For most of my life, I was afraid that if I told someone about something I wanted to do, I would fail at it.
For example, if I said, “My blog will be successful!” it would mean unequivocal failure. Because by declaring it, I was being overly confident, and thus inviting failure.
I was being arrogant, tempting fate, and pretentious.
I am not sure where my understanding came from? My generation, schooling, my internal fears, all the above?
Murphy’s Law was a popular phrase in the 80s; anything that can go wrong will go wrong. I think I applied it too much to my life.
I now realize there is a distinction between boasting and having confidence in yourself. For someone like me, who had very little confidence in myself for a very long time, something like this would have been impossible to reason before now.
I found a book called The Desire Map by Danielle LaPorte, and in it, she described “Healthy Entitled vs. Greedy Entitled,” in which “healthy entitlement believes everyone is entitled and there is enough to go around, it is rooted in self-worth and love. Unhealthy entitlement usually comes from a place of lack and fear.” This is very similar to what Florence Scovel Shinn had described in her Intuition book; “no one keeps you out of your own good but yourself.”
I’m now working on rewiring my subconscious mind.
Telling myself that I can have everything I’ve been telling myself for years that I can’t.
For years, I believed I couldn’t have those things. I became engulfed in self-pity as I observed others getting what they wanted in their lives.
It’s been a while since I wrote my first univers-ism post, but I mentioned owning up to mistakes in my past.
Because of the betrayals I had mentioned in that post, and because I had not forgiven those betrayals, patterns had developed in my life, and as a result of those patterns, I became competitive.
Because of that competitiveness, I fell into a deep hole of self-pity over everything that was tumbling down around me. I felt like my world was collapsing all that was going on.
Little things became bigger things.
With each job loss, money issue, health problem, and friendship loss, I sank deeper into self-pity.
When you’re in a state of self-pity, it is easy to keep finding more, and it’s even more difficult to come out of it.
My therapist gently suggested all of this when I was deep in therapy before the pandemic hit.
Four months into the pandemic, I had to discontinue therapy. I lied to my therapist, telling her it was triggering me doing the sessions from home and that I needed a break. That my migraines were getting worse.
But the real reason was that I didn’t want to own up to some revelations we were getting close to. I didn’t want to be told anything I didn’t want to hear. I was in denial.
It was after I entered menopause, three months after starting on an antidepressant, when I began my soul homework. I had just turned my book over to my friend to edit, and I desired a distraction. I didn’t go looking for the soul homework; it showed up looking for me.
I am now filled with much more joy, which I haven’t felt for a very long time. I needed this soul homework.
However, I must continue to work on myself on a daily basis because there is still work to be done.
I believe I will need to continue doing this work for the rest of my life, and I am fine with that.
I’ve been putting to use my new thoughts from lessons I have learned through my soul searching, and it’s been helping me work through a lot of emotional muck. I haven’t been in a place of pity for months, and it is like inhaling fresh air for the first time.
I still have moments when I want to go to that place of feeling sorry for myself, but it doesn’t feel good. It never felt good, to be clear. Feeling sorry for myself always felt like shit. But when I was in it, I didn’t realize I was doing it. It was just a part of who I was.
Lately, I have been genuinely happy for other people when good things happen to them. I can’t tell you how pleased this makes me, selfishly. It’s okay to be selfishly happy. It’s still happiness.
All of this has taken a lot of the pain out of my life. Literally. It has cut my migraines in half since arriving at this realization.
I used to get migraines every other day. Now, I get them once every other week.
I have had several what I like to call “discoveries” over the past several months since I have been doing my soul homework. One of which is the story of what really happened on Mother’s Day, when I had the migraine that sent me to the ER.
I sat in a place of self-pity the entire afternoon before.
I didn’t tell you about that in the original blog post.
My two daughters, who had been through three months of quarantine with their mom, were not cooperating with each other to get a picture with me. That was my only request as a gift for Mother’s Day. I wanted to take their pictures with my DSLR camera and I asked my husband to take a picture of me with them as I am never “in the picture”, I complained.
I was looking forward to having some pictures of me and my girls and when it didn’t emerge after endless bickering on their parts; I cried and stomped upstairs (not my finest moment) to where I retired for most of the day (again, not my finest moment). I ended up spending most of Mother’s Day in my room, where I drank coffee, watched Netflix, and ate nothing until dinner.
I’ll show them!
Pity party for one!
I was dehydrated and hungry by the time dinner arrived at five that evening. One could say that the Chinese dinner and half a bottle of wine made the migraine happen. Or more reasonably, the guilt and anger and pity did.
I apologized to my daughters and husband on Thanksgiving Day this year. I explained to them about this soul searching that I have been doing over the past couple of months. That being with them on Mother’s Day should have been more important than a picture. That my self-pitying days are over and I asked them if they could forgive me.
I wasn’t growing for a long time and I feel like I am now making up for the lost time. I am showing my girls that a parent can make mistakes and ask for forgiveness. That we don’t always have the answers and that we can change for the better, even midlife.
I am not striving for perfection; I am striving for happiness.
I like to tie in these Univers-ism posts with songs for different reasons. I love music, and I don’t want to lose you as a reader. So I feel like if we can’t connect with my message, we will definitely connect through song.
I found this song last week and have been listening to it on auto-repeat.
It felt Heaven sent as well.