Today I’m overwhelmed. I feel sad, angry, confused, lost. All alone. So much all over the place that I forgot about writing until now, 2:25am. Until I felt so depleted that I really struggle to get myself to to actually do it…
Sometimes, life is just hard, bordering on sucking.
We all know those weeks. Those when we just couldn’t wait for the week-end to come. This is one of those weeks for me. There was too much to do, too little time to breathe, too little sleep, too many arguments with loved ones, too many absent friends on whom I usually can count, too many people needing me and stepping on my boundaries…
Too many signs my work life as it is is no longer where I want to be, when my work is always a big part of what matters to me. So when it is losing its meaning, it’s always a big hit for me.
I have done some serious work about my practice these past few months. I invested a lot in a training which was very helpful in helping me clarify where I am at and preparing what’s next. It was quite a surprise for me to realize I was really unsatisfied by how things were.
When I started to recover and grow exponantially in the past eight years, I had many similar unpleasant surprises.
I started to study psychology wanting to understand others better, and making my relationships with them easier and more enjoyable.
Imagine my disappointment and frustration when at each big milestone I hit personally, the way I was experiencing my relationships would change with me, and not necessarily in a good way.
Most often, I would realize that I didn’t allow myself to truly be myself in them, which is not the yes/no thing the expression makes it to be. Not something you are or are not, but more an experience to which you are yourself to a certain degree.
When we are very little, unless our parents are very controlling, we tend to be ourselves quite fully, and not necessarily understand why we shouldn’t be. But then, life, clumsy parenting, not so humanistic education happen, and most of us lose sight of who we are. Maturing is like slowly digging up through the layers we were buried under, to the core of who we always were.
Since we then all learn to be ourselves again slowly, little by little, we can’t realize fully the extent to which we aren’t authentic in our relationships. Being authentic is a practice, a habit.
The more we are, the easier it gets to feel when we aren’t. Wether it is from a bitter or angry place where we resent what’s happening or the other person for “putting us” in that position, or from a more grounded place when we simply feel like we aren’t in a place or with someone that is for us.
Similarly, the less we know ourselves and allow ourselves to be seen just as we are, the more we lose our ability to feel and trust that sensation in the belly telling us “Oh no, that’s not right with me. I don’t like this”.
We lose our compass by not using it.
And when I would get some of my compass back, the “Oh, nope, that won’t work” feeling got something I had to get accustomed to, and oh dear, did I dislike it from all my heart... After decades practicing the art of not ending up in any confrontation or argument, and all that work learning how to make it more enjoyable, it felt like a betrayal.
By being authentic, we often lose a lot of people and places. It hurts sometimes to be who we are. It forces us to make choices we can resent on the moment, for the sake of protecting that new fragile us we worked so hard to un-bury.
Today, I had to face one of those choices. I had to take new risks I didn’t see coming and reaaaaaally didn’t want to take regarding my practice, and when I did, the fire in my belly felt steadier than ever, which is always an awesome feeling. But there was also a lot of unpleasantness involved.
Many common frustrations from today’s sessions with my clients were accompanied by that “Oh no, that won’t work” feeling, stronger than ever. I also feel terribly unsure of myself, full of doubt, scared about the future, which overflows me with secondary feelings of crankiness and irritability. Parts of me are angry that I couldn’t prevent all the unpleasantness from coming too, even if most parts know I couldn’t do a thing about it. Feeling our ambivalence is also a companion of authenticity.
It’s okay. Tomorrow will be another day. I will be able to rest. I will make my best to practice restorative self-care. To offer myself some precious creative time to refill my cup and empty my head. Make sure to take alone time to regain some of my introvert power. I will give my inner little Laetitia so well deserved love and ask for help and support to trusty loved ones. I will lick my wounds and soothe my fears when I have more energy.
The quest for authenticity and integrity is never an easy one. Give yourself some space and learn to honor your pace and befriend the unpleasantness. The roughness of it all is part of taken our own journey in a world wanting us to all do the same things. The fear present when we do big things are just the sign we are on the warrior journey, getting closer to our inner power. You’re doing great, my Darling, trust yourself.