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525,600 minutes

by Sheila L. Chingwa 4 months ago in Taboo
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How about love

I am here to admit that I am an over achiever. Here I am at 55 and I have to admit this and accept it. I have to admit that being an overachiever can be an addiction or co-dependent behavior. I look back over my life and I can see that overachieving is an addictive behavior to myself. I have always chosen difficult tasks and I would over work to achieve them. Here I am with many degrees, and I am proud that I achieved them, but they mean nothing but debt to me. They surely didn't bring me fulfillment. All they fill is a folder in the filing cabinet.

Over the last 11 years I have really worked hard on healing. I am the self-help guru in the family. Just tell me what you are dealing with and I can usually pull a book off the shelf to help you navigate through a recovery period. I really have done a lot of work on my well-being and self-worth. I really have worked hard to build a better me. Yet, one behavior seems to mutate into another and I would do the best I could to heal the issue and try to do better.

As I was entering into the next phase of my life, I felt secure in me to move forward. Then, I met someone that I couldn't get along with. Fighting and low-vibrational behavior hit me upside my head. Not to mention, another friend pointed out that I am manipulative. What was worse to me, I didn't have any resources in my brain to fix an manipulative conversation. I was in shock for days over the realization that I still have work to do. I hate to admit that I have been living in denial for the past two years.

Now, I have an important project that I am working on and I know it may cause and cultural uproar. My intention is right and it feels right so I am moving ahead in faith. I began to wonder, will I be healthy enough to trudge through the consequences that may come from that project. Considering the evidence I face today, I question if I am or not.

I do not like to fail myself. So, I asked the creator where to go from here. What do you need me to do so I can heal? You see, I am so tired of being resilient. I am so tired of working on healing. My soul needs rest and I wondered if I can ever get to that place of peace and health.

Many times in my life, I have asked the Creator that question, "What do I need to heal?" In a matter of a moment, a or day or two, I would know the answer. Many times a television program, such as SuperSoul Sunday would bring to light what the next step in healing would be. In submission, I would go to the bookstore and pick up the book and a blank journal and begin the hermit phase and face the issue head on. I never wavered. If I got stuck in my thought process, I sought professional help.

Once again, Oprah's SuperSoul Sunday brought me the answer I was seeking. I don't have cable but I do watch a lot of YouTube. I have been thankful that the program, SuperSoul Sunday can be found on the internet now. I have to admit, as I improved, watching the program would stroke my ego and I would pat myself on the back. Then, a moment later, I am being called out on my behavior. The other day I was hit over the head with my answer to the question I asked the Creator. As I watched Oprah's YouTube video on her book, I sat there, on the couch, totally stunned. An answer was being handed to me on a silver platter.

I did something different this time. I ordered the book and purchased the audio book. I didn't want to waste anymore time. Downloading the eBook was instance access and I could start listening to it right away. I decided that I would not waste any more of the 525,600 minutes of this year. I was starting the process of healing.

In 2020, Oprah's book, "What Happened to You?" was published. She and Bruce D. Perry co-authored the book together that opened my mind. The topic: Trauma, especially childhood trauma. I am a survivor of abuse, neglect, sexual abuse, bullying, abandonment and I could add a few other things to the list but I don't want to air all my laundry. The more I read, the more I added to the list. I began to think, "What didn't happen to me?"

The effects of childhood trauma has an impact on person and their brain. Trauma just isn't a clear cut. My experience affected me differently than my siblings. We were all broken in different ways. Upon reading the book, I have become to understand the impact that trauma has on the brain. If the trauma is not identified and healed, the individual builds coping skills. I am no stranger to coping skills that come from the repression of the trauma. Some of my coping skills include: addictive behavior, people pleasing, co-dependency are some of the things that are a result of trauma. There are so many things that can harm a developing brain. To be honest, I am overwhelmed but I will straighten it out and heal.

As I progress through the book, I have been grateful to look at the traumatic in a new way. To start, I have peace and know those things happened to me. I had now power over the traumatic events. I was exposed to them. Now, I have to fix them. What is the best thing of all, I have hope. I didn't do anything to deserve them. For now, I choose to overachieve on my own healing to stop my brain from pulling me into a life without a healthy brain.

I am not going into a confession of my past behaviors but I now have an understanding on what is going on with my brain. Thankfully, the book has indeed shown me that I have broken parts in my brain, but I can lesson the results of the reoccurrences and I can recognize them before they become an issue. I am no fool, I know that healing is an ongoing process and I will get better with healing my trauma as time goes on. I just will heal so I can have less low vibrational behaviors.

Being a people pleaser really is an issue. I am so busy loving others that I haven't loved me. I love to give. Seriously, with people pleasing, I sacrificed my health by pushing myself to the point of exhaustion. I find it amazing the things I did for the people I love at my own health risk.

Seeing that it is still January, I am choosing to make two resolutions for the first time in many years. I realized that I haven't been living, I have been surviving.

Resolution #1: I resolve to use my 525,600 minutes to love me and others around me by making sure I heal. Then I will get to measure the year in my children's and grandchildren's smile. I choose to measure my minutes with time spent and conversations with love ones. I choose to measure my minutes with adventure and possible travel. I choose to measure my minutes in research and writing. I need to be able to love no matter what challenges come along.

Now that is said, I will confess another thing. Other than the butterflies in the stomach, I have to admit I do not know what healthy love is. I really do not know how to clarify that statement. I feel love, I give love. I have trouble receiving love. Material things given to me doesn't say love to me. Gifts usually make me feel as if the individual is trying to buy me and my loyalty. How messed up in the head is that?

Let me see if I can help clear this up with a recent Christmas gift. I look over to the entertainment center and see an Xbox sitting on top of it. Expensive, Right? I was shocked. Loaded on it was the whole Harry Potter and Fantastic Beast movies. This was beyond amazing to me and I was so shocked and breathless at the gift. I have to learn to accept gifts as a form of love. I know they love me but I had it all twisted in my head that it was too much. Why wouldn't I deserve that gift of love? See, broken brain. I would have been happy with the CD's but they knew the gift would be something I would enjoy. They gave me a bit of love! So far, I have had many hours of enjoyment from the darn thing and each of those moments are a moment of love. Is it not? After all, if I didn't have the machine, would I have found Oprah's YouTube video about her book? They gave me another avenue to find joy in my world. Securing my happiness was their way of showing me love.

Resolution #2: Be open to the Universe and ask it to teach me how to be loved.

Universe, I would like to know what 500,000 minutes of love looks like. I know there must be contrast in life so I continue to grow and learn. But I deserve to be loved. Is asking for 500,000 minutes of love! Is that too much? I certainly would like to know. I am open to the experience. Partner or not, I want to know love on all levels. So, Universe, teach me how to be loved.

Healing causes a lot of triggers to show up in your world. I get to learn how to love and sooth myself through the process. I am looking forward to the self-care I so badly need to give myself. Yes, I have to work. Yes, I have to finish my project. Yes, I have to make time to heal. Yes, I have to watch my grandson but balancing all of this is a good use of all those minutes in the year. Healing and taking the time to heal is a blessing and a good way to spend the year. What I invest in me now is the greatest gift I can give myself and anyone in my life.


About the author

Sheila L. Chingwa

Welcome to my world.

Welcome to my thoughts.

I am proud to be a Native American Elder born and raised in Northern Michigan. Thanks to my hard work I have a B.A. in Education and a Masters in Administration and Supervision in Education.

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