Everything has a beginning. Everything has an end. Or so it seems. At least that’s how it is in the relative world of a mortal life.
Image is courtesy of Lucie Stastkova LuSt4ART
I have always strived to be the best I could be. I have always pushed everyone around me to be and do their best. I guess I just can’t stand to see anything good go to waste or be marginalized.
I wonder now why I feel I’m looking up to tie my shoe laces. What lies deep within that causes me to feel I’ve accomplished nothing in life? What is it that has me feeling I’m hanging on just below the margin?
As a child, I excelled academically. I also bombed out socially. I was the first to be nominated for class president and the last to be invited to a party – that is, if I was invited at all. I would ace a mid-term but fail miserably in a social situation. I never knew why that was. I liked everyone. I couldn’t understand why they didn’t like me. At least I thought they didn’t. Regardless, feelings of inadequacy and regret were branded onto my soul and etched into my frontal cortex. I regretted not having been born a better, more likeable person.
I learned later in life that my childhood peers actually did like me. In fact, they admired me but also were afraid of me. I was different. I was an abused child who was emotive, who neither accepted nor feared relative authority, who immediately went to the aid of anyone suffering for any reason, and who was outspoken. I never met a thought I didn’t share. I instantly saw through lies and subterfuge, and I didn’t hesitate to say so. Back then, I didn’t know I was an empath and I didn’t remember the abuse. All of these factors combined to make me appear brazen, erratic, eccentric, and someone to be kept at arm’s length.
As a result, I grew up feeling flawed, defective, broken. I easily could have become an addict who flushed her life down the toilet or a felon who spent decades behind bars. I came close several times. But something always stopped me before I took the definitive plunge. And for that, I am grateful.
I’ve accomplished many things in my life. But I’m having one of those days where I can’t see the merit of any of them. Perhaps you, too, have had days like this; days where you feel you just haven’t made the grade. There are millions of people in the world who never consider such things – egoists and narcissists devoid of insight; those driven to excel who charge through obstacles and failures without stopping to reflect; those who are happy, contented, and appreciate the simple pleasures in life. I would love to be a member of the latter group.
When I consciously began walking a spiritual path thirty years ago, my perspective changed drastically and my awareness shifted to a point of no return. In many ways, this was a blessing. It’s also an ongoing unremitting challenge that, at times, leaves me yearning for a simple life, a life without attachment – to anything.
Whenever I’m overcome by emotion without apparent reason, I look around me to identify the source – perhaps a neighbor, family member, friend – and try to figure out how much of it is internal and how much is external. Being hypersensitive to external energy is often confusing and overwhelming. It throws me to the wall and challenges my sanity. Today it left me feeling insubstantial and deficient. But feeling inadequate, even defective, is a universal burden most of us carry at times. How we deal with it determines whether our spirits regress, stagnate, or grow.
Step one is recognizing, acknowledging, and accepting our feelings as part of ourselves. What we choose not to look at controls our lives and precludes our growing. Step two is moving the feelings outside of ourselves – regurgitating them, if you will – so we can take a closer look. I’ve found writing about them to be very therapeutic, even cathartic. Step three is maintaining a constant awareness in order to effect change.
So how do we effect change in behavior, thought, and emotion? We first have to set the intention to change. Effecting change in behavior is a three-fold process: noticing ourselves after we act; watching ourselves while we’re acting; catching ourselves before we act. Effecting change in thought and emotion tends to be experiential, as thoughts can be obsessive and emotions are often raw. I’ve learned that the most expeditious way to change how I think or feel is to undergo an experience that catapults me out of my rote way of life and into unfamiliar territory. This is frightening but also effective. And sometimes, embedding a changed behavior can in turn alter thought and emotion.
So after writing this, do I still feel I’m hanging on just below the margin? A little. I think I picked up a great deal of emotion from the prevailing pool circulating around tomorrow’s Presidential election here in the United States. I sense the enormous external maelstrom of worldwide apprehension. I also acknowledge I have some unresolved emotions from childhood (don’t we all!) creating an internal eddy of angst.
As above, so below. As external, so internal. We can’t separate ourselves from the worldwide web of energy, of magnetism. We can try, but it’s a futile exercise. If I’m feeling just below the margin of accomplishment and success, I know others are as well. I’m an individual, but I’m also part of a whole.
Looking at the glass as half full, I choose to think tomorrow will be a brighter day. Hope reigns.
Until the next time, my friends . . . Namaste ❤