Last week, I fell into a nasty abyss. My reliable defenses searched for a reason, outside myself. It must be the change in seasons. It must be the tragic world events. Then, in the recesses of my mind, I quietly (unknowingly) decided the darkness was somehow my hubby’s fault. I’m admitting this to you because the sooner I share the shame, the longer it stays lifted. (Old BS does not understand the word goodbye!)
Apparently, I’d been in need of a pitstop for rest and recharging. But instead of taking a break, I proceeded to royally beat myself up for it. Why can’t I be a 24/7 vehicle of eternal joy and inspiration?
For the love of Chrysler, Julie.
Let’s back up, shall we?
I drove through August with awesome self-care. Every day I was taking a long walk in the evening, while listening to powerful podcasts and webinars. Every day, I was eating well and making my super-nutritious-green-smoothie-liscious drinks. Every day, I was practicing fabulous techniques to say sayonara to ol’ BS (belief systems). Every day I was using EFT tapping, declaring fierce affirmations and plentiful prayers. Every day, I was supporting myself, my family and my clients with zest and love. By September, I was so impressed with my progress that I became extra intent (read: obsessed) on staying in alignment with my soul, if it was the last thing I do!
Well okie-dang-dokie. Do you feel the car-wreck comin’?
I thought it was the best kind of Blissipline. Consistent. Enthusiastic. Dedicated driving. But I guess that’s what snapped my inner pit-crew awake. Progress threatens the well-being of BS, after all. They got very confused and afraid. Do you think that healthy sh*t means you’re good enough? Ha! The winner’s circle isn’t for sloths and slackers. You can’t compete on this road-trip! You’ll just lose, over and over. It’s not worth the pain! It is NOT SAFE out there. You’ll drive merrily straight over a cliff. Not on our watch!
You’d think I’d recognize their scare-tactics by now. But nope. Joy down-shifted to doubt. I whipped out my control-freak’s manual for old wounds – apply more pressure. You can do better. More GAS! Go, girlfriend, Go! My inner taskmistress grabbed the wheel. She’s a dogmatic driver, quite convinced that she can bend the road of life to her will.
Sometimes there’s a thin line between positive personal-growth …and FORCING the matter.
I added a faster second walk in the morning. A second round of tapping. I got serious.
Still, I didn’t see it.
Then my unsuspecting hubster said something slightly snide to me.
Perfect deflection material for the blamer-babe. Ah HA! It’s HIS fault that I’m not happy! An argument ensued. Blame, defense, avoidance, punishment. We know the drill.
I spent two days driving in angry circles (in silent retreat from my family, to protect them from unfair treatment…)
It’s his fault!
Oh crap, it’s my fault!
No it’s his fault!
Oh Lord… It’s all my default.
When I’m busy tearing myself down, it’s hard to love anyone else. Intellectually, I know I’m responsible for what I see in the mirror of my family. Self-help 101. But first. I tend to take a detour into self-punishment.
I’m such an idiot! I deserve to feel miserable – that MIGHT just keep me from mistreating anyone in the future! I’m not allowed to just self-love-myself out of my repetitive mistakes, again and again!
In the midst of my poop-party, I dreamed of Dad, who passed two years ago. The first time I saw him in a dream, I found myself yelling, “It’s Dad! It’s Dad! I love you, Dad! I love you!” I was over the moon. It was Dad! Then I realized his back was to me. Why didn’t I hug him or talk to him?!
In the next dream, Dad was helping my sister. I squealed with glee, “There’s Dad! It’s Dad! Wow Dad! Hey Dad!” I woke up happy. But again, I stood apart.
Carl Jung’s dream theory says that everyone (and everything) in the dream is an aspect of ourselves. Our emotional response IS the message. Why wasn’t Dad looking at me? Why wasn’t I making it happen? Was Dad a projection of some ignored side of myself?
The next few dreams were similar. But. Each time I was getting closer to him.
A few weeks ago, I almost hugged him! I was elated! I wrapped my hands around his forearms; I could feel the crunch of his old coat. I hooted and hollered, “Dad! Dad! It’s YOU! Dad!” He looked at me very seriously and said, “let’s just get down to business.”
When I woke up, I realized that my abyss of anger had been my “serious business”… about being better. Me. Bill. Doing better. Me. Bill. How can I feel the joy in my life, when I drive myself harder? When I insist that a fender bender deserves a life sentence?
