The last few weeks, anger has made an appearance a few times and you would not believe how proud I am of myself for getting angry. I really am. For somebody who has, for the longest time, denied any emotion – both good and bad – it is a milestone to be finally letting all these emotions run through. In the last year of my marriage, I was getting hives every other day. No doctor could explain what was going on so I was left to carrying anti-histamines with me wherever I went. Coincidentally, that year was a year of profound denial for me. I had so much bottled up. I had anger, grief, bitterness, and shame, but I did not allow any of these emotions any expression. Why? Because I’ve gotten used to holding it together for the sake of other people. I allowed people to project perfection and strength on me and I had to keep carrying that burden at my own expense. It wasn’t martyrdom or pride in being the sacrificial lamb. I just honestly did not know how to deal with it any other way then. The last year, I have been trying to get healthier and happier. Has it worked? Tremendously. Is there more work to be done? Absolutely!
As a result of the intense reflection I have found myself in lately, here is what I am owning up to:
- I am not perfect. I am far from it. Although ultimately, I still believe that enlightenment is my raison d’etre, maybe my idea of getting there is too rigid, too boxed up, too idealized. I am human and I need to forgive myself for making mistakes. People tend to put me in this pedestal but I need to be wise and brave enough to realize when I am the receiver of such a projection and decline that crown of thorns. I don’t want it.
- I have feelings and yes, those feelings do not make sense to me a lot of times, just as they probably don’t to a large majority of the human population, but I am slowly understanding that maybe they don’t have to make sense. Feeling is not a cerebral function. There is no yardstick for how people should feel. My own experiences are teaching me that first, feelings ARE okay, and second, feelings don’t equate to drama. Emotions release themselves on their own once they are given the liberty of expression. We feel what we feel when we feel it for whatever reason we need to feel it.
- I have an ego (as evidenced by the few hundred I spent on shopping a couple weeks ago). I’m learning to accept my ego and not deny it. Maybe the point is not to be completely egoless at all times, but to not identify with it as who we truly are at the core. The key is to remember is that I have an ego; ego does not have me. It’s a delicate tightrope act, but that’s why we’re here.
- And most of all, I have NEEDS, just like any other person. I used to have an attitude about people and love that I am now realizing was quite righteous. I have tendency to give away the farm without expecting anything back. If it comes back, good. If it doesn't, that's the other person's prerogative. But since I have been slowing down, I realize that this might be expecting a little too much from myself. Maybe I'm prematurely trying to emulate pure unconditionality when I'm not completely ready for it. While unconditionality remains the goal, I have to be okay with the fact that I cannot stomach being loving to assholes right now. It doesn’t mean that I have given up on it, but this is really the time where my love for myself has to overpower my willingness and capacity to love others. Maybe one day, I will be loving regardless of whether they are total opportunists and extortionists or not, or maybe I will just need to find a different trail to get to that summit, but right now, I need to be honest about where I am. I need to be treated with dignity and respect. I honestly believe that every single human being in the planet deserves that but for some time, I believed that I was the exception. How arrogant! This must stop!
- It kills me to say this that is why I'm going to say it, but I have to say it again for my benefit and for emphasis. I have needs. I have to be okay to be on the receiving end. I have to be okay with the vulnerability. I have to be okay with admitting to wanting a solid, grounded, honest and loving relationship.
The sun broke free yesterday afternoon and it was exactly how I felt. I felt like I have a lot of grounding and centeredness back. I’m back to spending quality time being in my body on the Yoga mat. I have two solo international trips lined up (one of which is still in my head). I found myself at a jazz show by myself last night, just like the good old days, doing touristy things in my own town. This place is so familiar and it so very refreshing at the same time. It feels so damn good it really feels a lot like a gazillion sunshines suddenly burst from the clouds.