Thursday, March 07, 2013

Freedom and Captivity

It's always interesting how changing perspective changes one's sense of options. Lately I have been feeling trapped. I overshot my capabilities and let my expectations get the best of me. Now, I'm suffering from a lack of confidence and a profound sense of the limits of my skills and abilities. My finances leave something to be desired and until yesterday I felt like I had no options. I've been preparing for the worst: crying uncle and moving in with my dad in Southern California. (Sometimes I am prone to the dramatic.)

I know I'm overreacting, at least with respect to the skills and abilities. I'll get my mojo back, somehow. Hopefully, soon. I accept that this is my lot in life for now, and I must make sure that I learn something from this experience.

In the meantime, I realized there's something I can do about my work situation and my finances. I can forgive myself, and then I can get to work. So that's what I've been doing this week. I'm looking into moving to a cheaper place, considering how to reduce my commitments, and thinking about how I can make more time for mellow situations with good friends.

I also had this insane epiphany about thinking. Thinking! Me! Those who know me well might say I have made an Olympic sport of cogitation. What I realized is that I've been expecting it to come easy. To always know the answers, effortlessly. This is an expectation I've had of myself since I was about 4 years old, and it was definitely reinforced by my upbringing. I realized that this causes me loads of stress and frustration and I am prone to either beating myself up when things are not obvious to me or complaining about the process/blaming something outside of me. I also often get sucked into thinking that beating myself up somehow pushes me forward (this is definitely internalized childhood stuff). Essentially, I have been treating myself like a puppy who needs housetraining, but isn't getting it.

So instead of beating myself with a rolled-up newspaper, I'm trying a different tack. Thank goodness for yoga and meditation and openness to insight and cultivating non-judgment - sometimes, I have breakthroughs. I decided to accept that the answer doesn't always come easily, and to work on trusting myself that, just because an answer isn't always readily apparent in my mind, that I can figure it out. I can't express how liberating this is for me. My entire life I've spent hiding the fact that sometimes, I don't know the answer, and that this is a terrifying reality that I hate facing. It causes me all sorts of strife and I react in ridiculous ways when confronted by this incontrovertible fact.

And this is incredibly liberating. I don't know if others feel the same, but I derive some measure of freedom by sharing this with the masses. I hope folks find some benefit. I can't be the only one like this.

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