HA! It rhymes, guys.
You know those times where your brain vehemently tells you “THIS IS GOING TO HURT.”
For instance, when you are mid-fall facing a very hard looking bit of concrete. Or if you get into a car accident?
Ever notice for awhile after, you flinch because that shit sure did hurt.
Well, its pretty much the same for emotional pain because your brain can’t distinguish between the two.
I’m actually pretty good at repeated exposure (actually I’m probably not good at it because I do it to cause self-inflicted pain sometimes). But lately, I haven’t wanted to deal with these painful gems.
Part of me is like “deal with them, hoe.” and the other part is basically like “you see, the causation of the pain isn’t something I can fix.”
You can’t stop pain from being thrown at you, because humans largely make decisions regardless of how it will help or harm others.
The only thing you can really do is learn to love yourself. I’ve been reading a lot of books lately about shame, wholeheartedness, self-love, and relationships. I’ve been eating up Brene Brown’s entire collection plus a few other books.
One book called, Passionate Marriage, says the only way to get better at something is to keep learning about it. I realized that one of the ways I’ve always learned how to do something (yes, even sex) is through reading a lot about it. Right now, I feel the same about trying to take care of myself.
I realized when I set boundaries or ask for something that I need – I shame spiral and end up having a massive emotional panic session.
I don’t want the other person to hate me and I hate feeling so weak in those moments. There is a voice in my head that says a lot of cruel things to me and I believe it.
In the last few weeks, I’ve started standing up for myself both internally and externally. I actually said “You know what I’m a good person and I’m a good person to be around and I’m not dirt.”
Then a few weeks later I said it again. And, good lord it’s like a pile of bricks has been lifted off my back.
Brene Brown says that shame isolates into thinking we are alone and that we are the only ones. Just like perfectionism tells us we will only be loved or wanted if we do things a certain way. The way out is through critical awareness (realizing you aren’t alone) and reaching out to someone you trust to share the experience with. The way out of perfectionism is to stop trying to control your output so much and by taking chances.
Perfectionism has made me stare at drafted email for an hour because I’m too terrified I’m not doing something right. Perfectionism then says “then what are you good for?” and shame says something equally hurtful.
So, part of my daily life the last few weeks has been trying to let go of a lot of things because they are not things I need to really fix. I can fix them, but its not always my place to do so. And, that’s ok.
Tonight I was working on something and as I was doing it I could hear my brain saying “Pain! Pain! Pain!” meanwhile I am trying to maintain calm because I know this thing is a shame trigger for me. And then I said “but I wasn’t responsible for this. Yes, it did affect me, but I wasn’t the cause. This pain isn’t mine to bear.” I have decided not to follow through with the thing because it’s not going to be good for me and truthfully its not really a great gift anyway.
At the end of the day, I can only be responsible for my healing. I don’t need to own the pain that belongs elsewhere.