Well with Halloween looming, maybe now is a good time to look at the darker subject matter and drag some of those mouldy old cobwebs out of that deep dark closet within.😱☠️☠️☠️💩
Hell why not, I hear you cry.
What better way to feel fantastic, than to go rummaging around in the deepest darkest corners of that room. Into the place where all of those broken down boxes have been locked away, hopefully to be, forever forgotten…certainly never, ever to be attempted at being opened, ever.
Sure…let’s drag them out into the daylight and see what crawls out! 🕷🕸🦂😨
Hahahaha…fair enough. It’s certainly no easy ask but something I am really beginning to understand recently is; the tougher the problem, the bigger the reward.
I think I’ve started to become quite sadistic about it all actually.
The moment I find myself procrastinating about anything. Doing everything I can, to avoid looking into that dark, scary room inside, the one that triggers, the sweaty hands, the racing heart and that horrible lurching feeling inside (it even has a sound effect for me! You know the one they play at the cinema, in the trailer at the beginning or the noise used when the world goes completely nuclear? This drowning boom noise that descends, signalling the end of existence as we know it? Yup…that’s the one). Well, the moment I notice that particular feeling rising up and my vision becoming blurry, especially when I start getting defensive about a subject matter or best of all, quite angry about the whole thing (worst case scenario I can go complete fight and flight and physically lemming my way out of the problem. Pass out, play dead and hope it all just goes away, remarkably ineffective). I have this new aspect of myself that now comes charging in and instead of allowing my inner lemming to take charge, I have this meerkat, that pops its fuzzy head up and into my business and starts madly waving its red flag around, shouting…’Houston we have a problem’.
This is the moment when I have to sigh deeply, then schlump off somewhere, dark, quiet and alone and with a little bit of faith, ask myself…’okay, what’s going on?
This is something I find the most difficult.
I’m great at slapping a smile on things, focusing on the positive upside of a situation and generally sucking life up.
But admitting I have a problem, that things are not okay and that if I’m truthful, that there’s even, a darker side to my personality lurking within, my shadow self. This is when I find, I need to gather all of my courage and choose to face myself and even harder, to own it.
When I am feeling; a little bit jealous of a friends success, cross with my family for leaving me behind (when I’m sick), angry because I haven’t taking the career path I expected from myself, frustrated at the prospects of my condition and the affects it is having, afraid and brimming with insecurities of rejection, loss and shame…these are the darker elements of myself and these are the times that once upon a time,would have sent me running into the arms of Facebook, a tub of good ice cream or if all else fails, some good ‘ole ‘passing of the buck’ and blaming of something/someone else as the source of my misery.
Recently however, I have started to learn that although it feels better to run…nothing ever changes.
The only hope any of us have to quieten the darkest voices and avoid their influence upon our lives, is to not ignore them but choose instead to be brave and grab a torch.
These aspects within myself that I have worked very hard to avoid and ignore, time is now teaching me, that even though they feel unpleasant, these voices still have an purpose. That even the darkest thoughts have something to say and more importantly, want and need to be heard.
I have spent years constructing my alter ego. The ‘perfect’ me to present to the world. I have chipped, filed and polished the many facets of my persona to become inoffensive, charming, funny and a friend to all. Every time a chosen action has resulted in my own embarrassment or guilt, I have highlighted it, noted its failure and then banished it away into the deepest corners of my soul, never to influence and shame my life again.
What has taken me time to realise though, was that although these pieces were forgotten, they are in fact, never quiet gone. Quite to the contrary…they fester, they grow and then slowly seep, unwittingly up and into our everyday thoughts and actions.
For many years I have quietly struggled with jealousy. Often experiencing conflict and at times despair when the different aspects of myself began to war with each other. There has always been a genuine part of my soul that celebrates when others do well. I truthfully feel joy, at a loved ones success and I feel my heart warm up, when my friends are happy and content.
However I also have this other part. A darker, quieter voice that in those same moments, whispers to me. A voice that mutters with resentment. A voice that sprinkles bitterness and self accusations, questioning why, I have failed to do as well as this other person or scepticism at the authenticity of their perceived success…the dark part of myself who wants to find a negative foothold, in which to drag my perceptions of the individual down into the murky pits of my own negative self esteem…Bleugh! It’s horrible and it leaves me feeling like a complete and utter shitty human being, my worst self.
Once upon a time I would engage in this mental battle, between light and dark. Forcing the darkness back into its cave with positive words and self denial but then I discovered I still found myself, subconsciously skipping passed posts, refusing to read about others peoples success and achievements. Not reading someone else’s blog or Facebook status and trying relentlessly to avoid any situation that could potentially cause this internal war to erupt.
