Have you ever discovered a smeared hand print on a window pane and once you recognized it you thought you totally cleaned it? Time passes and you go back to the same window to look at your view, but can’t see clearly because there’s still residue left on the pane from a while back and it wasn’t fully removed. Now, there’s a hindrance in your view. You realized if you would’ve cleaned the window completely the first time, your vision would have been clearer now.
Sometimes we find ourselves in a challenging situation or facing an unforeseen circumstance in which we have no control. The aftermath is that the situation affects us and changes our entire perspective. It creates residue, which is defined as a substance that remains after majority of it is removed . It’s easy to think that the residue will magically disappear but that’s not realistic. It’s natural to begin acting out in other areas of our lives not understanding why we’re facing certain obstacles. We believe the situation isn’t altering our perspective of life yet it is and our vision is blurry. Ultimately, removing the residue is a true healing process.
In elementary school, I was picked on regularly for having a large forehead and even had a theme song created especially for me which was demoralizing. One of my best friends always came to my rescue and defended me when she was around and that made things better at times. This impacted me in more ways than a few. I felt completely rejected and ostracized. I couldn’t understand why I was being picked on. When I looked in the mirror I saw a girl that I believed was attractive yet others didn’t and that affected my self-esteem. This translated over into my adolescent years and adulthood. I barely dated but when I did the guys were complete jerks. I grew up feeling so rejected that I felt relieved being somewhat accepted even if the guy wasn’t a gentleman. After addressing the residue from being teased for many years, I have now faced my issues with rejection and developed expectations and standards for my future relationships. I refuse to allow my experiences to get the best of me and instead I use them as a way to help others. I have become passionate about bullying because I know first-hand what it feels like to get picked on and while working with my youth I go through great measures to stop it. I also took away a great quality from my best friend who constantly defended me. From her I learned to always fight for what’s right and protect the people you love. It has made my purpose in life even greater because I turned what was meant to emotionally destroy me as a way to become mentally strong.
Removing the residue isn’t saying that what happened is completely gone it’s the actions behind removing it, the process. You’re not alone, we all have residue. Below are some things I did to help remove mine and I believe they can help you as well:
- Mourn for what happened, it’s necessary to say goodbye to your residue.
- Focus on tomorrow versus yesterday. Looking back will keep you back.
- Try not to become your circumstances, learn from them.
- Be patient with yourself. Remember it’s a process not a race.
- Establish your self-worth. Put the power in your hands.
- Use your circumstances as ammunition to help others who are in the same position you once were. Refocus your energy.
- Fight daily against becoming bitter. Love conquers all and don’t spend your life standing in the storm, let it pass and dance in the rain.
- Don’t ignore your feelings, it’s ok to cry. There’s strength in tears.
- Look for reasons to smile. Happiness is surrounding you daily in the little things you regularly come across yet ignore but if you seek it, you will find it.
- Encourage yourself. No one can love you like you can love yourself.
- Don’t let what happened be in vain. Be empowered by it because you can develop incredible strength.
- Build a support system of people you love and lean on them to help get you through the rough patches.
So I ask, what’s your residue and do you plan on removing it?