I was really mean to myself this morning… really mean. Not the obvious kind. No name calling or shouting or any of that nonsense. The real kind, where you know someone well enough and can see what would cut them to the core and say or do that.
but… to myself… eew.
It feels gross to remember it. Even now I’m grimacing.
The good: The self-harm came after digging deeper (than I’ve been before) into my own “stuff” to identify something that’s been nagging at me but I couldn’t define before (and there’s liberation in that). The self-harm didn’t include any food, alcohol, drugs (not even caffeine… seriously), etc. The self-harm wasn’t accompanied by any anxiety… and it didn’t last long.
The bad: I said and (even more specifically) BELIEVED some unkind things about myself… and in the moment it made perfect sense to. Once again I denied myself the compassion I would be first to stand in line to give to someone else (damn).
Last night I had a ton on my mind and I decided I was going to write it out… journal… do the morning pages dance at night… and, well, it worked.
Turns out the nagging feeling has been a fear of inadequacy. I didn’t know that until now (then). I had felt jealous and competitive a lot lately and I knew it was super misplaced, but hadn’t spent enough time with it to find out what was underneath.
Three pages into my brain dump last night I found out that because this is the first time I’m actually living as my best self (putting myself in situations that require me to remain authentic and vulnerable, surrounding myself with people who not only can but will perform at their best too, being present enough to be all too aware about how much I am directly responsible for how this life will turn out) I have no idea how to do it (and there is no instruction manual)!
Specifically regarding the fact that until now I had chosen to form primary/partner relationships with people who either couldn’t or wouldn’t take the risk to seek and stay on the straightest path to their destiny… I decided that I must have been choosing that so instead of actually being my best self I could just be the “best”–no contest. I’ve joked (with a lot of truth in the joke) that “I’m not competitive, I just like being the best.”
And I slept on that (me choosing situations where I could be the “best” and not have to work for it), and I carried that around with me this morning, and I thought of myself as a person who only knows how to feel accomplished by judging the choices of others and how they live their lives as less than my own, therefore making them “small” and me the “best.” And I felt really shitty about being that person, and that helped me get in touch with all of the other parts of me there are to feel shitty about…
|unabashedly in touch with his darkness.|
I haven’t done a lot of “shadow” work. I know it’s important to acknowledge our darkness in contrast to our light and integrate the two as a means of fully realizing ourselves and work through the intended lessons in this lifetime… and I started thinking lately about how I’d like to get some guidance about how to pursue that (see, that’s how this shit happens… think about it–it happens. being powerful can be a real pain in the ass sometimes). I haven’t sought the guidance yet, but the opportunity to try it out presented itself this morning. And I’m not sure how to do shadow work, but I’m pretty confident it’s not by judging, criticizing, attacking, and denying the shadow-self compassion… I’m going to take a wild guess and assume that after acknowledging the darkness (in this case, the recurring poor choice that didn’t serve me) finding compassion for the person who made the choice is where the integration begins.
I couldn’t do it for myself this morning. I was stuck in the muck of meanness, but luckily for me I have great friends who can be great coaches and guides when I let them… so Angry Wombat helped me find compassion for the woman who made those choices. It was still all about being “perfect” to be “loved.” Being the “best” performer in the relationship wasn’t about making someone else smaller, it was about ensuring that I would be indispensable. It was all another act in the play of perfection as a safety net. Since I already “know” that I don’t have to be perfect to be loved, I can reasonably deduce that I don’t have to be the “best” either.
Growth happens in relationship… and until now the primary relationships I’ve chosen have certainly led to growth in their ending and the resulting recovery from said ending (and the relationship itself), but were far more about safety and security in their existence than any attempt to evolve into the next best version of myself. <--damn. Now, I’m choosing relationships and situations for myself in which growth is essential for survival. Perfection Performance is sure death. Authenticity, introspection, thoughtfulness, vulnerability, bravery are required. I guess if I’m going to choose to do something I’ve never done, it’s a good thing I’ve developed some of the requisite skills. Eek!