This is my current dream, to feel ok to be myself and accepted for it in every way. That sense of inner peace, love and safety right now feels like a pipe dream. I am looking forward to that day of freedom and how I feel now to be a thing of the past. Feeling ok with my mistakes, or attempting something when I know it’s going to be crap the first time I do it is still something that feels very uncomfortable to me. As I’m sure it’s a very normal way of feeling, I am wondering what it means to have self acceptance, that being the ultimate clutz is indeed ok and lovable and even somewhat endearing. That if I have these thoughts does that mean it is self acceptance? How do you know when you have it? Right now, deep inside I am afraid of showing that human imperfect side, worrying that rejection and judgement is just around the corner. As such I was (am I still?) very fixated on achieving grand things, as if it would cover this huge hole left by my shattered self esteem from always being criticised and deemed not good or worthy enough, making me mindlessly walking up the ladder of reaching this goal that I was hearded towards.
Sometimes it’s like there’s two sides to it, the side that says ‘this is the better choice’ and the other side that says ‘but it doesn’t feel safe’. What sits between the two is me scratching my head trying to make sense of the perplexing idea that it doesn’t feel safe to just be myself, to do the things I want to do and express myself with how I truly feel. And with every step of just doing something good for myself requires a huge amount of courage and encouragement to face this fear all the while confused why there is a fear in the first place. Why do I need to be proud of myself simply for doing something that’s good for me, why is there even resistance? Logically it doesn’t make sense.
And honestly, I feel like it’s one of the most mind bending things I have ever experienced, like the Truman Show. It throws you off balance and you’re suddenly in deep waters trying to paddle your way out, clinging to anything and everything for dear life. That’s how it feels. It is utterly confusing and painful for the heart and mind.
While you’re padding out not one will help you, because you’re not supposed to be trying to rely on other people to save you, even though you feel like you need them, your own thoughts are the lie. Brainwashing is the trippiest things ever. I’d like to just forget about it and move on but right now I am still trying *trying* to understand it and make sense of the injustice. How could they?!
Sometimes I think of it like…the weather. Or Mother Nature. It is what it is, sometimes you just come across a storm and you have to make your way through it. Then afterwards people will look at you weirdly when you trek your way to another place where people don’t have that type of storm and you’re all decked out in your raincoat and protective gear 24/7. And, you slowly learn that it’s ok to not needthem anymore because those types of storms are not your everyday now. In fact, that gear can get a bit heavy and cumbersome too. Over here it’s a paradise where the sun shines and rainbows come out, sometimes there is the occasional inconvenience but no crazy storms you speak of.
That’s where I’m at at the moment.
It’s hard to imagine (though it know it is possible) a day without those hard things. Or rather, now I realised (why is this information so hard to come by) emotional maturity is not about absence of suffering and challenges, but the acceptance of it as part of my life journey and embracing it as part of my story, instead of resisting it. Right now I’m at this stage where I can sit with the discomfort, which feels like tightening in my stomach and holding my breath (not relaxing that’s for sure), and really try to focus on the thing that I’m trying to do. After I do it, after it face the fear, I feel elated, happy and without a care in the world. That lasts for a while until the next thing. It’s like, you’re about to do something scary and in the lead up you feel anxiety growing stronger and stronger until you reach the point where you are supposed to just do it, then you decide it’s too scary and you keep walking, building the anxiety. OR by some miracle you manage to be so moved to do it, that it’s done and you can breath again. Wasn’t so bad afterall! And the beauty is, that thing never scares you ever again.
Emotional maturity is like a valuable resource, everyone values it and is healed by it but it’s like evil when you come across it and it rings bells as being toxic. It’s like being trapped in your mind and one hurt person hurts another as they learn to adapt. I still can’t get over it, it trips my mind up.
Perfectionism vs self acceptance or rather feeling like it’s ok to be your true self instead of being complained to or about while that person helplessly can’t deal because of their emotional immaturity, is like the holy grail to me right now. I don’t know what is right from wrong, I’m fighting my instincts that what is familiar is safe and that my fears around doing what’s good for me is disorienting. All I want is to be able to be my own free self, without feeling like I will cause some bad feelings to arise. I can be confident and express myself, basically that it is ok to be light, instead of hiding myself away to acquiesce. I am hurting just thinking about it.
It’s still not easy at this moment. But! I have hope, building greater evidence for it little by little, some time in the future I know I will be able to be fully myself without constantly being vigilant about my surroundings, what other people are thinking, are they reacting to me, are they looking at me (I am sure they are not). Deep down at my core I am still trying to convince myself that I am good. That’s what is so confusing, the rules don’t make sense. Be good, but then don’t be so good that you’re better than me. Makes me angry right now. I am still trying to understand it.
I have learnt that heading towards good while trying to process through the bad is what works. I am still trying to process this whole thing, to practise the art of letting go and surrendering, make good choices and take responsibility for what I can control and not try to change what I cannot. Sometimes I want to just focus everything on the good but I still want to do that processing and not cover it up, to let my feelings play out.
The battle really is within, I just wonder whether not going through this whole thing is a luxury or should I accept it and see it as, everyone has their unique journey in everything. I’m trying to learn that my actual feelings and experiences are nothing to be ashamed of, to hide or will be judged upon. That expressing it will be met with compassion and closeness and understanding instead, that it will be totally and utterly accepted. This new way of experiencing things I can absolutely accept.
I have a goal that I wanted to post pictures up of myself because I’m so used to hiding away. I wanted to eventually do some fashion photography Margaret Zhang style, whom I completely admire her creative spirit. So here’s an attempt, posting here a very blurry and grainy one because no one really reads my blog at the moment and there’s not a big risk (phew!). Here I am in my studio with my first big painting behind me. This will be the first of a series I want to start creating, though I didn’t study art I am thinking of playing around with some non-toxic oil paints somewhere down the line. I feel super shy about it and totally out of my element right here and now. But, hopefully it can grow and I will eventually reach a point of pure ‘I don’t care what anyone thinks’ again, that point in my childhood I dearly miss!