumstances the way that I do, and a plan to navigate my emotions in a healthier manner. Desensitizing my body to the old memory will free me from the subconscious basis for all my choices, reactions, insecurities, feelings and failures.

sitting in sunny therapist office

Change And Love Are Choices

The work of changing one’s life and fixing one’s character weaknesses is hard. Change is not for wimps because it determines the direction one takes on the path of life. To make dramatic changes in life, you must be strong – strong enough to recognize the need to change – strong enough to verbalize the need to change – strong enough to make the change – strong enough to stick with the change.

We also have to allow other people to handle their own problems or not handle their own problems whichever the case may be. It often irritates me when someone says, “It’s THEIR life! It has nothing to do with YOU!”

Give me a break. (rolling my eyes)

The choices other people make DO affect the lives of those around them and especially people who love them. Saying otherwise means that you don’t want to think about how your choices affect the people around you because it might make you feel regretful, guilty, selfish or basically bad. Honoring the love we receive is our responsibility. I always think that a good check is to ask, “Am I treating those I love in a way that I want to be treated?” or “Am I treating the one I love in the same way I want someone to treat my son/daughter?” If you can’t wholeheartedly answer affirmatively, then you DO need to change and whack yourself up side the head because you are hurting people who love you! I think we all fall into this category to some extent or another.

When you matter, count, and are loved by someone, YOU WILL FEEL IT. The emotion of love can’t be faked for long. Real love is not only long suffering, but is obvious in words and deeds.

Let me repeat that for you again. Love is OBVIOUS in words and deeds.

Sometimes people love you, but you can’t feel it. Maybe they take you completely for granted. Maybe they love another person more than you and can’t let them go, so their love for you is diluted and can’t grow stronger. Maybe they don’t have time for you because they don’t want to make the sacrifice of their time. Maybe they love you selfishly for the things you do for them and they are unwilling to reciprocate. Maybe they love you with all they can, but it isn’t the same kind of love that you give or need. Maybe their love for you is weak and you are living in a fairy tale in your head. If truth be told, maybe they don’t love you at all. There are so many scenarios, but it all boils down to one thing….If a person loves you, they show it and live it. If you can’t see it because they don’t show it and live it, then it means the same to you as if they don’t feel it. That’s really the important thing…If someone loves you, it is THEIR responsibility to love you in a way that you can feel it.

Town of Kure Beach North Carolina - New Hanover County,Kure Beach, North Carolina – New Hanover County

Walk Out On The Pier

Often a relaxing holiday or vacation spent with family and friends, reminds you what life is all about and who is important. This has become even more abundantly clear to me since the near death experience with my daughter, the PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) that followed and the death of my father. All of those experiences taught me two vital lessons: LIFE IS SHORT and TIME SHOULDN’T BE WASTED.

Because of the dramatic lessons that those losses taught me, I am more affectionate than I’ve ever been in the past. I not only express my feelings of love in words, but I truly enjoy the connection while hugging as often as possible. I don’t see any reason not to be affectionate. Let me clarify…I don’t force my affections on anyone and it is easy to recognize when someone doesn’t want you to touch them. Besides, who wants to hug or kiss someone who doesn’t want it? However, after being ignored, neglected and/or mentally challenged for so long, it is wonderful to be healthy now and able to freely show my love for others when it is appropriate. I am working to have the attitude that is more along the lines if you don’t want my company, friendship, love and affection, someone else will appreciate and enjoy it.

I’ve also noticed that I love differently. I love more fully. What I mean is I love even if the love isn’t reciprocated. Knowing that the other person is unwilling or incapable of loving me back doesn’t immediately snuff out my emotions of love and caring. I don’t, however, want to give, give, give to someone who isn’t going to give anything back. I can still continue to love and care from afar.

I have to get to the point where I no longer feel the need to give everything I am or everything I own to someone who isn’t loving me back. This aspect of my character is definitely a flaw. I’m an over giver to people who don’t appreciate it. From experience, both my own and other people, once we get hurt enough, we will change, grow cold or hollow, let go and leave the relationship.

