I enjoyed this assignment because this is exactly the type of exercise I get nerdy over. I can play this game for hours. I came up with plenty of my own questions: How am I not myself? (I Heart Huckabees reference DUH)
Am I committed enough? Can I make it work? Where? Where should I live? Where should I start a business? Where should I travel to? Do I settle in? Do I settle down? Do I run amok? Am I running away? Am I running towards something? Can I have a home base and still travel a lot? How can I make money doing something I love? How can I make money? Will I have enough? Will I ever stop comparing myself? Why do I feel guilty? If it’s never a a good time is it always a good time? What does true balance feel like? Will I be able to move past the fear?
One of the exercises that we did with our groups over the weekend, was going around in a circle and each choosing one question that seems to resonate with us in the moment. Group members helped each other to decipher which one seemed most poignant. For me, we chose “Why do I feel guilty?” Ouch.
Damnit. That rings true. Stab stab. What am I afraid of?
I believe I mentioned something about how a lot of people are afraid of receiving so much attention. He responded with that not everyone is nervous or afraid for the same reasons, nor is everyone afraid of receiving group attention. What is it for me?
Something funny about this situation is that my default mode of responding is frustration, like: “FUCK!” Gah, I feel like I know the answer, but it is getting all stuck and jumbled up inside of me! I react with faux frustration. Wait, it’s not fake, but it’s dramatized? Here I am, floundering, once again to figure it out. It’s funny because it is actually exactly what I want. I want someone to push me. No, not just a little push. Really fucking push me, like you care. I want the attention, I want help figuring it out. I want the group/my friends/my family to be a part of my process.
So what am I afraid of? With a group of 20 people looking at me, what makes me nervous? It shows up in my body as a fluttering. It is some kind of vibration that ripples through my body. I wouldn’t even describe it as bad necessarily. Overwhelming, sure, but it is also a nervous excitement. I am scared of looking stupid, like I have said before. I am afraid of being judged. And you know why? Because that is what people do. They judge. I judge. I am at Interchange and I am judging. Perhaps because I know how un-compassionate my judgments of others can be, I figure others do the same and I am terrified of being the target.
I used to pride myself on not caring about what others think, but I am officially throwing that out the window. I am coming to terms with the fact that I care about what others think of me. I do not see that as a bad thing, though I am feeling guilty about it… I see that I need to reconstruct my thought patterns around this if I want to feel less scared and less guilty and more empowered in front of groups.
What do we have so far?
My unanswerable questions: Why do I feel guilty? What am I afraid of?
Some resources around those unanswerables: Judgement, boundaries, self-love
Resources I can work on: Self-acceptance
My group came up with self-acceptance as a resource I should develop further. This came in our discussion around my fear of receiving attention from the group. Part of me is thinking “What? I totally accept myself.” Shit, do I? Now I’m confused. Wait, I just wrote a whole post about if I am confused, I should contribute instead of focusing on myself. But I’m not done yet! What is self acceptance anyway? Then I find myself asking, if no one else loved me, would I still love me? Then I remember that just a couple of days ago I was sitting in the park outside my work, crying to my sister on the phone, asking “what if this is it? What if this is all I ever accomplish?” Do I accept myself? How do I not accept myself?
I have trouble accepting that I still weigh more than I ever have in my life. Why haven’t I lost weight like all the other girls at CrossFit? I am trying to accept that I am working in the restaurant industry despite saying that I don’t want to work with food. I struggle with living in the United States when I have an E.U. passport. I hate that people say “do it now, while you are still young” because I start having an anxiety attack that I am doing “it” all wrong. I can’t decide if I feel great single or if I am constantly judging my self worth by men being attracted to me and being in a relationship. Do I mind not going for a masters degree? Am I a failure compared to the rest of my family? How can I accept myself through these things?
Guilt and fear are alive and well in all of the above. What happens now? I need actionable items. I am looking for my resource: self acceptance. How do you accept yourself? How do you show up in groups? I want a “Hell Yes! I am a badass.” Show me yours, and I’ll show you mine.