So, if you’ve been following along you know that when reminded of the reality that we attract people into our lives who are a direct reflection of what is going on inside of us (and I tend to attract people who can’t or won’t be involved in my life in the way I want them to… aka they “leave” me) I recently figured out that I “leave” myself (or you can call it abandon if you’re into those kinds of dramatics like I am).
This left me with a big question… how do I stop leaving myself?
I was intent on learning the answer to that question as soon as I asked it. Turns out, I had more to learn about how exactly I do the leaving before an answer (or answers) could be revealed.
Last weekend I had an eye opening experience involving Del Taco and the season finale of Grey’s Anatomy. Around noon one day I was suddenly ravenous… and Del Taco was the only thing that could satiate my hunger (clue number one that I’m dealing with “hunger” and not hunger: there’s a specific target in mind). I ordered enough food for at least three adults, sat on my bed with the iPad and the ABC app tuned to the Grey’s Anatomy season finale, and ate… and ate… and ate… And when the show prompted my own emotions to bubble up I felt tears coming. And I also noticed that the tears would instantly retreat every time I took a bite. And I knew that a solid cry would be VERY therapeutic… but the quesadilla was right there, and so instead I ate. There was no crying, and there was no pain. I was comfortably full and comfortably distant from my feelings.
Then I fell asleep, and when I woke up I was lost. I was no longer comfortably distant from my feelings… I had smothered my feelings so thoroughly with cheese that I couldn’t find them anywhere… I couldn’t find myself anywhere. I felt completely alone. I couldn’t get to that still, small voice inside. And it was all very clear. I had “left” myself. I had eaten myself numb to the point where I couldn’t even access myself.
and then I forgave myself for it. (it’s amazing what a little forgiveness will do).
This weekend, when I sat down to watch So You Think You Can Dance with a Wheat Free Waffle slathered in peanut butter I started to notice tears coming up again… and this time I put the waffle down. And I sobbed. And it was awesome.
(here’s what did it, maybe you could use a good cry too?)
and then I finished the waffle. And there I was. The tears, the snot, the relief of the discharge of a healthy cry, the full (but not overly) stomach, the body, the feelings, the thoughts…
Since first discovering the “how do I stop leaving myself?” question I have learned more than I ever thought I would about how many ways I do the leaving. There’s the food, the anxiety, the worry, the fear, the perseverating, the obsessing… so many ways. But if the question is “how do I stop leaving myself?” the answer is to stop doing these things. And I know enough about human behavior to know that it’s much easier for us to add things to our lives rather than remove them (we add what sounds appealing to add and then the things that need to be “removed” can fade gracefully away)…
I also know that the brain doesn’t understand negatives. Just like a child, the brain doesn’t hear the “no” or the “stop.” The brain only hears and only processes the action word in the sentence. It hears leave and it will continue to leave. It can only follow instructions in which we tell it WHAT to do, not WHAT NOT to do.
So now the question has changed: “how can I stay with myself?”
And you know what I think the answer might be? I think it might be silliness… or play… or silliness and play. Maybe it sounds simple to you, but it’s something I’ve avoided for a long time. It’s something that makes me cringe to think about and I have a lot of resistance to. It’s something that sets off all my alarms and pushes all of my buttons. It’s something I didn’t even consider involving in this FULLfillment Project (to be reevaluated). And all of those reactions are exactly what tell me that it’s likely the answer.
More on this to come…
so, here’s a closing question that occurred to me today: if the people we attract are a direct reflection of what’s going on inside us, what am I reflecting about the inner workings of the people whose lives I enter…
that they are fucking amazing?
Must be. I can’t really think of an alternative.