Something happened a couple of weeks ago that sent me for a loop… I thought there was a meeting that Friday and planned all week to attend and told a friend about the meeting who also planned to attend. Then at the last minute I invited a couple of other friends, who were not able to attend due to the late notice. As I was leaving to go to the event on Friday, I pulled out my phone to gps the location and found a text from first said friend saying she was there, but it was the wrong date, that it wasn’t for another two weeks…. “What?!” was my reply. I was flabbergasted!! I knew it was that night as well as I knew my own name. Well… apparently not. But in my mind, that was how it felt at the moment I read her message!!
I apologized profusely and felt absolutely horrible. I let the other two friends know I had the wrong date also… I never liked crow pie.
This whole thing sent me into a tailspin of self-doubt, self-recrimination, self-bashing, etc. etc. In my mind, it was not ok to do what I had done. I am supposed to be a professional for f*@k sake!! There wasn’t anything that made it ok in any way, shape, or form!! This lasted for a couple of hours that night and I was so caught up in it that I couldn’t see what I was doing, until it was brought to my attention… and then I realized that I was indeed being rather hard on myself…. which…
Lead to a day of sitting on the couch contemplating myself….
OK… wtf is going on with me?! Yes, I did this thing, but, to then to compound it by doing something else as equally unacceptable… I mean, I work with clients every day to help them to stop doing this exact thing to themselves… to help them speak more kindly about themselves… to not repeat the nasty things they heard others say about them throughout their lives… And here I am engaging in this behavior myself?! Again, I’m a f*#%ing professional counselor! And yes, in retrospect, I continued to engage in the same self-bashing behavior on Saturday as I sat on the couch contemplating myself…
But I also began to sort out the what, where, how, and when of where I was in that moment.
I still don’t think its ok to do something like that, however, I no longer think I’m a worthless human being for having done said thing. Not even for all the self-bashing. This is an old behavior that I learned at some early point in my life and it was what helped me survive similar moments in the past… granted, not very effectively, but it was all I had at that time. So, why would it show up now? Good damn question and I asked myself the same thing on the couch that Saturday.
It came up because I had quit taking care of myself. I quit doing the things I know that are necessary for me to be healthy and effective at meeting my life goals. I had gotten into automatic pilot mode, the “it doesn’t matter how you feel, you do it anyway” mode. I had allowed the stresses in my life to take over and lead, rather than taking control of them and deciding which ones to focus on while letting the rest go, at a time when there were too many for any human being to manage.
When we are stressed and quit paying attention, our old ways will show up again and take charge. They think they know best, they think they are doing the best for us, taking care of us at a time when we aren’t capable of doing this consciously ourselves.
For me this old way is the learned, human way of being. For me, Being My True Self requires me to be more intentional about how I spend my time and what I focus on and give my attention to… Its a new way that I am not used to yet and therefore is not yet a habit. Being My True Self means being intentional about taking care of myself so that my True Self can shine through in all its glory!! I’m Baaaaack!!