I fundamentally believe that we create our own reality with the thoughts that we think and the things we believe, which is why I struggled so much with the fact that I had drawn such a cruel neighbour into my immediate experience.
I think that every person, thing and situation we face, reflects some aspect of ourselves, good or "bad" (there's no such thing as bad; just something we've yet to understand or heal) so my neighbour's presence really, REALLY made me feel like I was off track in my life.
But everything is a mirror and if we take the time to look within, we can learn so much about who we are through noticing what bothers us most about others.
So today, on the eve of what I hope will be the very last of my teacher next door (fingers crossed), I want to share what I've come to know through this whole ordeal.
Paige and Melanie can both attest to the fact that for about a year and a half, I believed I attracted this cruel neighbour into my world because I was such a horrible person and was getting what I deserved. In my mind, he was proof of how much I sucked. His painful words and actions so easily fed my insecurities and low sense of self-worth that I rarely mentioned what was going on publicly because I actually felt ashamed to be so close to something so toxic. I believed it would be as apparent to everyone as it was to me that I deserved this hell to be happening for all the ways I was shitty as a person.
Over time (and most recently) I have talked quite openly about this situation; mainly for the support, but also because I have a new perspective now: I was wrong.
He wasn't mirroring what a shitty person I am; he was mirroring the way I treated myself on the regular. I was just as cruel to myself as he was to those around him and as Melanie said the other day, "I think he has been your greatest teacher in self-love."
I'd like to think of it that way. That all this frustration and hell was not in vain. That there was a valuable lesson to be learned though it all. That this wasn't proof that I was horrible. It was merely my flawed belief about myself that he mirrored perfectly.
Gratefully and over time, my self-hate began to diminish and my self-love grew. And then it grew some more. And now a lot of my thoughts about myself are lovely ones. Not all, no. But more than ever before.
I'd like to take the fact that he is on his way out as an indicator that I have succeeded in finding what is good and beautiful inside of myself. That maybe I graduated from this "class" now that I am no longer abusing myself inwardly like I used to back when I believed I was ugly and fat and evil and worthless.
I suppose if my next neighbour is another horror story, I've missed the mark completely, but I do hope to attract a wonderful neighbour since I'm now finally being a wonderful neighbour to myself. (November 2014 spoiler alert: my new neighbour is wonderful and has been since the month she moved in!)
I used to be hell to live with. I couldn't stand myself. It was rarely fun living inside my own head and a lot of people who struggle with low self-worth and/or depression will know what I mean. It can be so painful to live day in and day out with the devil, and by devil I mean all the lies we've come to believe about who we are, all of which make us feel like the shittiest person on the planet. I get it. I've lived with it most of my life.
But I'm happy to say that my willingness and ability to be kind to myself has increased exponentially and in the past few months especially. I'm truly starting to believe such good things about who I am. It feels good to feel good and it feels wonderful to be free of my heavy and negative inner dialogue more and more as time goes on. And it's nice to know that I don't actually suck and I never did suck and I never will suck.
I'm pretty darn awesome and so are you.
So here's to believing new things, to changing old patterns, to releasing what no longer serves, and to standing in the truth of who you really are.
The view is so great from a heart filled with love.
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