Before You Click "Undo," Read This.


In response to last week’s column about bullying, a lot of readers asked, “How would life be different without those negative experiences?”  It’s easy to think that if we could somehow eliminate those tough things, we might be happier or stronger today.

My mind started to repeat – not the “Jessica Alco-Hallock” and “Anorexic-girl” names – but the worst things I’ve ever experienced in my life.  You know, those heavy things you save for best friends and significant others.  What would my life be like without them?

Maybe I’d be a more lighthearted person and perhaps I would have been more comfortable being myself at an earlier age.  I could have been a better student.  Maybe I wouldn’t be claustrophobic and would like the color green instead of yellow.  Hmm…

It reminds me of the movie, The Butterfly Effect.  The tiniest of changes would shift life as I know it today.  No Mark, Wesley, Dixon, Dobby OR Figaro... and likely no HeyJess blog and none of you for that matter!  There's no way I would give any of this up. 

While I wouldn't go back and change things, I can focus on all the positive aspects from those experiences – being proud of myself for how I handled them, feeling stronger having worked through anything that left me incomplete, and being proud of how I saw opportunities to heal and sat front and center, ready to take on the healing.  I’ve been to Tony Robbins seminars, completed Landmark, done one-on-one counseling, and read many self-development books.  I’m always surprised that there’s a stigma attached to self-development and healing.  We go to the dentist to keep our teeth healthy and to the doctor to keep our body in good physical standing.  I practice self-development to take care of what I believe is the most important part of me – my mind.  I don’t often stop to think about what my life would have been like without my dark past because I actively use it to help me grow a richer and fuller life. 

From those dark experiences, I’ve learned the true meaning of forgiveness.  I’ve had the opportunity to communicate my feelings and speak up for myself again and again.  I’ve learned that the main impact of holding a grudge, is on the person who holds it and that life is too short.  I’ve learned that nothing solves a tough day like chocolate, kittens and wine.  (I’m kidding.  That was a recent Cards Against Humanity card I was dealt.)  And on that note, I’ve learned that humor can mend almost anything.

While it would be interesting to see what the alternate, totally unscarred, version of me looks like, I am happy with the current – has a little baggage and is working through it – me.

Thank you so much for your comments and shares on my blog post about bullying.  I love that we’re talking about something that can feel like a tough subject and bringing it to surface, so we can begin to appreciate and love ourselves for who we are today, scars and all.