Two nights ago, there was Dad! He was smiling into my eyes for the first time! He hugged me! And he whispered one tender word in my ear. He called me, “Kitten.”
In life, Dad would not have called anyone Kitten. He loved us deeply, but he was not overly sentimental.
Kitten? It wasn’t like him. Or me. Dad could be demanding. Black and white. Hard on himself and others.
Hello. That’s what I’ve been doing.
I repeated “Kitten” to myself, the way he had, with empathy. Understanding.
Then the tears hit. I’d been feeling downright hatred… for that kitten inside. The vulnerability. The need for validation. Reassurance. Rest.
When my inner perfectionist insists that it’s all or nothing, it’s easy to “fail” my high expectations. When I feel I’ve missed the mark, I punish myself by becoming stingy with love, as if THAT will correct my bad behavior. I assumed Bill’s snide remarks meant I didn’t deserve nurturing, because that’s what I believed!
Would I punish a kitten for not trying hard enough? For falling down? For being too soft? Can I scare her into doing better? Would I drive her to grow faster and just be a damn cat already?
I thought back on my BS band, which had come out to play. What they wanted was to be hugged, healed, and then relieved of their instruments. Especially those mental drums at midnight. Instead, I’d felt ashamed that they were assembled, at all.
I am tough to please.
The harder I chase my own light, the longer I stay disgusted by my darkness. Judging and denying my imperfections, leaves them feeling orphaned. When my friends, family and clients are willing to look into the face of their fears and BS, and embrace them, I’m thrilled! It means progress! Accepting our humanity! But sometimes, I forget to invite myself to my own love-fest. So my cowardly-lion-crew roars out from the scary jungle, hoping I will honor their human-mess. This time.
Welcoming the “worst” of ourselves to the party, is a humble road to freedom. A brave path to our Divinity. To love our embarrassingly disconnected parts means to give them what they continue to need – to come back Home.
Today, I’ve returned to celebrating. Accepting and singing my own slower-paced song. Smiling at my sacred silliness. Sending love to a world in need. Bill and I are laughing again. This spirit-led road is actually a real healing riot.
Next dream with Dad, sky’s the limit! I’m ready to rock the casbah! Climb trees, watch birds, and relax in the light. Cat’s meow.
So. When the next BS ball of yarn rolls my way, maybe I’ll remember that accepting and loving “what is” transforms a loathing lion into an innocent kitten. Paws crossed.
with lotsa love and deep thanks for being there :)
FYI – I’ll be interviewed for a powerful upcoming Summit starting Monday October 23, 2017, called,
THRIVING AFTER DIVORCE: Powerfully Reclaim Your Life and Turn Your Breakup into Your Breakthrough!
I was thrilled when my friend and colleague, Tanya Marie Dubé, told me she was hosting an interview series all around the topic of mindset, confidence and motivation. THRIVING AFTER DIVORCE was born out of Tanya’s difficult divorce and her extensive research on how women can TRANSFORM their lives after a massive life change. Wait til you hear Tanya’s personal story (I got to interview HER!) She had incredible childhood challenges making her personal transformation all the more inspiring! Register here to watch the free series!
This summit is for you if you are going through a divorce, have just gone through a divorce or are contemplating getting out of a bad relationship and don’t know how to get your mindset around what is going to happen (or happening to you now). During this summit, 21 awesome entrepreneurs (including me!) have joined forces to share our stories of personal, sometimes extreme adversity, how we used our pain to create a whole new life for ourselves and help others.
A handful of experts will be talking specifically to what comes after divorce including dating, becoming an entrepreneur, co-parenting and helping your children succeed, starting an online business, coaching, psychological personality disorders, self love and healing, and building up your mind and your memory so that you can let go of the feelings of being too tired to start over or to start something new.
If you’re going through major adversity, this summit will offer coping skills, techniques and strategies for getting yourself up and over feelings of loneliness, abandonment and fear. Although I’ve never been through a divorce, my clients, friends and family sure have! I deeply relate to how these devastating events can trigger past pain, hold us back from our highest potential, and leave us questioning our worth.
Together, we want to support you in feeling empowered and inspired to THRIVE AFTER DIVORCE so you can have the life of your wildest dreams.