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This is the Only Person You Really Need to Listen To

the word change and a circular sentence that reads before i am not what i was before I became what

…if you listen to the sound of your own voice, you can rise above doubt and judgment.

~ Nancy Lopez

There are far too many “they”s in my life and they all love to give an opinion.

Today’s revelation? I don’t always need to listen to “them” and I don’t always need to take their advice.

I’ve thought long about accountability. About listening. About trusting others – or, about not. But what of addressing the art of being accountable to, listening to, and trusting … myself?


They say we learn more from our mistakes than our successes. What they don’t say is how often we rely on reliving those “glitches” in order to make better choices toward achieving those successes.

Furthermore, they don’t say how we are supposed to learn from our mistakes if they also tell us to “get over it” and “move on”.

Frankly, what I continue to learn is – as with most things in life – there is some sort of inexplicable balance not just to be had, but to be created and guarded. Individually. Not according to what they say, but according to what I know.

I have learned that I need to remember my mistakes, retrace my journey, relive my past, reinforce (often with the help of others “who knew me when”) why I made those choices, and then reexamine who I am today. Only then can I move on. Again. And again.

My example: It took me 20 years to walk away from a 20-year abusive relationship. 2-0. Twenty. And, on occasion, I need to go back in my mind. Why did I stay? What really happened? What helped me to finally leave?

And I look to my present and ask how can I be safe again? How can I trust? What have I learned? Have I learned enough?

I need to understand who I was, who I became along the way, and who I am now.

I need to understand what I was and why I was and I need to forgive myself, sometimes repeatedly.

Oddly and frustratingly, as I have discovered, this is not a one-step or twelve-step process. It appears to be life-long. And I’m learning to be okay with that.

Because it’s really not at all about what they say. Besides, they are not always right.

Nowadays, I don’t need to “go back” as often, but when I do, when I need to remind myself of where I am and who I am and why I am, it’s not about how the anonymousthey feel about how I am supposed to get on with life. It’s about being grateful for the people who support me and who remember with me and who reassure me.

It’s not about forgetting; it’s actually about never forgetting and making peace with that. It’s about the right to respect myself for all that I continue to learn along the way.

Mistakes. Discoveries. Successes.

No failures.

I’m good with that. It’s me. And that’s okay. No matter what they say.

 

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