Lesson #1: Be careful what you wish for.

Oy!  Does anyone really still need to learn that one?  Apparently me…

In case you missed it… Last week in a flurry of recovery from pretty stanky intense negative emotional experiences I did some yoga, cried A. LOT., had an idea, brought it here to the blog, and voila was smack dab in the middle of another blog project.

The theme: Life is for learning aka #justlessons (which by the way is something that a bunch of young folks tweet about all the time when breaking up with their boyfriend/girlfriend and expressed their lack of regrets.  Oy! x2)

For all intents and purposes I put out a big request for lessons…  Now, what I meant was that I wanted to start seeing life experiences as such again. I wanted every day to be rich with gratitude for opportunities to see myself, others, and more of myself in others in a clear, helpful way.  I was going to write every stinkin’ day.  I was going to write beautiful stories of seeing my daily happenings through the lens of learning about life and share them with you (at least some–the others I would save for the book that I’d publish later, at the height of my popularity) through charming anecdotes.

But, apparently I wasn’t clear… because instead of life experienced as lessons what came was an abundance of information about the shit I need to work on.  And it keeps coming!  And it comes with little or none of whatever is needed to work on it in a way that feels like a lesson instead of a punishment for being less than some more desirable status.  Urgh.

So, I waited.  And I didn’t write.  And I stopped taking notes.  And I started feeling even worse. The wisdom never came.  Shit just kept piling on and I was feeling swallowed by it rather than enlightened.  And I was aware that I could be learning things, but they weren’t the things (and I wasn’t learning them the way) I wanted and they weren’t coming in the pretty packages I expected.

Things like:

  • When you flippantly ask for lessons and you are in any way in tune with your own power you’re basically asking for a truck load of information about your weakest spots to be dumped in front of your door–without a shovel (you have to ask for the shovel too).  aka “Be careful what you wish for.”
  • You don’t really WANT to learn anything right now… if you did, you would have been doing it.  You don’t need a blog project for that.  In fact, designing one to try and force yourself into that space is probably not the most self compassionate route, dear one.

And I started to compile a mental list of my biggest/most present weak spots (again, without any insight into what to do about it) and how they’re showing up in my life:

  1. I care WAY too much what other people think of me.  I am terrified of their judgment, disapproval, disappointing them, etc., etc., etc.  Essentially, I think I need to be perfect.
  2. see above, and it stops me from saying what I think
  3. see #1, and it shuts me down and prevents me from being authentic in situations where people have made assumptions about me that aren’t true
  4. see #1, and it results in me emotionally clobbering myself for making tiny mistakes/missteps
  5. see #1, and it keeps me from connecting with people
  6. see #1, and it keeps me from feeling safe about getting excited about anything
  7. see #1, and it keeps me from sharing my true self/letting myself be seen
  8. see #1, and it amounts to hours and hours and hours of (completely self imposed) catastrophizing and suffering
  9. see #1, and it keeps me on the defense in situations and with people whose intentions are to connect and help
  10. see #1, and it’s debilitating

So, that’s what I know.  That’s it.  I don’t know what to do about it.  I’m annoyed that it’s still an issue.  I don’t have an answer for how not to be this way (although I am sobbing my way through “The Gifts of Imperfection” right now, it probably has the answer in it), I don’t have any inspiring stories for you about how I’ve tackled it.

Of course (disclaimer for my mom and other concerned citizens) this is a skewed view, I’m deep in sadness in this moment and writing and posting about it will help me float to the surface of this pool to start breathing air again… it will get better, but right now–Right now it’s not.  Part of the process is being okay with that… part of being okay with it is writing about it (and the cycle continues).

Why not include an unflattering picture of myself too, just for extra marks.

Why not include an unflattering picture of myself too, just for extra marks.

My best guess for how to proceed from here is to continue with what I said I was going to do, but shed the expectations for how it will go.  I guess I have to tell you the stories without the resolution.  Because resolution is not coming soon enough for me to live up to my promises and post regularly and maybe THAT’S because that’s what I’m supposed to learn.  To practice letting go of the perfection, I just have to be willing to tell you what’s happening without it being pretty, profound, or complete.  Let you see me as flawed in the moment rather than right after when it’s all pretty and clever like.  The kicker is that you probably won’t even see it as “flawed,” that’s the label I’m attaching.  Oy! x3.  Last one of the day (for now).

That’s the plan.  If nothing new comes up (HA!) I’ll go back and tell you about some of the most horrifying moments of last week…  I’m not sure which one to hope for.

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