It sucked…I sucked!😢
Eventually, I had enough.
Over my many years of self discovery and evaluation (I had a lot of time on my hands), I have come to understand myself well enough, to know that I do genuinely love people (most of them anyway…haha). I want my fellow brothers and sister to be happy and I can even become stubbornly, passionate about everyone’s right to feel self worth and joy, their right to be simply…celebrated. 🎉
So, when I find my own behaviour to be in such conflict with that very statement of my own truth, I know it’s time to have a little self talk.
This is what I have discovered….
By taking time out, being brave and usually bringing a mahoosive cup of tea with me. I can ask the difficult questions of myself. Because that is usually where most problems lie. Within myself. It’s not someone else’s fault they look incredibly captivating in that particular photo and I happen to think I look like a moose (I don’t believe I photograph well), no one else is to blame that I didn’t choose to pursue my singing career but someone else that I know well, had the courage to do so and is now enjoying their success. Neither can I blame my husband, for not providing me with the support I believe I needed, when I had become overtired, because I didn’t choose to speak my struggles and erect my own boundaries, so now I feel burnt out and alone, whilst he still has loads of energy left to spend and share with friends on a night out.
It is never anyone else’s fault.
My jealousy is not there because of a lack of something someone else has chosen or not to do. I feel jealous because I essentially feel inadequate. Because at some point or other, I have chosen to silence myself. To bury my self worth, my own specific dreams, thoughts, fears and hopes for my future and in so doing, I choose to shed my responsibility of these feelings and what they had to tell me. Worst still, by not taking responsibility for how I was feeling in those moments, I have inadvertently put that burden onto everyone else’s shoulders and then had the inner audacity to blame them for not carrying it for me.
What I am learning about myself, is that often when I am angry, resentful or jealous with someone else, it is usually because they are doing, or have, or are being something that resonates against my own issues. I am projecting all of my own crap onto them and then blaming them for it. That way, it doesn’t have to be me who is wrong. Me who has failed. Me who is actually hiding away from the world and refusing to take responsibility for my actions or lack of them.
We only have one dictionary in which to interpret our world around us and that’s the one we have spent years creating for ourselves throughout our own specific journey. Our own personal dictionary is a collection of our gathered experiences, emotional responses and modelled behaviour (from those around us). Our normal is simply, our own reflected, known and accepted version of reality. To understand someone else’s actions, we first have to run their behaviour against our own and decide whether or not it’s the same or the opposite to how we would have behaved. Then we can decide if we agree or don’t agree. If we look at someone and deem them beautiful or not, we first compare them against our own internal image of what our ‘dictionary’ tells us is the definition of beautiful. Contrasting, comparing and projecting ourselves onto the world around us, is how we as a society have learned to function and survive and in many circumstances that is incredibly useful, it is how we come to know ourselves as, ‘I’. This me and not me…but it is only useful, if we remain aware of the process and are vigilant against the consequences.
I am aware that if my shadow self is muttering and the drums of war are beginning to sound, that often it’s a sign that I’m stumbling into my own internal murky waters and that it is quite likely I have unwittingly disturbed some monster lurking deep within. One I had banished many years ago, that probably either now needs taming, setting free or destroying.
But that knowledge takes courage and the act of tackling it, a little blind faith. It is one thing to acknowledge you have awoken your own internal beast and that maybe there’s something waiting down there for you to deal with (rather than taking it out on every other poor sod, who unwittingly awoken it…because they didn’t even know it was there in the first place…hell…they probably are not even aware of your very existence in that moment. They can’t be because they too, are struggling with their own bag of crazy) but it is another, very different matter, actively choosing to go within, to actually tackle the blasted thing (counselling is quite affective, great friends/ family/ letter writing, friendly postman are all useful avenues).
One thing i know for certain, is that my shadows are in there and each one is just biding it’s time, waiting for its moment to have a voice because each and every one has something that needs to be heard by me, consciously and probably wants me to take some action about it.
I can choose to ignore them, slap a smile on, suck it up and pretend they aren’t there, quietly threatening war or I can choose instead to brave, take a deep breath and go and grab a torch.
So I guess I’m going in…I just hope I see you all on the other side 😳💩💕
Love love love to you all and oneself.
It’s going to be fine.
A little faith, a little love and a whole lot of light xxx
“Darkness only exists because of the absence of light”
I think it’s Albert Einstein that said this but I’m sure google will know 😊