The process of changing is so long, and so fraught with difficulties, that it becomes hard to spot the positive things. All of a sudden you recognize that you are different, and that the hurt and discomfort has budged a little to allow for a settling in; a place for the change to take root and eventually grow into something beautiful.
I've made a lot of decisions in the last few months which have not been popular with many people in my life. It has been painful for me to make these changes, knowing that others will take offense or be hurt. It's never a comfortable or easy thing to wound someone else, no matter how valid the reason. It's tough all around. But for one of the first times in my life, I made the decisions that I felt were healthy and necessary for me.
Initially, it felt extremely selfish. Then that gave way to panic and fear that I was a bad person, and after a long time, those things faded away and left a reassurance in their place. A slow sense of peace and comfort has been coming to me, reminding me again that change is never easy, but when it takes you toward something stronger and better than you had before, you are on the right path, and the hurt won't last forever.
As humans, we are designed to feel strong emotions, but it's a relief to know that they don't always stay with us. They change, like the tides, bringing something hard on the heels of something wonderful, and vice versa. It's a process of ups and downs, joys and sorrows, hurts and healings. It never ends. I've learned that hurting others is never what I want to do, but sometimes it's a by-product of what I need to do to get better. I wish I could get through life and not wound anyone else, but the only way to do that is to wound myself, again and again, and I'm not wanting to walk that road again.
I know I am responsible for who I am, and what I do. This involves what I sometimes do to others. I'm sorry when others are hurt by anything I say or do. I used to protect myself in layers of blame and deflect any guilt from my own shoulders because it was too hard to face. Now I'm alright with taking on that responsibility, provided it's mine to own, and then I can apologize and not stay stuck at any point. I know I will fail, but I also know that I won't worry any longer about what I can't control.
This settling in is a welcome change from constant emotional upheaval. I'm embracing it with open arms. I think some of the changes have gone deep and become part of my character now, and it's not such a struggle to decide if I'm on the right track or not. I know I can't go back to the way I used to live. There is only forward for me now, and living in the light, as honestly as I can, and keeping my boundaries in place, for they protect me when I'm tempted to carry another's pain for them. Now I'm owning my own feelings and responsibilities, and that's enough weight for me to hold.