Falling (and learning) at the first hurdle
My search for meaningful connection
What was I thinking?! Why I decided to kick this project off with the task of better understanding and accepting myself, I’ll never know. I knew I would find it difficult, but little did I know just how hard it would turn out to be. And I’m only three weeks into this project!
All my life I’ve gone out of my way to try and fit in with others, even if it’s meant being someone I’m not. I don’t even realise I’m doing it. I’m always desperately keen to please others and to have them accept me, even though deep down I know that when I do this I’m not accepting myself.
I was being over-optimistic when I thought I could begin to tackle this topic in just one month. In my naivety I thought it would be as simple as reading around the subject, understanding what I needed to do and then doing it. Job done.
I quickly proved myself wrong with that one. Just last week I got into what I thought would be a pleasant chat with two people, when suddenly the conversation turned and it felt like one of them was criticising me for not fully understanding what she was saying. That is a real weak point for me. I was embarrassed and humiliated – that and so much more. I usually stay relatively quiet in conversations for fear of saying something silly, so this was proof of that right here. The dialogue inside my head was louder than ever. My inner ‘mean girl’ was loving it!
‘How could you be so stupid?’
‘Why can’t you understand anything?’
‘Look how silly you’ve made yourself look.’
Immediately the barriers went up. I retreated into myself and withdrew from the conversation, desperately trying to stop the tears of frustration and anger from flowing over. I didn’t join in with the rest of the conversation. I stayed quiet and pretended I was busy doing something else whilst they continued with their conversation. It was an instinctive reaction which only served to make me feel even more disconnected, the complete opposite of what I’m trying to do.
I felt annoyed at the others, I felt annoyed at myself and I felt annoyed at the situation.
From what I’ve been reading so far this month, I think (I say ‘think’ because I’m still learning) what I needed to do in that situation was to pause, become aware of my emotions and reactions and show myself some compassion. There’s more to it, which I’m still reading about, but whilst this all sounds very easy, in the moment it felt so much more difficult. As a result, my next goal is to understand how I can put this into practice so that I can rely on it as the need arises.
This is definitely going to be bigger task than I thought and I’ve therefore decided to have it running in the background throughout the whole twelve months. That way I can really try and embed it into my daily life, and live it in each moment.