My ghosts are still around, but thankfully not as prevalent as they once were. Even when my past is conjured up, I don’t get stuck there for long periods of time as I once did. The echoes of my past mostly sleep until something bushes up against my recall. Like last night…
My best bud M. and I attended a concert last night to see Motley Crue and Kiss. While not a big fan of either, I do enjoy performance art and was not disappointed. Early on came my notice that two rows in front of me was a woman who looked like a girl whose heart I broke badly over thirty years ago. She didn’t “kinda” resemble the one I hurt; she was the spitting image of her when she was 20 years old! I looked again and again at the woman/girl from different angles and my impression was always the same. She looked just like Anna! While some regret will always remain, the realization came that I had reached peace within for the injury I caused her. A while back I wrote here about what I did: https://goodmorninggratitude.com/2011/08/17/apology-to-anna/
Later between bands at the concert, I glanced around and coming up the stairs ten feet away from me was a woman who strongly resembled another whose heart got broken from being involved with me. Although we had some great times, R. and I were not good for each other from the very beginning. We were both drowning in our own issues while trying to hold on to the other to keep from sinking. The face and body shape of the woman on the stairs was a reminder that threw me back into my regret for how things turned out. She won’t even speak to me today. Still working on forgiving myself for that one, but found the memory last evening came with more serenity than before. That’s progress.
The third memorable sight from the concert last night was a man and woman across the aisle from where I was seated. At first they seemed to be having a good time. With her back to his front they were looking at the stage while dancing with the music and smiling ear to ear. A short while later I glanced over as he began to overtly grope her. First he was grabbing her breasts. She repeatedly swatted his hand away and smiled nervously. Soon after he began shoving his hand between her jean covered legs. She squirmed and pushed him away with a look somewhere between fear and disgust on her face. Trying not to stare, the next time I looked up he was gone and she was sitting down looking sad and disappointed. The fun was over for her. She just stared at the stage lost in thought from then on and left early with the female friend she was sitting with.
I was angry with the guy for his complete lack of respect for the woman and felt sorry for her. Then I tied it all together; the earlier reminders of the two women I had hurt along with what I had just witnessed across the aisle. While I never disrespected the two I hurt in the way the groping man did her, some of my behavior was just was contemptuous in its own way.
All in all I did not end up lost in remorse last night. Rather, I was simply reminded of what I have done and of what not to do. My reactions show me I have come far. My deeds can’t be undone, but they are no longer transgressions I can’t think about without getting distressed. There is a sort of melancholy peace within that allows me to learn from my past.
A reminder I am left with today is to always show respect for a woman. Whether others see what I do does not matter! How I treat a woman states loudly and boldly how I feel about myself. I am grateful to know at my core is finally the “white knight”, the “boy scout” or the “good guy” I always knew I could be.
Don’t rely on someone else for your happiness and self-worth.
Only you can be responsible for that.
If you can’t love and respect yourself –
no one else will be able to make that happen.
Accept who you are – completely; the good and the bad
and make changes as YOU see fit –
not because you think someone else wants you to be different.