August 19, 2013 at 8:36 am #40756HannahParticipant
Over the past few days/weeks/months I’ve started to realise that maybe I haven’t come as far on my self-improvement journey as I thought I had.
I indulge in bad habits: oversleeping, not exercising, eating badly or binging either for reward or plain old comfort.
I constantly fear that I will be discovered as incompetent, a bad person, lazy, undeserving, and ousted out of whatever I’m involved in (relationships, work, study etc)
I get angry (largely in my head) and intolerant so easily, and I don’t feel the compassion and acceptance of others that I know I ought to and in my heart, want to. I always thought of myself as kind and I hate this ugly side of myself. Sometimes I have good and bad days, but it seems like the anger outweighs my compassion.
On the flip-side, I behave too “nicely” towards people, to the extent of being submissive. I apologise for everything. I accomodate. I don’t argue. When I try to make a point I invariably trip over myself, get tongue-tied or simply get it wrong. Put this together with the anger and I just feel like a wheedling, snivelling fraud.
I avoid, procrastinate, lie.
I realised yesterday that I’ve let past issues that I thought had disappeared creep into my relationship and I fear that I will push my partner away. I feel confused, over whether we are together for the right reasons, whether I am afraid of being alone or not, whether I’m being treated well or not, or whether I’m just being plain demanding and unreasonable. I pick fights with him (the one instance I am more than happy to argue) and worry or get upset, and each time I tell myself I won’t do it again and I’ll be a better girlfriend, but I always fall back into the same pattern over something else.
I’m tying myself in knots just trying to make this list, but I fear that perhaps I am simply in the same place I was in years ago, and just didn’t realise it. I read lists, blogs, books about how to develop self-worth, love yourself, develop good habits, lead a better life; my wall is covered with motivational posters; theoretically, there are so many things that I know would contribute to a happier life. I try to put them into practice, but it never seems to stick, perhaps because I give up before I’ve even begun.
This probably all sounds pretty maudlin (perhaps because today, I am not in my most positive frame of mind!) as well as a bit all over the place. I don’t really know where to start or what to change first, but I know I do want to change, because life is short and could be so much more colourful and fulfilling than it is now. I suppose I just wanted to reach out, in case anyone knows what I’m talking about or has any advice.
Thank you for reading xAugust 19, 2013 at 9:56 am #40758MJParticipant
I’m not good in making advice but I know / understand what you are going through.
Sometimes we want to change ourselves for the better but we are just lacking of motivation. that’s why everytime we want to start we feel bored about it.
Have you had any dream of what you wanna be someday? Or have you think of what will make you feel fulfilled/ satisfied?
Maybe meditation would help? I dunno honestly i don’t know how a proper meditation is. But I think anyone here like Matt could help you.
Every time I get downed by my bad habits, I try to analyze myself and plan about my future. But based on my experience, Laziness is the worst habit that’s hard to break. Why? Because with just thinking that you wanna break it ,you already feel lazy to do it. bcoz its ‘laziness’.
Hope you can relate to what I’m saying. 🙂 I’m not a native English speaker but i hope I gave my idea to your understanding. If you had find out how to break those bad habits please let me know too. 🙂 i’ll be grateful.
wanna share this quote to you : “always seek room for self-improvement”. I always keep reminding myself with this. 🙂
MJAugust 19, 2013 at 10:29 am #40759MattParticipant
It is one thing to know the path, it is quite another to walk it. Many of your books and posters all say “you are great, you are wonderful” and you respond, “yes, but..” as though there is a part of you which is ugly. This is not the case. When we were kids, we knew the alphabet when we were born? Hardly! It was through repetition, setting the letters to song, drawing them over and over, sitting in a circle with other kids and making games out of it. Spiritual development is the same, living a life of peace is the same.
But, you might ask, how do the pieces fit together? How do we embrace the light and love the dark? Said differently, how do we cultivate the peace we wish to have when parts of our personality are painful?
This is far more simple than we want to believe. We give up grasping, making it about “us”. For example, when things are going well, and the mind is fluid, awake, present, such as sitting on a beach and listening to the waves… we think “how great it is to sit on this warm sunny day, pleasant sounds, beauty all around me.” We falsely assume that the day is what is bringing our happiness. This is not the case. We are seeing beauty, and so the mind is able to rest, open to the truth of what is there, and we become aware of the present. From that resting in the moment, happiness arises.
Then we go home and the boyfriend calls us ugly. That is painful, and our mind immediately bounces around in the head, restless. “Am I ugly, does he love me, what can I do, where can I go.” The mind does not easily rest when it is feeling pain. We think that the boyfriend caused our unhappiness, but it was our disturbed mind, pulled away from the present that removes the joy. Said differently, the boyfriend is like the ocean, sending waves on to the shore. If we sat at the beach and hoped the waves were different than they were, here would be no happiness there either. So when the boyfriend sends waves to us, wishing they were different closes down the joy.
We would like to reject this idea, thinking that “no, the boyfriend should not have said those things.” and for awhile that might even work. However, you can’t hide from your own mind. You can push away the people and objects that you consider painful, but you can’t push away the thoughts. No amount of posters on the wall, no amount of reading positive words will help.
What must happen for inner peace is an acceptance that you’re learning the alphabet. Yes there is anger, yes there is happiness, yes there is shame, yes there is the mask you show to others. Those are part of you, part of the waves, and totally acceptable and reasonable. First we learn A, then we learn B. First we find acceptance of who we really are, and then we find out how to drop the parts of ourselves that bring us pain. If we are scared of the pain, we can’t look clearly at the thorn. Said differently, if you can love all of who you are, ignorant Hannah and wise goddess Hannah, you can absorb and put to use all of the books and posters. Until then, they are only pictures, hopes that somewhere in the future you’ll love yourself… ways of trying to use your mask on yourself. Which you have noticed doesn’t work.
That being said, going from beach to ugly to beach to ugly is much like the cycle of the sun and moon. The sun is up and it is bright and cheery. Then the moon comes up and shadows deepen and the inner-hannah comes out. Said differently, the pain makes us alert, sculpts our intuition. As we look deeply at how the words “ugly” triggered our mind to bounce away from the present, we can begin to remove the attachment to being seen as “pretty”. Then, we are happy and peaceful when people call us pretty, and happy and peaceful when they call us ugly. Either way, they are just waves on the shore, have a lot to do with the ocean, with the people who say those words, but very little to do with us.
The same is true internally. The anger and mask (suppression) are just a wave, arising for a reason, and will recede when the reason dissolves. It has very little to do with you… not something inherent to Hannah, it is just you working out the ABCs of inner peace. Flaws, bah. I reject that notion. Who blames kids for not knowing the alphabet?