Sunday, November 24, 2013

Content with my Content

I struggled with today's word.  I sat and thought for hours yesterday what the word was going to be.  Truthfully, sometimes my choice is completely self-serving...it comes from something in my life that is inspiring me, moving me, pushing me.  There are so many things rolling around lately, thoughts and challenges that I wasn't sure how I wanted to deal with them...that when it came time to pick a word, I drew a blank.  In my struggle, I asked my dear friend for a word around 1:30 this morning.  I was afraid of what he would say.  But what he gave me, seems to be inspiring me more than I thought it would.  Moments like this, I know there is something higher speaking to me because the word is so perfect.

Today's Sunday Confession:
Content


The real question is...when you see that word, what do you see?  Do you see the adverb or the noun?  I thought long and hard about it.  I see both this morning.

I've been on the verge of many changes.  I'm been malcontent with my life lately and stirring things up to try and change them.  Sometimes things get worse before they get better.

But this morning...I'm feeling mostly content.  There are things to be done.  The litter boxes and guinea pig change must be tended to.  There is laundry to be washed, dried and folded.  The bed needs to be stripped.  The fish tank needs to be cleaned.  There are dishes next to me on the table.  I haven't showered since Friday.  There is no shortage of things that need to be done around my home.  Yet, in spite of it all...this morning I am mostly content.  I have my coffee.  I have my laptop.  I have all the things I might possibly need right now, in this moment, for the day.  And I am content.

Mostly.

There has been something rolling around in my brain lately about content.  It's no secret that I have been trying and working to find a way to improve myself.  I've been working on my content.  The contents of my internal makeup, the contents of the makeup of my home, and the contents (aka people) that make up my life.  

I've been examining the contents of the people I call friends, and the people I blindly trust and let into my life. I've come to realize that many times I judge people based on what I believe to be the content of their character and their potential as people, instead of their words and actions.  I've begun noticing some very serious indicators, specifically compensation, as a true indicator of their not so virtuous and good content.  And yet, I find myself still allowing them into my life in ways I should not.  Which leads me to some introspection of my own content and character.

Am I content with my content?

Right now in this moment, I am content with just about everything.  But not in a true sort of way.  Right now I'm content in a passive-aggressive, procrastinator kind of way.  I'm choosing to be content because I'm not in the mood to deal with the messy contents of my life.  Take that as superficially or deep as you like, either way it applies.

The other day, I wrote a very exposing blog.  I was called out on it by a very honest, kind and seemingly intuitive fellow blogger.  Her comments, particularly where she says I am very private...really struck a chord with me. Read the blog HERE.

Lately, there have been numerous people in my life who have acknowledged my walls in a way that has caused me to realize that while I have always put up walls to a certain extent, I'm reaching a point where it is truly starting to hurt me, even keep me from being the person that I strive to be and the person I think I am.

Bonehead, one of my closest friends, most cherished confidants, and greatest loves recently told me in a discussion about my blog (that he has never read, mind you) that he isn't surprised that people "find my funnies funny" and I should give myself more credit.  He then said that I'm awesome and that more people would think so if they could see me the way he sees me.  I wanted to read that as "People would love you if they could see you through my eyes" in a "love is blind" kind of way.  He went on to clarify by saying that it would only happen when I was ready to "unveil", and asked me what it would take for me to get to that point and I realized he meant...the walls.  Bonehead isn't perfect, some day I will tell you about him and our background.  But, for right now what needs to be said is that when we met we had already crossed the bridge of knowing the other wasn't perfect...we crossed that bridge of acceptance of the "ugly" right away and because we were willing to accept it, a greater openness and connection was allowed to be established between us.  There are still some not-so-awesome things, but we approach each other with genuine respect, love and appreciation and we work it out.  So, when he asks me what it would take to get to a point where I let people see me the way I let him see me...the answer is probably never.  I still feel vulnerable and freaked out telling him things sometimes, and it is because I've come to value his presence, wisdom, and unconditional love and I'm terrified that some day that love wont be so unconditional.  I don't know that I'll ever be able to let someone in the way I let him in, but he's right...I don't let people see ME, even the awesome parts.

