Sometimes when I struggle with my identity I make choices that will connect me to the familiar, though exceedingly painful, false self.
In terms of practice, my authentic self is an amateur. He is less practiced at running the show. I wake up late and he is full of doubt, “Was waking up late a form of taking care of myself? Yes. Good job–you needed the rest. No! Waking was avoidance–now you can’t exercise! Hey, you’re doing it–you’re being hard on yourself. No need to do that.” He is full of doubt. He is doing his best but loses his way a bit. He knows that the things it takes to get back on track require…patience and self-compassion: turning towards myself rather than away. But instead of taking a short walk (some exercise is better than no exercise) or doing a meditation…he hands over the reins…
I reach out to someone from my past who I know will provide a minor rejection. Why? Did I really feel like communicating with them? No. Did I really want to see them? No. So why bother? Because I was looking for an excuse to fall; an excuse to justify my old familiar stories about myself as a lonely, dejected and unwanted being. It only took minutes to realize I was merely engaging in a self-sabotaging strategy. I was not reaching out from love, I was reaching out from a place of self-hatred.
And yet nothing much has changed from when I woke up this morning. Only a minor setback. At the end of the day all I did was make a tiny additional mess right before it was time to do the washing up. I am a bit embarrassed about it but in the great scheme of self-sabotaging actions it was nothing more than a small spill on the kitchen floor. A request to meet denied. A denial that is actually a good thing for me.
So here I sit at a crossroads: I can use what happened to point me in the right direction, or I can use it to return to tired, old stories that I’m, quite frankly, getting really sick of. I feel so lonely but I know that I feel this way because I lost myself Thursday. I wobbled off course and I need to gently walk back to the road I was on.
I was going to end the entry there but I want to create an alternative narrative before I begin my day. Thursday I woke up exceedingly early to help a friend. While helping this friend I was jarred by a minor accident (I was rear-ended but nobody was physically hurt). My sleep and eating schedule got thrown off. My closest friends were not as available as they usually are over the weekend and I missed them. I am facing a move of office that I realize is bringing up grief (the office I am leaving is one that contains many fond memories). The logistics of the move (due to the complicated nature of the people involved in allowing the move to go forward) are challenging. That is all that is happening. I’m not a different person to the one I was on Wednesday. The person who loves with a full heart; who enjoys helping; who enjoys his own company; who lets in the love that is around him–he is the real me. He’s right around here somewhere. I’ll find him.