I’ve done (at least) the proverbial ten thousand hours of self-immolation! I’ve mastered Fear + Loathing! Everything and everyone is the worst!
(…Turns out self-hatred makes loving others a struggle.)
It’s been a huge week. A deep, taking-of-inventory kind of week where I’m practicing what I teach, and watching the way I’ve been treating myself and the people around me. I *thought* I was doing great because I’ve been conscious for years. Another wake up call. Another reminder that this stuff takes vigilance. Old stories die hard and self love is a daily practice of surrender, allowance, love, asking for help, infinity.
So here is a (partial) day in the life. Maybe you can relate. At least, maybe you’ll be entertained.
I woke up in the morning and went to the bathroom where I weighed myself and, seeing a few pounds gained – I’ve had some almond croissants lately, delicately heated, with foamy sides of cappuccino that were unbelievably good – I decided I should probably never eat again.
Fear: I must be a certain weight at all times or else people will see how unlovable I am.
Loathing: Enjoying a few of the most exquisite french pastries on the fucking planet = I don’t deserve to eat food anymore.
Yeah. I’m not even out of the bathroom yet and we’re already at death by starvation.
While brushing my teeth (and berating myself for not flossing the day before), I notice that my hair is limp, flat, and in my face in the most unflattering way. See, while I was falling asleep, Boyfriend was braiding and petting my hair.
Fact: I fell asleep having my favorite thing happen to my hair by someone who loves me enough to pet me to sleep.
Thought: “Ew. I don’t want Boyfriend to see me this morning because I look like a man who drives a van full of candy.”
Fear: If I don’t have great hair, people will see how unlovable I am.
Loathing: I’m only worthy if I’m attractive.
I decided to clean my house, clear my head, do some stuff that made me feel fresh and good. While collecting my moonstone and gold ring, pearl necklace, handmade beaded earrings (read: actual fucking treasure) off my night table, I think, “Here I am picking up my jewelry again. It never ends, does it? Nothing stays clean. Adulting is hard. Picking stuff up is hard. I’m always doing it. Therefore, I’m failing at adulting because there is always jewelry (read: ACTUAL FUCKING TREASURE) on my night table. I’m bad at life. Why do I even get out of bed. I need a nap.”
Actual fucking treasure.
Gifts, even, from people who love my guts.
Fear: My life must be in perfect order or people will see how unlovable I am.
Loathing: I can’t keep up with everything all the time so I deserve to have nothing at all.
And that, friends, is where I piqued. Kind of. I mean, many more moments happened in this day, but if I say them all I’m worried it will end up just sounding like bragging.
Gross. Then you would see for suuuuure how unlovable I am. And I’ll know it’s time to stop writing and talking to people.
:::insert waving white flag here:::
I’m done. Again. I have seen the light or whatever. Again. And I have renewed my commitment to keep walking my own talk and taking it easy on my sweet self. Again. And will keep doing it. Again.
The opposite of fear and loathing is love. And I want that. Lots of that.
And having/giving more love than fear and loathing depends on which one we practice most. Which state of mind we nurture, cultivate, and devote our attention to.
I am not saying that life is ever going to be easy or fair. God, let’s hope you would never believe I’d say a thing like that. But I’m saying that staying awake, staying smarter than our habits, and trying a little tenderness makes dealing with it all a little easier and less exhausting.
Treating ourselves with kindness is paramount to treating others the same.
So, I’ve been re-reading The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz. >>>>Helpful.
Also, this prayer (feel free to replace “God” with “Cheeseburger” or whatever your preferred source moniker might be) :
“God, direct my thinking today so that it be divorced of self pity, dishonesty, self-will, self-seeking, and fear. God inspire my thinking, decisions, and intuitions. Help me to relax and take it easy. Free me from doubt and indecision. Guide me through this day and show me my next step. God, give me what I need to take care of any problems. I ask all these things that I may be of maximum service to you and my fellow humans. Amen.”
Humans are weird. We are programed awry, we carry grief and trauma like well-worn worry stones. We are addicted to suffering as a culture. Let’s get out. Let’s seek peace together. Starting in our own hearts and minds. Thank god we aren’t doing it alone.
I believe in us. Do you?
P.S. So ya know, I don’t need you to write to tell me I’m worthy of loving (I actually know and am just sharing the process 🙂 ), but I WOULD love to hear if and how this shows up for you. Leave a comment for crying out loud. I love hearing from you.