So many times I have written about the wrongs that have been done to me by the hand or words of someone else. The pain cuts like the bitter cold wind on a blustery day until I feel it piercing through my skin to my very core. Sometimes I cannot let it go for it swirls around and around in my head until I am fixated. The obsession eases me into a great depression where I linger for days. There I stay, wallowing in my self-pity, for the pain weighs me down.
In my sick and twisted mind, by doing this I think I am facing my fears, facing my pain, facing my past. I am not. I am simply marinating in shame and hurtfulness that was created by someone else long ago. The key words to snap me out of this dangerous line of thinking should be “long ago” but often, that is what keeps me bogged down. People say I should let go of the past, as if it would just float away by and by like a feather plucked from a bird. But the past is still here, and I cling to it like a bug on a windshield of a speeding car.
Merriam-Webster defines the past as “gone by in time and no longer existing.” The events that created the pain are time-sensitive, but the pain is still here in the present. How does one put the past pain in its perspective as a bygone instead of a here and now? I tried the “letting it go” plan. It has not worked for me completely. It just puts it out of my mind for a bit. I still obsess to a degree with each and every day that takes me into the future. I feel the past is obligated to me, as though a debt is owed. For me, it is like going to a wedding and not getting a piece of cake.
The trouble with cake is, while it can be heavenly delicious, sometimes it looks better than it tastes. Many times, the fancier the cake, the less sweet it is. Fancy cakes are sometimes dry and stiff. We want ours light, fluffy, and sickly sweet. Isn’t that why we love cake? For the sugary sweetness? I imagine there were a number of people who looked at my life as one filled with a variety of fancy cakes: a virtual dessert tray it seems. But I know the truth about my cake. It was bitter, dry, stale and lack luster on the inside. I don’t really even care for the fanciest of cakes anyway. I know that just plain old chocolate home-made cake is better than anything else in the long run. It’s much less expensive. And I can make that all by myself.
“If you expect nothing from anybody, you’re never disappointed.”
So, I guess it’s not the pain from the abuse and neglect that fills me with sadness when I least expect it. It’s the lack of fulfillment of the expectation that I should have had a happy childhood that I grieve for at this point. Sylvia Plath once wrote, “If you expect nothing from anybody, you’re never disappointed.” Maybe that should be my mantra. For you see, I am working toward reversing the expectation down to just going to the wedding for the mere sake of celebrating someone else’s happiness. That alone should provide enough contentment for a lifetime. If I get a piece of cake, that’s great. If not, I can make my own. As a fan of both homemade and chocolate, I may like it better that way in the long run. Either way, it ceases the focus on a failed expectation and shifts my thinking toward the celebration. That way, I can have my cake, and eat it, too.