All our strengths point to our weaknesses (and vice versa).
All our bad experiences have good experiences inside of them somewhere.
There are no purely positive or purely negative experiences.
It’s all just different sides of the same coin.
Yesterday I had a gig in Fremont, CA, and I took the time to drive by my grandmothers old house in the Niles area of Fremont.
Many of us have had traumas of one sort or another that have shaped our personality. For me, my trauma can be described as ‘daddy issues’. No need to go into any details, it’s just the trauma that shaped me…for better or for worse.
I have always held this as a primarily negative thing, but driving by my grandmothers house in Fremont put a new spin on it. My grandmother passed away 25 years ago in 1989. I hadn’t been back to that house since then.
I pulled over for just a moment, but even for those few seconds I had this overwhelming feeling of positive energy, good memories…of love…and that didn’t fit at all with the trauma I associated with her son, my stepfather.
And, in a way, that makes total sense. Grandparents often love you in a way that your parents don’t. It makes all the sense in the world… but I’ve never held it that way, I never thought of it that way. It was all daddy trauma–I had my memories of her all lumped in with those bad memories.
And of course, it wasn’t all purely trauma. When I first met my grandmother, I had never met anyone quite like her. She was amazingly upbeat and positive, she was assertive, and she was the first woman I met who enjoyed sports (she was an A’s fan). I was like, “wow, are all Anglo grandma’s like THAT?”
She had any number of reasons to not appreciate me: illegitimate son, first Mexican in an Anglo family–this was the late 60’s–skinny, not athletic like her other grandkids, etc., I just generally didn’t fit in. But, she did appreciate me in her own way. And…she certainly loved me.
And I’m sure the reasons why I didn’t fit in did not escape her notice. But, I felt accepted and loved like anybody else in that family. In fact, I had my first moment of wanting to be a drummer at her house watching The Eagles on TV.
So, that trauma with my stepfather? It wasn’t all bad–I met my grandmother. So now, instead of feeling that it was 100% trauma, it’s maybe 70% trauma, 30% good. And let me tell you, that feels totally, TOTALLY different than the way I’ve held this experience all these years. Amazing, just one 10 min. detour, and 15 seconds in front of a house from my past.
Which is proof to me that there no purely bad events. There’s something positive in everything bad just as there’s something bad inside everything good.
It’s all just…life.
So what are you holding inside of you as a purely bad thing? Can you find something within that experience that is a positive? (Even if it’s no other reason than, “I know not to do THAT again”)