Today I hit a major milestone. A lot has gone on for me emotionally the last couple of weeks. Over the past few months I have been slowly excavating my feelings and my reactions. Looking at some cold hard truths. I have always been pretty reactive. This is something that has been changing as my life has become calmer, but when triggered I was never one that could just sit with it. I always had to do something. But the origins were always from outside myself, I was just a reactive mess. Never really stopping to gain my own perspective. You think badly of me? I must convince you that's not true. I was never able to sit with someone else's disapproval. I always had to try and fix it.
Its interesting the moments that make us more aware. I was diving with my buddy and a couple of his friends this summer, and it was a challenging dive. One of the things I was struggling with was getting my buoyancy right. I was always up and down air in, air out, all over the place.
At the end of the dive, one of the guys said, "You did pretty good but sometimes the best thing to do is just wait and do nothing, and it works itself out." He was talking about diving, but it was a very interesting point that can be applied to life in general. I could never let anything sit, I caused a lot of problems and destroyed a lot of relationships this way. Half the time I reacted before I even knew what I was feeling, I was so uncomfortable with uncertainty. I always had to fix everything RIGHT NOW!
This is something I am learning, just breathe, chances are its going to be ok. You won't die if you dont fix this right away. You don't actually have to get along with everyone. And people will come and go, and that's ok. The more I live by this philosophy, the more it seems to be true.
I think what drove this reactivity was an inner fear of failure. I didn't trust that I could cope and needed to depend on others for my survival. If I let go and just let things happen, I felt like the world was going to crash in at any moment so I clung desperately to what I thought was my buoy.
But slowly I am learning I am competent, if an emergency arises, I can take care of it. I can depend on me. It's going to be ok. I can trust myself.
I have also been awakening to the faults in my sense of locus of control. I depend on others to save me since I cannot save myself. If someone said to me "follow me, I know the way!" I would automatically assume they knew better than I did.
This morning I woke up and I had that feeling in my stomach, those tight knots of anxiety. I have been letting go of the crutches that I used to allay my fears. In between the shift of depending on others and learning to depend on yourself there is a bit of a gulf, that is filled with angst. But you have to get go through it to get to the other side. Looking into that gulf, I realized its time to stop giving away my power. Time to jump in and wade over to self-reliance.
I can complain and point fingers at the men that dominated me, that I allowed to control me. But I have come to realize I needed these guys as much as they needed me but for different reasons. I was looking for a specific type of man using him as my shield from the world. I selected men that had the appearance and demeanor of being strong and competent, and I hid behind them. To the point that I often had them actually speak for me. I wouldn't make phone calls, for the longest time my ex still ordered my pizzas even after we split up. In negotiation of any type, I would tell him what I wanted said, and he would say it. Any outsider would have thought I had no input. At that time, I was actually incapable of standing up for myself. I was terrified of the spot light.
Now its time to step up and be completely accountable for myself. I cannot blame anyone for anything anymore. I am a capable, strong woman that actually has accomplished a lot in my life. In retrospect, I think fear has really kept me from taking any real risks. I was always deathly afraid of failure. I have to admit, I have never done anything I wasn't sure I was going to succeed at. This has cost me, always picking the safe route. Its time for all this to change.
I have been so blessed. Did I have a shitty childhood, yes. Have I experienced trauma, yes. When I was young, I was alone, my parents didn't ensure I was safe. But that is not true anymore. I have so many people from so many parts of my life that love me. I have support, a lot of it. I have beautiful healthy children, a great career and a beautiful home. I don't have to be afraid. I can take care of myself now, and if I can't there are people that are there for me.
It is scary, looking ahead right now. I am about to leap into a world of unknown for me. I am going to start taking chances and letting go of what wasn't serving me. I am ready. And its about damn time.