My own sister is among the people who have expressed frustration with my walls.  Though in a much more original way.  About a month and a half ago, while struggling with the feelings of being unlovable that I find come with a breakup...she told me that I'm not unlovable, I'm unfriendly.  That was crushing.  I never thought of myself that way before.  She then went on to tell me that my walls are so high that it is hard for even my own family to scale them.  Then, she gave me some weird analogy about how I need to stop treating people who don't know know how to climb my walls like the Huns, and then called me "Mulan".  Apparently, it was Disney day at her house...and the woman (god, it feels weird referring to my sister as a woman when in my mind she is forever my little baby sister and I want to treat her that way) loves her some "Mulan".  The truth is that my sister and I...well, fuck, she's my sister.  If you don't have one, you don't understand what it is like to want to choke the life out of someone while loving them so deeply with every fiber of your being.  We haven't always been the kindest and most loving to each other.  Eventually, I reached a point where in order to preserve myself and respect her, I needed to take a step back.  I know she knows there is a wall there.  I know that it hurts her just as much as it hurts me.  To this day, I haven't been able to remove that wall out of fear of feeling the heartache I once felt so deeply.  The pain that came from the fear of losing my sister was so awful that I hold her at arms' length to never feel that way again and I'm still losing her because she knows it is there, though I don't think she understands why. 

Which brings me to 3 days ago, when a woman I've never met commented on my blog.  She asked me if I was feeling insecure about sharing everything that I did, and then said I am very private in my blog and she would be praying for me.  What struck me is that even a stranger, though a seemingly very intelligent and incredibly intuitive stranger, can see how high I have my walls.

Admittedly, I don't openly share my blog with my personal Facebook world.  For the most part...I choose to maintain some anonymity.  In some respects, I feel by doing so I've maintained the tone of my blog as I am able to write what I feel and vent without adverse reactions or butthurt people.  I also recognize, however...I'm "protecting" myself that in the event that the Internets decide to be cruel, I can always fall back on "You don't know me."  It's different when it comes to people you care about and can be personally hurt by your words, even unintentionally.  I'm sure that someone out there might have a problem with something I've said and clearly if I'm concerned about how someone might feel then I either need to shut up, or own my feelings louder.

I also have this thing where I find the need to control what personal information finds it way out.  I think I'm pretty open.  I'm totally willing to acknowledge the embarrassing shit that happens in my life, tell my own stories, share my opinions...but at the same time, I embrace the ability to do that in my own way and on my own time.  And there is nothing more irritating than having people take something you've written and come to some kind of incorrect conclusion about you which they then opt to share at a family function, causing you to have to defend yourself or your position on a truth you felt which was clearly misunderstood or manipulated into something else- you know, instead of clarifying or using it to get to know you better as a person (P.S. People who do shit like that...you fucking suck).    

And so here I am.  I've believed that in my adult life, I was living authentically to the best of my ability.  I've taken great pride in being the kind of honest person who will not lie when asked a straightforward question.  As a teenager, I met a great many people who lied about themselves for various reasons, someone always got hurt and I decided I did not want to be that.  I've spouted over and over again that the old saying about lying being harder than being honest because you have to live the lie and keep spinning it isn't true; for years I believed it is harder to live honestly because it means opening your true self to the judgement and rejection of others and that hurts more than when someone doesn't like the lie you told them about "you".

And at this moment, I have to confess that I am unsure of my content.  

If I wasn't, why would I "hide" my blog and live my bloggy life so anonymously?   Why would I build walls around myself the way that I do instead of living and sharing myself, my content, with people in the way I want to believe that I do?

