Our Greatest Teachers

I’ve had so many people hurt me, treat me in ways I didn’t deserve, taken advantage of me and use me for their own advantage. I’ve felt betrayed and deserted but mostly I’ve felt like I didn’t matter. I too have hurt others. I look back at some of the ways I treated people and know that as hard as it is to admit that I have been the cause of others peoples distress, it was all a part of my journey to get me to where I am now (that doesn’t mean I’m making excuses but rather I have forgiven myself, confronted that particular pain and am committed to moving forward). Now I can do better, now the last thing I want to do is hurt others, use them, betray them, push them down with negativity. I don’t need to do this because I have made peace with myself, I’m no longer hustling for my own worthiness, I no longer need to be right and I no longer need to prove myself. I’m here to lift others because I have lifted myself. I can so easily see that my bad behaviour was always a reaction to me not feeling good about myself.

When I started out on my spiritual journey of healing and coming back to consciousness (moving closer to God) I was bombarded with the overwhelming message that I needed to walk away from toxic people and situations. And I agreed – I let go of a lot of friendships because they were no longer in my best interests. They weren’t overly bad, there was nothing really shocking happening – they were probably the type of friendships that I suppose many people think are the norm. But they were based on doing things that were no longer serving me – drinking alcohol, gossiping, bitching, putting others down, judgement, relying on attention from men, and little white lies. I also had friendships where I felt I was being used- where it felt like I cared more about the other person than they cared for me. As much as it hurt letting go of these friendships (some that had spanned decades) especially because this was happening in the midst of my breakdown when I was extremely ill and extremely vulnerable (the time that you need your friends). I also knew deep within that it was the right time to let go in order for me to go on and heal in the way that I needed to heal.

But there were also many people in my life who even though they had hurt me and treated me in ways that I didn’t deserve, I still didn’t want to completely walk away from. I wanted more than anything to feel connected and loved and while it would have been so easy (and yes I contemplated it) to throw my hands up in the air and walk away and say see you later. I knew deep down that this was the opportunity to heal old family wounds. To forge a new way, to create something different. To forgive and  let go of the wounds and scars that had caused so much destruction. I was lucky that these people acknowledged and accepted their part in my downfall. There were no excuses, no trying to blame others, instead ownership and apologies. And that was deeply healing for me (& yes I acknowledge that this isn’t everyones reality). But it still took a lot of time, and to be honest for a long time I still struggled with frustration over how the people around me were choosing to live their lives. I would fall into judgement and wonder if I was the only person in the world willing to stand up and stay true to myself, to fight for the life that I knew I deserved.

But this is what I have come to know. You can’t walk away from everybody who doesn’t see life in the same way as you and who won’t live in the way that you expect them to live. No matter how much you try to surround yourself with positive energy and people there will ALWAYS be others who can bring you down. People at work, family, ex partners, even people in the supermarket or at a restaurant all have the ability to steal you of your energy. It doesn’t matter how much you protect yourself. You can’t eliminate everyone in your life who no longer aligns with your new found beliefs. You’d be sitting in a room by yourself trying to protect your energy instead of living the life of your dreams and focusing on the only thing that matters- feeling good.

The only thing that I could do was strengthen myself, I had to build myself up and find so much love within myself that I had no other option then to give everyone else love as well- especially those that continued to treat me badly. Other people’s actions no longer destroy me in the way they once did, other people are not responsible for how good or how bad I feel- I am the only one responsible for how I feel. Now I know when the behaviour of others upsets me it means that something within me needs to be healed. Its an invitation to go deeper within, to heal myself in every possible way. Last week I was treated poorly by somebody who has treated me this way for a very long time. But instead of reacting, instead of tearing this person down and falling into old ways of blaming and fighting I was able to instead see this person as somebody who was living in fear, somebody who was hurting, somebody who was teaching me and strengthening my resolve to be the person I knew I wanted to be. It changed everything and while I was still deeply upset and hurt ( I will never deny my feelings) I was able to feel these emotions and support myself through it instead of falling into an absolute heap and acting out in ways that no longer serve me. I chose to look through the lens of love and I’m proud of myself for doing that.

My way forward is love, acceptance and compassion. I see everyone through the lens of love-  knowing that we are not seperate but instead remembering that we are one with the Universe. I know that everybody who comes to us in our life was sent for a particular purpose. The people that have hurt me the most have been my greatest teachers- they have shaped me and moulded me into this person I now am and for that I am grateful. They continue to be my motivation to stay close to God, close to myself, they act as a reminder that we all have our own internal struggles and pain and that we are all here to heal these wounds. I know that my way is not the right way for everyone, that everyone has the choice to live their life as they please and for me to stay trapped in judgement and expectation or to disconnect myself from family and people that I love is only keeping me trapped within myself, it is only causing disconnection when all I want to do is move in closer. But I’ve also noticed something else – when I act in the way that feels right for me- whether that means talking about staying true to myself or seeing the good in others it rubs off on the people around me and I am reminded it is not my words that teach but rather my actions.





Kylie West

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