On Character ; (or, I am A Character)

People seem not to see that their opinion of the world is also a confession of their character. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

I watched a documentary called “I AM” which beautifully illustrates the connective nature of all living things, and the power of our capacity as humans, to love, and affect change with that love, as well as what we bring to this world each day that we are alive.

In the film there was an unforgettable quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson that made me think to myself, Oh, I’m gonna go home and look that one up! It resonated.

I am grateful and feel blessed to understand the nature and benefit of forgiveness and mercy, often to the bewilderment of others. My desire to love from a genuine heart facilitates a need to accept responsibility for any behavior that causes pain or suffering in others, for in doing so I acknowledge that we are all worthy of love, regardless of fault. That said, I have learned the difference between being a doormat and setting boundaries.

It only took me half a century, but better late than never.

Age and wisdom have taught me to throw all of this love into the world, despite challenging circumstances, and know that it will be returned to me. Regardless of whatever hardships arise, (and like a tsunami, they inevitably do) I am grateful to find beauty in the mundane, the tragic, the ugly, the imperfect, that so many of us are blind to. While it has not been easy, it has been one of the most valuable survival tools.

I AM survival… You can just call me Val. 😁

I am proud that I stand up for what I believe in. I am fiercely protective of those I love. I would lay down my life to protect my child, but am acutely aware of the difference between protecting and enabling, having witnessed both used against me in favor of my abusers. I have resigned myself to the fact that this is a pattern I was raised with that is rooted in denial as a coping mechanism. This will never cease to be painful, but I do take comfort in knowing that I have ended the cycle and hopefully not too late for my own child and the life growing in her own womb.

I am full of imperfections from the inside out, most of which are my own insecurities related to a false sense of self that is not in alignment with what I know in the seat of my soul.

I often disappoint and irritate myself, but rather than stew in a vat of self – loathing, I appreciate and learn from all my perceived mistakes, instead knowing intrinsically that they are hidden opportunies for growth that many people never recognize.

In short, I am okay with my character and if anyone is not, that is their issue and not mine. I am still trying to learn how to not let it bother me. Re-wiring faulty brain circuitry is a long, arduous, non-linear, uphill battle. To lay down my sword means death, so I have learned that that is not an option for me. I know there is a sweet spot of balance within the extremes of pain and pleasure in my life and have made it my ultimate goal to get there.

The world as I see it is full of endless hopeful possibilities as far and wide as I can dream them. The more I allow myself to share my struggles with Complex PTSD while being ever-mindful of sharing the positive coping skills that enable me to thrive as I seek to be my most authentic self, the better able I am to inspire others.

P. S. My redneck, comedic alter-ego, Tammy Lee Beaver, would like to add that if you can’t say anything nice, just keep your mouth shut. Being the quintessential passive-aggressive type what that really means is that if you dare to engage in a bitch slap of a character assault on me, you better believe that you will be heaping all that negative, spiteful juju right back onto yourself, blessyerheart.

The birth of Tammy Lee

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