Many of the walls I've built are to keep me from being hurt.  I'm an anxious, sensitive person.  Over-emotional, even.  Things that were said or done twenty years ago can still make me feel hurt and humiliation.  I can be petty, jealous, and childish-things that don't mesh well with someone prone to overreacting.  I don't like to be afraid, but I hate admitting that I am even more.  And while sarcasm can be a wonderful, humorous and engaging thing...I've abused it by allowing it to hide my fears and insecurities.  I despise relying on other people because it makes me feel weak.  I hate when people do something nice for me because I rarely feel like I deserve it, or I feel terrible that they cared about me enough to think of me and I didn't them (one of my huge problems with Christmas).  I hate that I feel things so strongly, and many times I choose anger to react to things in order to hide my internal fears.  Most of the time, I have a legitimate reason for feeling the way I do, but more often than not it just comes out as "crazy chick" because I've yet to learn how to think before I speak or express myself appropriately in my initial reaction to anything.  

I've never grown thick skin.  I don't handle things like criticism, humiliation, or rejection very well.  There is nothing I hate more than being made an ass of when I'm wrong about something and it seems people have never seemed to have a problem with rubbing my face in my own shit, even when that shit was just a simple personal opinion or mistake I made that did not harm, offend or insult them in any way.  I've never been the kind of person who handles judgement well on account of being sensitive to embarrassment on a crippling level.  Rejection and humiliation for me can be crushing.  I've admitted to having suicidal thoughts in relation to frustration and pain due to my injury.  I've struggled with depression for what feels like my entire life.  As a teenager, I struggled with self-harm and suicidal thoughts quite frequently.  And as an adult, I've had those moments where I want to give up and end it all (though for the most part it has been related to the whole back injury bit).  

I've built walls as a means to survive because I feel things so deeply that when it goes wrong, I just want to curl up and disappear or be hit by a bus.  And it goes wrong a lot because I judge people on their potential and not their content.  I wouldn't say that I am a terrible judge of character, but I struggle with knowing the difference between a person who makes mistakes and has flaws, and a flawed person.  I tend to attract more of the latter and not to sound like some kind of victim, but I usually end up paying the price for it.  I forgive the unforgivable, because I know how deep the sting of rejection can be...and because I want to treat people how I want to be treated and sometimes I just want forgiveness too.  I've built walls because as the person who blessed me with today's word (someone who I've come to know and value as a compassionate, warm, huge-hearted, honest-to-a-fault kindred spirit who loves me deeply and apparently "gets" me more than I care to admit) once told me during a conversation about forgiveness and boundaries, "You don't like saying 'no' or saying/doing something you know is going to cause butthurtness.  You want us all to just love you all the time and think awesome shit about you."  

Isn't that what we all want?  Isn't "the greatest thing you'll ever learn is to love and be loved in return"?

I'm SO locked up that the people who could actually, really and truly possibly love me for who and how and what I am can't get in.  And people I hold dear to me, might not all be the kind of people I want to have close by because they're only here for the benefits of love and forgiveness and whatever else I throw over the wall in gratitude for simply being there instead of give to those who deserve and have earned a place "within the walls".  I've been so concerned with people pleasing and how I'm perceived that at some point, I stopped sharing my TRUE content. 

And that is where I am.  It's time to tear down some walls.  It's time to work on my content and sharing it with those who deserve it, and weeding out those who make me feel less than content.

And that is my Sunday Confession.  What's yours?

2 comments:

  1. If I lived closer, I would be at your door right now with a hug and an ear to listen. I understand this post more than I could ever explain.

    I built walls. I built a goddamned fortress. Some of the walls were defensive and some were to hide my self proclaimed flaws. Either way, they did me no good. They blocked out the good and the light. I have been tearing them down, brick by brick for years. It is hard work but this post proves you have what it takes.

    I love this so much. It is hopeful and raw and beautiful and promising and honest. Clearly reflections of it's creator. Keep writing. Keep sharing. Share with the world, including those closest to you, they may surprise you. I honestly believe you have nothing to lose by being yourself.

    If you even need anything, my awesome bloggy friend, I am always here. Keep writing. Keep working. I wish you nothing but the very best in your journey to contentment.

    Here is my post: http://www.juiceboxconfession.com/2013/11/sunday-confessions-3-content.html

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  2. I think of myself as someone without walls...and it's total bullshit. We all have them. And we all beat ourselves up for being ourselves, which sucks. Here's my confession....
    http://mommyneedswinenotwhine.com/2013/11/25/sunday-confession-3-content/

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