Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Long Range Planning

When I said yesterday that I wouldn't call what I am happy, it doesn't mean that I don't experience joy, peace, smiles and laughter on a daily basis. Happiness is rather fleeting, I think. I'm going for that whole contentment and serenity Platinum level.

I'm doing a lot of recovery-based work and it is hard. I won't call it a struggle, but I will say that it can and does become uncomfortable. I'm seeing, perhaps for the first time, things about myself that I'd really like to change, things that don't serve me well. And now I notice when I act on those thoughts, whereas before, I could go just blindly skipping through the Glitterpods and beribboned trees. Not fun. Not happy. But I know that it is the work I need to be doing. The trick is not be beat myself up over these new insights, but to consider them gifts and just do the best I can with them.

Yesterday, was not one of those days. I failed in my actions and I failed in my reaction to my reaction. So today, I get to work through this. I do know that I never learned one good thing from shaming - either internally or externally. I've got to accept where I am and what I am so that I can move forward.

A friend asked me over the weekend if I'd been out on a date yet. I shocked myself be the intensity of my response, "Oh my god, no". The internal dialog was "How could she even ask that? It's still way too soon." But really, the relationship had been dying a slow death for a long time, and if one goes by the usual one-month per year, then I should be well and truly done. And yes, I still love and care about him, but I am done with him.

So the work I'm doing right now has nothing to do with romance or partnership. It has to do with me, by myself, alone in my head and how I feel and how I operate when the focus is where my butt is - on me and not on someone else. Truthfully, anyone else would be a distraction - and I would abandoned this uncomfortableness and seek refuge in what I know best - avoiding uncomfortable feelings and loosing myself into someone else. No, I am trusting the struggle and feel that I am right where I need to be.

I am leaning into the uncomfortableness of it all rather than doing my usual and avoiding it. I think so much of my life has been spent trying to avoid pain and that resistance has led to such angst. From where I'm sitting, the act of avoidance is worst than the pain itself.

I binged last night. Hadn't done that in a long, long time. But it was also done with the "light on", rather than blindly. I could see a sharp connection between what I was feeling about how I'd reacted earlier in the day and my need to DEFLECT myself from thinking about that. And I'd never noticed that before. So again, with the avoidance and running away - and all my usual de-elevators didn't seem to work. I went to the gym. I went to run some errands. I went to the cheapo beauty school and got my hair styled. And then I still returned immediately to my failure from the day. So what's the ultimate punishment? Ding! Ding! Ding! we have a winner.

So today I get to work on acceptance of all things. That progress isn't necessarily linear, but last night's insight was PROGRESS with a Capital P. And I'll take it, however uncomfortable it might be.

This part of the journey is exciting, it really is. Even if uncomfortable. I am where I need to be, doing the work I need to be doing. My past is trailing behind me, with events and actions lighting up like a web of interconnectedness. For example, I tied yesterday's actions to a similar action I'd taken thirty years ago. Uncanny.

I feel like I'm transitioning into some other type of blogger, but don't know that there is a ready genre out there for me to tap into. So for now, I'll just continue on here, but a bit less frequently, perhaps.

I will close with these two pillars of discovery. It seems as though almost every decision I have made in the past forty years involves one or the other.

1. Avoiding pain at all cost
2. Seeking affirmation from external sources

to know this about myself feels like such a gift.

ETA: Replace my post with this. It's much more succinct.

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. The journey is the deal.


PIC stolen from Mr. SponsorPants.


  1. I am impressed with your self-reflection. And your desire to work on yourself. I tend to not think about myself that way, and I know I should. As for being happy, I get that! I once described myself, I think, as "content" rather than happy. Such a fine line but there is a difference, to me.

  2. Happy is overrated. I like the being content in your own skin thing. I understand your reaction to the dating question. When the time is right, something/one will present itself.

    Here's to the journey! We get a new, fresh start everyday. Let's take advantage of it.

  3. Sometimes evolving into a different/better person doesn't always feel like rainbows and sunshine. That's part of the process. Lately, I've been going through the exact same thing, not being happy with the way things were; finally doing something about it. The action has made me miserable, but I know it's what's best for me and through it all, I can see a clearer path ahead. Getting through to the other side is the goal.

  4. The evolving can and should be a good thing. Just think how different your blogging is now than it was 10 years ago!

    I completely understood about the happy thing. Mr. Helen always says that Happy is overrated since it's really just a temporary state of mind. Real JOY is what you want.

  5. This is a time where I wish we could have coffee together and talk for awhile. I can relate to just about everything. Been increasingly aware of my own resistance to a lot of what usually is good for me.

    Awareness is the beginning. Then acceptance, then action. Leaning into discomfort is really hard - but it's actually harder to keep running as fast as we can away from ourselves and our truth after a point.

    Sounds like a big ole growth spurt to me. I send a hug and a virtual cuppa to share.

  6. I hate that "uncomfortable in your own skin" feeling - sounds like you were there last night. Hope today is a calmer day for you, as you progress and discover yourself.

  7. Thank you for this post - it was so honest. My "big" breakup was two years ago, and even though it was ending for a year before it truly ended, I still question whether I'm ready to date (which is probably why most of my dates/relationships go nowhere)! It sounds like you are on the right path to self-discovery - I heard somewhere that we don't make progress if we are always happy, because then we aren't challenged to make differences in our life to make it better. So you're actually just in the process of improving and developing!

  8. That was a really beautifully written post.

    My sister has been talking to a 70 year old man at her gym. She asked me if I were interested and I said "Dating isn't even on my radar." It feels good to focus on what I need instead of what someone else might want. (except for a corgi)

  9. Aside from 70 being kind of older...


We'll try this for a while.