So, i sat down on my cushion with the loving-kindness card in front of me. I started by sensing into the turmoil i was feeling. It was pretty intense. The shame was choking me. I noticed that the sensations shifted whenever i would straighten up. Shame can’t continue without hunched shoulders. I read the loving-kindness sentences. They felt so hallow. I kept going nonetheless. After a few times going through them, i sensed back into my body. Turmoil. I tried to figure out what i wanted to do. I knew that the turmoil had something to do with an event i planned to go to later today – and somewhere didn’t really want to go. My mind started problem solving – only to increase the turmoil. Suddenly, i heard an inner voice “you only have to breathe!” Oh! That’s right: Nothing to figure out. Nothing to decide. Just breathing. I ended the 45-minute meditation with focusing (mostly) on my breath.
Then i went on a speed walk and did some yoga. While doing yoga, i admitted that i didn’t really want to go anywhere, so i changed my rvsp. Trouble was: I had announced that i would go to this event on Facebook yesterday and some people had responded to that enthusiastically. Now i had to tell them that i wasn’t going if i wanted to stay in integrity… I left a comment with the update – and a wave of shame hit me. So, i wrote down what i was observing:
Amazing how much shame & self-doubt is coming up in me whenever i change plans… I want to be seen as reliable. And the unwanted identity is unreliable and thus unlovable. Wow! What a deep stab into the heart… Funny really. All i did is decide that i didn’t want to spend $30 plus 2 hours on Muni & BART – and somehow that makes me unlovable?!? Ay! Those voices!
Realizing that it was “just” my voices, i was able to let go of this episode. Though it tapped into a longing: I am tired of being a good girl! How can i break free?!?
I’ve been surprised before that “good girl” seemed to have an entirely sexual interpretation. It doesn’t for me. So, i started pondering what i actually mean by “good girl.” I want freedom! I remembered a conversation i had with a friend on Friday about the influence my parents, especially my mother, seems to still be having. As a mother myself, i always find a claim like that uncomfortable. Plus, at almost 45 can i really still be blaming my mother for my stuckness, for my lack of courage to live fully authentically? And, yet, there’s something there. That’s when it hit me: I want to stop being so worried about and obsessed with what others might think! Including – and not limited to – my mother! How can i do that?
The promise, as i understand it, of mindfulness meditation is to help us attain freedom. Including, i guess, the freedom from what others think of us and our actions. Again i had a vague sense that there was something true here – and didn’t quite know how to manifest it. Does this mean i enroll in a monastery?
As i started to put on a necklace, i decided i didn’t want to wear an OM today. Rather, i felt like wearing a little witch with her right hand in a fist, ready for a revolution. A pendant i bought as a teenager. My glance fell onto all the other pendants i had bought around that time: The Cretan Snakegoddess, a double axe, and a pentagram. What had happened to that young woman? Oy, yes, she had been raped and ended up in an abusive relationship! She got scared… And why had that happened? That’s when i had the big realization that this long post is trying to capture: I had been trying to find love by getting it from the outside when the only way i can love myself is from the inside out! Wow. Deep breath!
I had tumbled into the date rape and the abusive relationship because these men seemed to love me and i was desperate for some proof of my worthiness and lovability. So desperate that i didn’t realize that the hole inside of me cannot be filled from the outside (even though i had heard and read about that… i didn’t know it then with every cell in my body as i do now).
And, although with less painful consequences, i am still doing this: I act in ways i think i should, don’t take the big steps a big part of me is longing to take. And ultimately, i am confused about what to do because there doesn’t seem to be a way to please others and challenge cultural norms – and i am getting stuck because i am still letting my self-worth depend on what others think. So, to attain freedom, i want to learn to let go of what others think and work on accepting and loving myself.