Loving differently has also given me a very clear understanding of my own needs, wants and desires in any and all kinds of relationships. I realize that in any given relationship, I can only control myself. With that being said, if the relationship isn’t healthy, mutually beneficial or is void of the appropriate amount of affection, then I always have the choice of ending it or withdrawing from constant communication with that person.

I’ve grown weary of begging for affection and/or attention from people that I have shown love and attention, but they do not want to reciprocate it equitably. Why should I beg for something that should come naturally if the person loves me? I’ll answer that – I shouldn’t ever have to beg to be loved back or be shown affection. The more I think about it, the more pathetic and distasteful it is that ANYONE would purposefully neglect or ignore me when we are supposedly in a loving friendship/relationship/marriage. Maybe they never loved me as much as they claimed and I just need to put them in my past or keep them at a distant going forward.

Is it always easy to let go of a relationship that isn’t working? No! Of course not, but sometimes it is necessary to either completely abandon the relationship or at least minimize contact with the person. Part of having a “great” friendship is that you share interests with the person. You’re able to share ideas and share mutually gratifying experiences. The same holds true for love relationships plus it is kicked up a notch because you also have common goals since eventually you will be heading for the dual wheelchairs together.

Being in a love relationship is like walking on the pier. You both want to make it to the end of the pier together when the sun sets, but there is a whole lot of distance and people between the beginning and ending of the pier. At any given time, something could happen…

    A big storm could come and wash one of you away. (catastrophic event)
    One of you could walk off with someone else on the pier. (fall out of love and/or cheat/divorce)
    A giant whale could crash into the pier and destroy most of the path forward. (lose sight of the goal and/or lose hope)
    You could get too sick to finish the journey to the end of the pier. (sickness/death)
    Maybe you get depressed because you stare into the ocean lapping around the pier too long and become fearful. (communication fails and you grow apart)

There are any number of things that can sabotage or lead to the ending of a relationship. That’s why it is so important to communicate your love for each other ALL THE TIME in AS MANY WAYS POSSIBLE.

carolina beach ncCarolina Beach, North Carolina

Love is a strong, powerful, soft emotion that can easily be wounded because it leaves us so vulnerable. It takes a lot to open up and reach out to share your love with someone. Being rejected and neglected can destroy a relationship. We should all strive to honor the love given to us because it is priceless.

Priceless like the feeling of peace that washes over you when you stand at the water’s edge on the beach while the sun sets quietly in the distant.

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This post was written by...

Sherry Riter, also known as The Redhead Riter. Sherry is witty, intelligent and addictive as she writes about cooking, family, marriage, failures, blogging tips, art, humor, inspiration, travel, PTSD and aging. Her goal is to inspire, motivate, educate and to make her audience laugh. Sherry embraces being a redhead and helps others to see the redhead point of view…"In some eras redheads were worshipped while others thought us witches. Personally, I like the former and think every day is 'Love a redhead day!'" She can also be found on Facebook, Google+, Pinterest, StumbleUpon, Linkedin, tweeting as @TheRedheadRiter and you can subscribe to her free blog feed.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Joan January 3, 2014 at 3:30 pm

This was a very heartfelt post. It is obvious that you are working very hard in your therapy to get to the point where you no longer feel the need to give everything you are or everything you own to someone who isn’t loving you back. You said, “I’m an over giver to people who don’t appreciate it.”

It is sad that some people choose to take advantage and use people who have a warm and giving heart, especially when that person loves them so deeply. Unfortunately, some people do take advantage of people who are givers and they rationalize it in their head to ease their conscious. The bottom line is that when someone is in an nonreciprocal relationship it is time to end that relationship and move on. Remember Maya Angelou’s quote, “Never make someone a priority when all you are to them is an option.”

2 Sherry Riter January 4, 2014 at 8:18 pm

Thanks Joan. {{{hugsss}}}

3 teresa vett January 6, 2014 at 1:49 pm

I love you, Joan loves you, Alyssa loves you and that is all you need! lol Well not really but it sounds good. Just be the salt of the earth Sherry not the sugar. I do not see The Lord leaping through hoops to please anyone of us ,lol. So know I am here

mom

4 Sherry Riter January 6, 2014 at 4:20 pm

:) I’m thankful you all love me. Thank you very much. I love y’all too.

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