When my girlfriend got hit with the first outbreak after about 9 months of going out, it was not good. We both got suspicious as all hell about the other. Trust went. We hung in for a long time after, but that was the end.
On countback and lots of embarrassing questioning of the previous partners, I found I had got it unwittingly from my previous partner, but had never showed any symptoms.
Yep, I got angry. So then both of us were angry, but at different people.
Then, I started having symptoms.
I can now connect being angry with getting symptoms (an outbreak). Symptoms, for me, also connect with high stress and also with fear. Cause and effect in symptoms is such that if I have an outbreak, I know I am angry or stressed, even if I’m too stressed to realise it! Fear fires it up too. Fear of the unknown, financial fears, fear of a new relationship, fear of loss of good in my life, fear of being alone forever.
It’s kind of easy to get caught up with anger.
It’s like by getting angry, we are blaming and in effect, punishing someone else. The only person who gets hurt by us being angry at someone, is ourselves. Anger sits on the same shelf as self-justification for our actions. Like the thief being angry at the Policeman for catching him.
YES, there are some people who have behaved badly, but getting angry at them won’t solve our problem. In my experience, getting angry makes my problems worse.
We may feel perfectly justified in getting angry, but it is actually disempowering, as we have then placed all responsibility for our problems in the hands of someone who we have already decided is an irresponsible shit. This is not a great strategy.
Imagine we are in a big busy pub and having a good time. We need to say a little prayer:
“….and forgive us our spillages, as we forgive those who spill against us”
Nobody ever really WANTS to spill their drink.
Nobody ever WANTS to catch Herpes.
We went into the pub.
We went into the relationship.
And now here we are.
Is it stupid to be forgiving? No, not at all, but forgiveness should not be just reserved for the other person. It is vastly more needed for ourselves.
We seem to be angry at ourselves because we didn’t know any better (and neither did the other person). I have no idea of the motivation behind the lady who gave it to me and I am not going to sit in judgement on her. How could I possibly know what was going on in her life?
But I didn’t check. We’re both in it. From stupidity and ignorance.
It’s really easy to externalise responsibility through anger and through that, shift the blame to another. But you need to forgive yourself first.
Then comes the issue that I think is just as big and even harder to deal with, and that is grief. Grief at loss of what was, of innocence, of ease, of comfort, of confidence, the list is long. . .
The trouble here is that to deal with grief means developing trust in someone who can work with you. But trust went out the window with the arrival of herpes and its too scared to come back! It makes us a bit lonely, as we shove people away if they get a bit too close.
Then our fears, fired by the deep memory of all we were ever taught and the opinions handed to us about morality and our right to a good life, get hold of us and inflame both anger and grief, and it’s a right little pickle we land in!
The fact that there are so many functional people on this site tells us that the pickle jar is not the end, but we do need to look fear straight in the eye. Like with a new person we are attracted to, we need to face our fears of rejection and not let our feelings of self-worth go down the drain.
We need to look after ourselves and en-’courage’ ourselves and each other. Courage comes from being able to reason our way along, rather than have our feelings bouncing us off the walls in a purely reactive manner.
Courage comes gradually and steadily and kind words are really good medicine. Jeannie has done a fabulous job of making information resources available so we can understand the practicalities. This site is healthy with useful tips, stories, anecdotes, advice and support.
Nobody said this was easy, but it is ‘do-able’. Self pity just comes from a sense of powerlessness. All of us have the power, the power of accurate thinking and the ability to recognise good and act on it. Work with that, no matter how small your grasp of it, it does work. The more it is used, the stronger you get.
So where or how do we start to find courage?
We have to confront ourselves and make a conscious choice.
Our ‘sense’ of good or our ‘sense’ of bad feeling is the choice.
Which do you want to live with?
The choice determines your attitude to your own life and to others.
By indulging the good feelings that come from a conscious recognition and celebration of good, such as honesty, of beauty, of kindness, of responsibility, of ambitions for a good life, we can displace the mental “sense” or feelings that are not good, such as the fears, anger and self-disrespect. This doesn’t mean ignore them, it means use good thinking to resolve them so you can see the good and discard the crap.
Life is like an apothecary’s balance. Every grain of good we add to our feeling, tilts life in our favour. If the bad things allowed in our feelings have caused the balance to tilt down hard the other way, then we need to stop adding grains of crap, but at the same time choose to add grains of good feeling and eventually tilt the balance the way we want. This means feeling it, not just thinking it.
What confuses most of us is that we see the cause-and-effect reversed and blame the effect for the cause. You are the cause for how you feel and you have the power and the ability to make the choice. You can ACT for yourself or remain powerless and in re-action to others and events. It may take a moment to see this, but we all have the ability to choose how to respond to a situation and this is our respond-ability, or responsibility to ourselves. We can respond with fear, anger and self-loathing, or we can respond with positive actions, honesty and kindness. We are in control, we are steering our own ship of state, I will not be a passenger on a ship of fools.
Self-determine your mental attitude to life.
Forgiveness of self gives us space to do this.
Love the good you do and that done by others.
Life is good. We owe it to ourselves to look for the good and value that, whilst cleaning out the crap we have been taught to believe. I have an announcement!
It’s mostly not true.
Take courage, gaarn, take another schooner full, and move on to forgiveness of self and active celebration of what IS good and true. The lights are still on, the music is still playing. Dance!
One things for sure, life will never be the same again. Thank heavens!