If you’ve been reading this blog for any length of time, you probably already know that I like to talk to my blocks and various selves (à la Havi and Hiro). Here’s a little story about some insight I gained by doing this seemingly wacky stuff.
Lately I’ve been feeling completely overwhelmed and tired and generally down, leading to a heavy case of the Blahhhhs. (Yes, that’s the medical term.)
I was so completely devoid of motivation that I wasn’t even able to meditate or journal about it.
Finally, yesterday I got myself to do a little Dance of Shiva and then meditate.
The question I asked before starting to dance was, “What needs to shift in order to stop feeling so stuck?”
A few minutes of Level 4 was about all I could handle, followed by some savasana.
Once I started meditating, I dropped into my heart, and tried to meet with some of my selves, to see if I could get a handle on why I was having such a hard time.
I can’t share much detail right now, but part of why I’m having a hard time is because there are certain things I have to do that I no longer want to do. And when things get difficult during the things-I-don’t-want-to-do, I’ve been having extreme emotional reactions. Despair, anxiety, hopelessness, powerlessness.
Not much was happening amongst my selves, so I focused my attention on whichever self it was who was creating these strong reactions.
Enter Self #1
I don’t know what this self looks like (no defining characteristics like my friend Hedgehog Girl). But pretty quickly I sensed that this self was creating these strong reactions so that I’ll hurry up and make the changes necessary so that I won’t have to do that icky stuff anymore.
She’s afraid that if she stops giving me these unpleasant reactions, I’ll just coast along. The change I want to make will never happen, because I’ll be too comfortable.
So I thanked her for caring about me. And for believing that I can make the necessary changes. And especially for her wanting to support me in making this change.
(And I wasn’t just blowing smoke, either. There’s something surprisingly touching about having a part of yourself doing what it can to make sure you accomplish the things you want.)
Then I explained that these extreme emotional reactions are draining me of my energy. And when my energy is drained, I can’t do what I need to do to make the changes I want to make.
I asked her, “What kind of agreement can we make, so that you know I’m making these changes as fast as possible, and you’re not helping me in a way that actually slows me down?”
And then I got, “It’s not just me.”
For a second I didn’t know what that meant, but then I realized there were two selves at play.
Hello, Self #2
Self #1 was creating the strong reactions in hopes that I would hurry up and make this change.
But Self #2 was drafting off of those reactions, and keeping me from channeling that desire for change into action toward change.
Because Self #2 is afraid of what the change will mean for me and this (mostly) comfortable life I have. She prefers the devil she knows.
Both of these selves are actually trying to protect me, even though they’re going about it in opposite ways.
One is trying to protect me from withering away in stagnation, the other from taking crazy risks that will put me in danger.
That’s about as far as I got with that meditation before my mind started to wander. But it’s a good start toward unravelling this stuck.
The next step will be to try to help them both see that their attempts to help are actually hurting. And then it will be time to find out what they will need to feel safe enough to back off and cut me some slack.
The beauty of it is, even before they’ve started giving me breathing room, I feel better.
when if I have an over-reaction to the things I no longer want to do, I’ll know what it’s about. And I’ll know why it’s so hard to recover and get cracking.
Reaching that point of not beating myself up or asking myself why why why for not doing the things I want to do is a huge step toward changing the pattern.